What Are the Fingers on a Dog's Paws Called?

The anatomy of your four-legged chum’s paws isn’t that different from that of your hands and feet. Scientifically, they're all phalanges, and so are yours. But technically, the dogs are all toes since they're not attached to working thumbs and are unable to grasp anything.

Toe Details

Your mischievous buddy has four fingers on each of his front two paws and four toes on each of his rear paws -- 16 in all. Some breeds also have a fifth finger or toe on one, two, three or even all feet. These extras are known as dewclaws; they're kind of like thumbs in humans except useless. Typically a vet will remove the hind dewclaws of certain breeds when they're babies. Those extra “thumbs” in the back can get stuck on things and tear, leading to infections later on down the line.



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