Do Dachshunds Have Dewclaws? A Complete Guide

If you own a dachshund, you might have noticed that they have an extra nail on the inside of their front paws. This is called a dewclaw, and it is not a defect or a mistake. It is actually a normal part of their anatomy, and it has some important functions for your dog.

In this article, we will answer all your questions about dachshunds and their dewclaws, such as:

– What are dewclaws and why do dachshunds have them?
– Do dachshunds have dewclaws on their back legs too?
– What are the benefits and risks of dewclaws for dachshunds?
– Should you remove your dachshund’s dewclaws or not?
– How to care for your dachshund’s dewclaws and prevent problems?

By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of your dachshund’s feet and how to keep them healthy and happy.

What Are Dewclaws And Why Do Dachshunds Have Them?

Dewclaws are vestigial claws, which means they are remnants of an ancient feature that was once useful for dogs’ ancestors. They are located on the upper and inner side of the front paws, above the other toes. They are attached to the leg by either bone or skin, depending on the breed and the individual dog.

Dachshunds have dewclaws on their front paws because they inherited them from their ancestors, who used them for various purposes. Some of these purposes include:

– Gripping objects: Dewclaws can help dogs hold bones, toys, or other items in their paws while they chew on them.

– Climbing: Dewclaws can help dogs climb onto things, such as furniture, trees, or rocks.

– Running: Dewclaws can help dogs balance and stabilize their legs while running, especially when making sharp turns or running on slippery surfaces.

– Support: Dewclaws can provide extra support for the wrist joints, which can prevent injuries and arthritis.

Dewclaws are not useless or harmful for dachshunds. They are actually quite useful and beneficial for them, as long as they are well cared for.

Do Dachshunds Have Dewclaws On Their Back Legs Too?

Most dachshunds only have dewclaws on their front paws, but some may also have them on their back legs. This is rare and usually occurs due to a genetic mutation or variation. Back dewclaws are usually only attached by skin, not bone, and they do not touch the ground.

Back dewclaws do not have any known function or benefit for dachshunds. They may even pose some risks, such as getting caught on things or getting infected. Therefore, some owners may choose to have them removed by a veterinarian when the dog is young.

However, removing back dewclaws is not necessary or mandatory for dachshunds. Some owners may prefer to keep them for aesthetic reasons or because they do not cause any problems for their dogs. The decision to remove or keep back dewclaws should be based on your personal preference and your vet’s advice.

What Are The Benefits And Risks Of Dewclaws For Dachshunds?

As we mentioned earlier, dewclaws can provide some benefits for dachshunds, such as:

– Enhancing their grip and agility
– Supporting their wrist joints
– Giving them more personality

However, dewclaws can also pose some risks for dachshunds, such as:

– Getting injured: Dewclaws can get torn, broken, or infected if they get caught on something or if they are not trimmed regularly.
– Causing pain: Dewclaws can cause discomfort or pain if they grow too long or if they are attached loosely.
– Interfering with grooming: Dewclaws can make it harder to trim your dachshund’s nails or clean their paws.

Therefore, it is important to take good care of your dachshund’s dewclaws and monitor them for any signs of trouble.

Should You Remove Your Dachshund’s Dewclaws Or Not?

The decision to remove or keep your dachshund’s dewclaws is a personal one that depends on several factors, such as:

– Your vet’s opinion: Your vet can examine your dachshund’s dewclaws and advise you whether they need to be removed or not. Some vets may recommend removing them if they are causing problems or if they are likely to cause problems in the future. Other vets may suggest leaving them alone if they are healthy and functional.

– Your dog’s age: Removing dewclaws is easier and safer when the dog is young, preferably under 5 days old. This is because the dewclaws are not fully developed and the procedure is less invasive and painful. Removing dewclaws when the dog is older can be more complicated and risky, and may require anesthesia and stitches.

– Your dog’s activity level: Removing dewclaws may affect your dachshund’s performance and comfort if they are very active or athletic. Dewclaws can help them run faster, turn better, and climb easier. However, if your dachshund is not very active or if they have other health issues that limit their mobility, removing dewclaws may not make a big difference for them.

– Your personal preference: Removing dewclaws is a cosmetic choice that may affect your dachshund’s appearance and personality. Some owners may like the look of dewclaws and think they add character to their dogs. Other owners may dislike the look of dewclaws and think they are unsightly or unnecessary.

Ultimately, the choice to remove or keep your dachshund’s dewclaws is up to you and your vet. There is no right or wrong answer, as long as you consider your dachshund’s well-being and happiness.

How To Care For Your Dachshund’s Dewclaws And Prevent Problems?

Whether you decide to remove or keep your dachshund’s dewclaws, you should follow these tips to care for them and prevent problems:

– Trim them regularly: You should trim your dachshund’s dewclaws every few weeks, just like their other nails. This will prevent them from growing too long and curling into their skin, which can cause pain and infection. You can use a nail clipper or a grinder to trim them, but be careful not to cut too close to the quick, which is the blood vessel inside the nail.

– Check them often: You should check your dachshund’s dewclaws regularly for any signs of injury or infection, such as swelling, redness, bleeding, or pus. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should take your dachshund to the vet as soon as possible for treatment.

– Protect them from harm: You should try to avoid situations that could damage your dachshund’s dewclaws, such as walking on rough terrain, playing with sharp objects, or getting tangled in wires. You can also use protective boots or socks to cover your dachshund’s paws when they go outside or when they are at risk of injury.


Dewclaws are a normal part of your dachshund’s anatomy that can provide some benefits for them. However, they can also pose some risks if they are not cared for properly. You should consult with your vet and weigh the pros and cons of removing or keeping your dachshund’s dewclaws. Whatever you decide, you should always keep your dachshund’s feet clean and healthy.

We hope this article has helped you learn more about dachshunds and their dewclaws. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them below. We would love to hear from you!