A dog’s dew claw is like a thumb or big toe except it has no purpose. It typically grows a few inches up from the pad and does not touch the ground. We see occasional problems with torn or infected dew claws, but technically you do not need to have dew claws removed.
Breeders, especially of hunting dogs, often have dew claws removed within five – seven days of birth. At that young age, dew claws are more like fingernails than appendages and can be removed relatively easily with no stitches required.
The reason breeders of hunting dogs have dew claws removed is to prevent tearing and injury when running through brush, woods, and rough terrain.
The litter of champion white labs in our picture had their dew claws removed at age 5 days. We know at least one of these fine dogs loves to ram through the woods and has never missed his dew claws.
Call us at 800 204-8007 with questions about dew claw removal.