In humans, belly buttons can be either “innie” or “outie.” But what about dogs? Do dogs have belly buttons? For new pet parents or distant appreciators of dogs, the question can be a curious one! We don’t often see our furry friends’ belly buttons, so some owners may wonder if their dog has one at all.
A dog’s belly button is functionally similar to our own. However, the way it looks, where to find it, and the implications of having an “outie” are quite dissimilar.
Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?
Dogs do have belly buttons, like most other mammals. A mammalian belly button is medically known as the “umbilicus” or “navel.” The umbilicus is a residual scar, representing where the placenta was once attached in the womb. During a puppy’s time in its mother’s womb, the placenta is a vital supplier of oxygen and nutrients. But once the puppy is born, the placenta is redundant and no longer needed for survival. Naturally, the mother chews off the remnants of the placenta herself, and the remaining section dries up and falls off on its own. This leaves the scar we call the belly button.
Difference Between Innie and Outie
While dogs do have a navel, they do not look the same as your own. There are no “innies” or “outies” for dogs, and your pup should only present with a scar.
Most dogs will have what you might describe as an “innie” belly button – however, dogs do not have “innie” or “outie” types like people do! A normal umbilicus will consist of a vertical scar that might look like a slit, rosette, or a wrinkle. Unlike humans, dogs do not have “innie” or “outie” belly buttons. An “innie” is what classifies as a normal belly button, while an “outie” is a sign of an umbilical hernia. The latter type may require veterinary intervention.
Some pet parents might find a bump where their pup’s umbilicus is and believe that it is the same as a human’s outie – but dogs don’t have these. If the belly button appears to stick out, it can be a sign of an umbilical hernia. An umbilical hernia is easily recognizable as a soft bump on your pup’s underbelly. These hernias can range anywhere from 1 to 4cm in size. In puppies, umbilical hernias develop when their abdominal wall muscles do not heal properly. Rather than the wall fusing like normal, a hole remains, which acts as a gap for tissues to poke through. If you notice an umbilical hernia, we advise you to speak to your vet to address any complications.
How To Find Your Dog's Belly Button
You can find your dog’s umbilicus on its underbelly around the middle. You’ll be looking for a barely visible scar. It may also look like a wrinkle, oval, or rosette-like scar. Unlike a human’s innie belly button, a dog’s will look like a small slit rather than a round hole. And, typically, fur will cover this area, so most pet parents won’t see their dog’s navel.
Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons: FAQs
Have any more questions or concerns about your dog’s navel? Feel free to check out our Frequently Asked Questions section for more information. If in doubt about your dog’s health, always talk to your vet for the advice!
A dog’s umbilicus won’t feel as prominent as a human’s, but you may be able to feel it. The navel of a dog is often difficult to find and feel due to its size and the fur that covers it. If you search for it, you may feel a small wrinkle or scar under your pup’s fur. However, the belly button should not be so prominent that it feels like a soft lump or an “outie” like a human’s.
Both male and female dogs have belly buttons. Your dog’s umbilicus is the scar left behind by their umbilical cord, which both sexes have when in utero. When the umbilical cord is removed, the scar remains regardless of your dog’s sex.
A dog’s umbilicus should look like a small vertical scar on its underbelly. Most times, you will not be able to see it due to fur coverage, and you may have to search to find it. It should not protrude or look like a lump. When it does, it’s a sign that your pup has an umbilical hernia. These sometimes require veterinary attention. Get your pooch to your vet as soon as possible for a checkup!
There are several causes for redness around your dog’s umbilicus, so it’s important to speak to your vet first and foremost. In puppies, redness and swelling can indicate an umbilical hernia. For adult dogs, redness in this area could indicate bruising, an allergic reaction, a skin infection, an insect bite, or trauma to the underbelly. In any case, get to your vet right away. This is important because bruising indicates internal bleeding, and infections can spread rapidly!
Your healthy adult dog is unlikely to have any issues with their umbilicus specifically, as it is a scar originating from their umbilical cord. However, newborn puppies can present with umbilical hernias – your vet should check for this when your puppies are born. Later on, though, your dog can contract a number of issues with their underbelly, such as skin infections, allergic reactions, and insect bites.
Like people, dogs do have belly buttons. However, they do not look similar. While humans may have “innie” or “outie” navels, your dog should only sport a small vertical scar. Any lump, bump or swelling where your pup’s navel indicates a problem. If in doubt, always talk to your vet first.