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Pomeranian Dewclaws


What is a dewclaw? A nail that grows out from near the top of the dog's paw. It is so high that it may be considered to be part of the ankle.

Many breeders have these removed when the pup is just a few days old; so there's a good chance that your Pom does not have these.

That said, some Pomeranians do have intact dewclaws. And you may be wondering if they require any sort of extra care, or if you should considering having them removed. 

Let's discuss this important topic.

Should Dewclaws be Removed on a Pomeranian?

You do not always need to have them removed. It will depend on your particular dog. Most toy breed dogs do have the dewclaws removed soon after birth. Other than the Pom, this would include the Yorkshire Terrier, the Shih Tzu, the Maltese, etc.
cute Pomeranian puppy with toy
Simba, 11 months old
Photo courtesy of Claudia from Paraguay
The main reason that owners have the dew claws removed when the dog is older, is the worry that they will catch on something, such as the carpet. This can be very painful for the dog and could lead to possible infection.

Dewclaws are also removed if they are not growing in properly. This can interfere with the dog's activities such as playing and exercising.

Your decision about whether or not to remove the dewclaws should depend on:
  • Are they getting the way? Is your Pomeranian getting the caught onto things?
  • Are they loose, dangling or growing out of place?
If so, then it is recommended to have them removed for the sake of the Pom. 
Will having the dewclaws removed interfere with showing a dog at a conformation event? No. Per AKC standards, it is acceptable for the Pomeranian dewclaws to be removed on both front and rear paws.

Proper Removal

If your Pomeranian's dewclaws are catching on things and causing pain (if intact, they usually they catch on clothing, carpeting, etc), and you opt to have them removed, let's discuss the procedure.

When done any time after the age of 8 weeks old, they will not be able to be pulled out easily as they are when the Pom was a newborn. As time goes by and the dog grows...

The dewclaw becomes much more than a tiny nail. It forms into what some would call a "5th toe". By the age of 1 to 2 years old, it is an appendage... with muscle tissue, nerves, veins and all. 
If it is still on the small side and not fully developed, a veterinarian may decide that a local anesthetic would be appropriate for puppy under the age of 1. However, once it is fully developed, this would be a surgery, comparable to an amputation.

The entire piece, the toe and claw, are removed. Quite a few stitches will need to be put into place and healing time can vary from 2 to 4 weeks.

During that time, care must be taken to keep the area clean. Many Poms will be prone to licking at the site, which can interfere with recovery time.

This is done by an experienced veterinarian and done so under general anesthesia.

For this reason, many owners choose to have this done at the same time that spaying or neutering is that the Pomeranian only needs to have the anesthesia one time.
male and female 2 year old Pomeranians
Pisco (male, 2.5 years old) & Tequila (female 2.5 years old)
Photo courtesy of owner: Mara Pasquali
If a person is breeding, thought should be put into whether or not to have this procedure routinely done when the newborns are 3 to 5 days old... They will be small, more like fingernails and usually do not even require stitches.
cutest Pomeranian
Kuixing, 3 years old
Photo courtesy of owner: Valerie Orlando  
In this way, new owners of those Pomeranians will not need to face any issues as the dog grows older.

Since this is a big decision when done at an older age, we highly recommend only having this done to a matured Pomeranian if the dew claws are presenting a big problem, catching on things and causing your dog pain.

Care for Intact Dewclaws

If your Pom has his dewclaws, keep in mind that trimming them on a regular basis is very important. You will not want to allow them to grow long and catch on anything, as that could cause injury and possibly lead to infection. 

When you brush your Pom, do not brush down the entire leg. Stop and use a comb on that area, to go carefully around the nail.

Note: Dewclaw care is just a small part of what is needed to keep your Pom happy and healthy. We have combined the knowledge of the PetPom Team into a HUGE PRINT book. Take a peek.
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