Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?

As humans, we take for granted that everyone has a belly button, but have you ever wondered if dogs have belly buttons too? A quick scan of your dog’s belly may convince you that they don’t, but the fact is that yes, dogs do have belly buttons. You may not be able to see your dog’s belly button, or even feel it, but rest assured, your dog has one.

All Placental animals have a belly button

Any human or animal that is attached to the uterus of its mother via an umbilical cord, tying it to the placenta for nutrition has a belly button. Just as baby humans are born with a remnant of the umbilical cord until it dries up and falls off, so are puppies. This is the best time to check out the location of the belly button. After the umbilical cord scab falls off, it becomes more difficult to see, but a belly button is more like a scar that is leftover from the gestational stage of life. These scars in dogs seem to fade into oblivion while most humans either have belly button that turns inside, leaving what appears to be a hole, or it extends outwards, protruding slightly. This isn’t the case with puppies unless they develop an umbilical hernia.

Why you can’t see a dog’s belly button

There are a few reasons why it’s hard to find the belly button on your dog. When a puppy is born, the mother instinctively removes the umbilical cord while it is still very young. This helps to prevent the development of a large scar, but makes it hard to see as the dog grows and matures. In most dogs, the scar fades so remarkably that it may become nearly impossible to find. In addition to this, dogs grow hair on their bellies that provide a covering that makes it hard to see a light scar. On top of all this, a dog’s belly button is not in the place you would expect it to be. With humans, the nipples are above the belly button, with the scar located at mid-torso. With a dog, both male and female, the navel is in the center of the belly with a row of nipples on either side. This can make it confusing and difficult to find.

Be on the lookout for a herniated belly button

Some dog breeds are more prone to herniated belly buttons, which are not normal, and can even be life threatening. If you notice that there is a protruding bump that does not go down in the area where the umbilical cord was attached, your puppy very likely has a hernia in this area. This is an indication that the walls of the muscles in this area have not sealed around the umbilical cord as nature intends after birth.

What to do if your puppy has a herniated belly button?

In most cases, these conditions remedy themselves as the puppy begins to grow and mature. Not all hernias develop complications. If the hernia is large and does not begin to recede, you can schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to have the hernia examined. While some develop life threatening complications, this is extremely rare, and if it’s a problem, a simple surgery can repair the problem. The hernia repair procedure is often done when the puppy is spayed or neutered.

Breeds most likely to develop an umbilical hernia

Any dog breed can develop an umbilical hernia, both those that are the most predisposed to this condition are Beagles, Pekingese, Basenjis and Airdale Terriers. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on newborn puppies to make sure that none of the pups in your dog’s litters are born with this issue. If you find a bump on your puppy, just keep an eye on it and take the puppies to the vet for their first round of shots, worming and physical examinations. Your pet doctor can tell you if there’s any reason for concern.

Have you seen your dog’s belly button?

You may not have really thought about it until now, but the odds are, you’re going to check it out for yourself. Can you find the belly button on your dog?


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