Have you ever looked at your dog while they are lying on their back, expecting belly rubs, and realized that you cannot see a belly button?!
Dogs love showing us their bellies for scratches, pets, and rubs, so you will have seen their underside many times. What you may not have seen is the actual belly button. So, do dogs have belly buttons?
This is a question we get asked a lot. On a human, belly buttons are very noticeable, whereas they are not quite as visible on other animals. So, what about dogs, do they have belly buttons? That’s what this guide is here to find out!
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A belly button, or a navel, is simply the remaining scar from when the umbilical cord was disconnected. During gestation, a baby would be connected to the mother via an umbilical cord, which delivers food, oxygen and gets rid of waste. This is what keeps the baby alive when inside the womb.
Naturally, when the baby is born, and is breathing on its own, the umbilical cord needs to be severed and tied off. Where the umbilical cord is cut typically heals within a few days, and what we are left with is the belly button.
This process is not restricted to just human babies, as all placental mammals will have an umbilical cord and a belly button. Placental mammals are those ones that give birth to live young rather than laying eggs.
Yes, dogs do have belly buttons. Dogs are also placental mammals as dogs give birth to live puppies. Whilst inside the womb of the dog, the puppies depend on the mother to deliver nutrition and oxygen via the placenta and the umbilical cord.
After a dog gives birth, she will chew through the umbilical cord to release the puppy, which will leave a small cut or wound where the cord was connected. This tiny wound will heal into a small, thin line which is the belly button or naval. So, basically, the belly button on a dog is simply just a small scar.
One of the main reasons that many people do not think that dogs can have belly buttons is because they are not as visible as ours. Most doggie navels will heal very quickly, and the fur will grow over it, so you cannot see the belly button as clearly.
Seeing is believing, so where is the belly button? A dog’s belly button can be difficult to locate as it is very small, and the fur will cover it. However, you can find the belly button if you look hard enough.
To see your dog’s belly button, look for the fur under the dog near the belly, where the tufts will meet. This spot will be around the base of the ribs.
Unlike humans, dog belly buttons are just at the bottom of the rib cage, and often between the nipples. It is in this spot that you may find a patch of fur that is darker, or a very thin, fine line which is the scar.
Human belly buttons are rather strange indeed. We have much larger belly buttons, whereas most placental mammals will have tiny scars where the umbilical cord was. Different from human belly buttons, dog navels are very small and nearly invisible in most cases.
A dog belly button will be a small line, or scar at the base of the ribs towards the belly. The fur in this area may be darker, and the skin can feel a little rougher or different where the scar actually is.
It will not feel like a human belly button, and will most likely just feel like a small bit of firm tissue just underneath the skin like a small knot of scar tissue where the umbilical cord has been cut and healed.
The vast majority of human belly buttons are what we call innies. This is when the belly button is concave, and like a small hole in the belly. It’s estimated that about 90% of people have innie belly buttons, and having an outie is not the norm.
Remember in school when everyone would ask whether you have an innie or an outie? Well, whether it is cool to have an innie or not is irrelevant, but an outie is when there is a lump under the skin.
Many people are under the impression that this has something to do with how the umbilical cord was cut, but this is not the case. The lump on an outie is actually an umbilical hernia.
These occur when the muscles do not heal fully or properly, and leave a hole where tissue or your intestines can poke through. This is why there will be a lump there.
As dogs are placental mammals just like us, they can also have umbilical hernias, which appear as small bumps on the belly. These belly buttons on dogs make it far easier to identify the pup’s belly button.
However, outie belly buttons on humans are no cause for concern, and can actually be a common occurrence. But, if a dog has an umbilical hernia, it can cause some health problems and complications, so they should be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
To conclude, dogs can indeed have belly buttons, as they are placental mammals. What this means is that they gestate and are born in the same way as humans, with an umbilical cord attached to provide nutrition and care. When they exit the womb, the cord must be severed or cut, which leaves scar tissue called a belly button.