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Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?

By May 6, 2020June 12th, 2020Dogs

Dogs, being mammals, often conceal some of their most distinctive traits, such as the belly button, so much so dog owners end up thinking to themselves “do dogs have belly buttons?”

If you look closely at the body structure of all mammals i.e. the animals that give birth to the living organisms such as whales, cows, cats, dogs and human beings, it is somewhat similar. Especially the breeding cycles, the reproductive organs and the nipples.

What makes mammals unique among themselves is the belly button or navel, which is the remnant of the umbilical cord when the baby rests in the mother’s womb. In humans, the naval or belly button is quite visible and protruding, however, in dogs, it’s otherwise.

Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?

The placenta is an organ which promotes the exchange of nutrients and wastes between the blood of the mother and that of the fetus. The placenta of the fetus is connected via a long flexible tube called the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord helps the transport of nutrients and waste between the mother and the fetus.

Since dogs are placental animals, they have belly buttons that might not be visible, though they are present. You can easily look out for their belly button when they are laying with their belly up.

What the Belly Button Looks Like in Dogs?

The overall structure of the dog’s body differs greatly from humans. Therefore, it is difficult to find belly buttons on dogs than on humans.

In humans, the navel or belly button is a protruding, flat and hollow scar. Whereas, in canines, the belly button looks like a circular or oval wrinkle on the skin or the vertical slight scar that is usually swirled by canine fur around the navel area.

Since the belly button in dogs is just a small vertical scar covered with hair, you might just overlook it. However, if you find a protruding and swollen belly button, it’s a matter of concern.

How to Locate a Dog’s Belly Button?

Even though you might have a hard time locating a dog’s belly button, just know that it’s there!

The mom, in the first few hours of birth, chews off the umbilical cord so the remaining part of the cord dries up and falls in the first 24 hours of birth leaving behind a vertical scar.

Your dog’s belly button is located about 3/4 of the way down their abdomen, just like ours. However, they are inconspicuous and difficult to find.

If you’re trying to find your dog’s belly button, here’s where to locate it.

  1. Lay your dog down with his belly up and try to calm him down.
  2. Look for his belly button below the ribcage at the mid-central abdomen.
  3. If you cannot find the belly button right away, part your canine’s fur in several places to spot the exact area while carefully looking at the coat.
  4. A dog’s belly button is different from that of humans, so don’t expect a bump or a shallow area. Sometimes, it’s just a single white line.

Some dogs like to be touched around their belly buttons while others don’t. Therefore, before you touch his sensitive areas, understand the body language.

Umbilical Hernias in Dogs

Unlike humans, the belly buttons of animals come in all sizes and shapes. Some might protrude while others don’t. However, in dogs, the protruding navel or the outies appear like a lump under the skin which indicates a serious medical condition called “umbilical hernias”.

Umbilical hernias are caused when the tissues don’t heal properly, leaving behind a hole for tissues or intestines to poke through. The hernias are fairly easy to detect in dogs as they carry a scar despite a big hollow hole. Therefore, if you find one, immediately consult with a veterinarian to prevent complications associated with an umbilical hernia.

Veterinarians recommend removing umbilical hernias at the same time the puppies undergo surgery to be spayed or neutered.

Why Do Dogs Have Small Belly Buttons?

If dogs are mammals, then why don’t they have belly buttons like that of humans? Big, hollow scars that are quite visible?

That’s because the size of their umbilical cord is small. Whereas, the human baby requires a bigger umbilical cord to receive nourishment from the mother. Bigger the umbilical cord, the bigger the belly button. And that’s why the umbilical cord in dogs heals into a small slit rather than a round hole.

After the pup is born, excessive fur on the coat makes it difficult to detect the belly button in dogs.

Dogs with No Belly Buttons

Many dog owners, after carefully scrutinizing their canines for the belly buttons, complain about the absence of the belly button in their dogs.

The absence of belly button in some dogs is not a matter of concern. As longs as your pooch are healthy and fit, there’s nothing to fret about. The belly button is a mark left by the umbilical cord which is cut by the mother as soon as the puppy is born.

Therefore, if the belly button is not visible, it is fine as the job is over and there’s nothing wrong with your pooch.


Well, now that you know the answer to “Do dogs have belly buttons?” your pooch is no longer a mystery!

All mammals were born with a belly button which is a remnant of umbilical cord except for a few such as duckbill platypus and kangaroos.

However, in dogs, the belly button is just a scar and sometimes a white line accentuating well with its coat. Therefore, it is often overlooked by dog owners. In some cases, you might find a protruding belly button on your dog which shows Umbilical hernia that should be treated promptly to avoid other serious diseases.

Many a time, you might find your dog licking its belly button. That’s because they like salty and oily surfaces and their belly button provides them with the medium. To prevent your dog from this practice, keep the coat clean and train the pup accordingly.


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