Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?

Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?
Photo by Karsten Winegeart

“Do dogs have belly buttons?” Naturally, they do. So the quick answer is that dogs do belly buttons. There’s more than meets the eye in a dog’s navel!

Read through to find out all about it. 

What is a Belly Button?

Do dogs have belly buttons? Yes! So what, then, is a belly button? The belly button, or umbilicus as it is now known, is a permanent scar. It reflects the remains of where the placenta joined the pup via the uterus (womb) when the pup was a growing and developing fetus inside its mother.

The placenta was the most important organ to the pup during its development inside the mother’s womb, delivering nourishment and oxygen while eliminating waste.

However, once the pup is delivered and free of its amniotic sac (the bag of fluid that surrounds, cushions, and protects the pup), the placenta becomes redundant and no longer necessary.

Instead, the lungs grow and take over the oxygen exchange function while other changes occur to prepare the pup to survive independently.

The mother will nibble off the umbilical cord remnants a few centimeters away from the pup’s tummy. The remnant cord stump dries up, shrinks, and falls off during the next few days, leaving behind a little scar of the umbilicus.

Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?

Dogs have belly buttons because every placental mammal does. In contrast to oviparous creatures, which lay eggs, and marsupials, whose offspring develop in their mother’s pouch, placental mammals give birth to live babies.

Placental mammals rely on their mothers to transmit nutrition and oxygen (as well as waste, but that’s a different, less pleasant matter) through the umbilical cord when in the womb. That also applies to puppies. Each puppy in a litter has its umbilical cord, which connects its mother’s placenta to the dog’s stomach. 

If the puppies are born at a veterinary hospital, the veterinarian may trim the stalk and apply antiseptic to the end. Then, near the puppy’s body, they may tie it off with suture material. The stalk will dry out and fall off on its own over the next few days. 

A maternal dog chews through the umbilical cord, leaving a wound where the puppy and cord are linked. The pup’s tiny wound heals swiftly. Yes, belly buttons are scars. 

The Location of the Belly Button

Because of its size — and the fur that swiftly grows over it — a dog’s navel is sometimes difficult to find. If you must locate your dog’s belly button, look for it under the fur where the “tufts” meet near the base of his ribs. There will occasionally be a noticeable patch of darker fur in the area.

Canine belly buttons, unlike human navels, are placed between the nipples, which are located at the base of the rib cage. Do dogs have belly buttons? Yes, dogs have belly buttons; they don’t look like human belly buttons.

Instead, it may appear on their skin as an oval or circular wrinkle or as a small, flat vertical scar. When you rub your dog’s tummy, you may notice that their hair swirls or that there is a tuft around the belly button.

On a puppy’s belly, the belly button is usually visible. However, it is unlikely to be apparent after your dog reaches adulthood. This is due to the small size of the umbilical cord.

Because humans are larger than dogs, their umbilical cords are substantially larger. As a result, the cords create a larger scar.

When the umbilical scar heals, it will resemble a little slit on a puppy rather than a circular hole. Humans, on the other hand, have peculiar belly buttons. They are relatively huge in comparison to other mammals.

Furthermore, the bulk of human navels (approximately 90%) are concave and are sometimes referred to as “innies.” A significantly lesser percentage of people (approximately 10%) develop “outies,” which protrude under the skin like a “lump.” 

Many wrongly believe that “outies” are produced by the doctor’s poor umbilical cord-cutting abilities, although the lumps are frequently umbilical hernias.

Instead, hernias develop when muscles fail to mend properly. Instead of growing together, the muscles leave a gap through which tissue or intestines can pass.

Umbilical hernias can occur in placental mammals, including dogs; they appear and feel like a bulge on their bellies, making an “outie” belly button on a dog easy to spot. To avoid problems, a dog with a hernia should see a vet as soon as possible.

As a result, both dogs and humans have belly buttons. However, unlike people, dogs lack the added convenience of a built-in lint catcher, and their belly buttons aren’t ideal candidates for piercings.

Your dog’s belly button should be so similar to the surrounding tissue that it is difficult to find, even up close. Unless you’re looking at the belly of a newborn puppy while the umbilical stump heals properly, the skin should be the same color as the rest of the belly skin, if not a bit whiter.

However, suppose you observe that your dog’s skin in this area is red, dark brown, or black (i.e., any color that is not normal for your dog’s skin on the rest of the body).

In that case, this could signal various issues, including inflammation, irritation, infection, and Chronic allergies (that might result from allergy medicine for dogs).

Monitoring your dog’s tummy might help you notice the early signs of dermatitis or skin inflammation. This is because the fur on the belly is thinner, and the skin is more visible.

Dermatitis frequently begins on the abdomen before spreading to other regions. If you believe the skin on your dog’s belly is odd, please contact your veterinarian.

Umbilical Hernia

Umbilical hernias are typically identified as bulges or swelling on your puppy’s lower underbelly around the umbilicus. They are delicate and may fluctuate despite being variable in size (possibly ranging from 1-4cm).

A hernia commonly occurs when the abdominal wall muscles fail to mend properly. Rather than the muscles fusing properly, a variable-sized hole remains, acting as a possible gap through which tissues such as fat or intestines may protrude.

A critical trait is whether or not a hernia is reducible. For example, the bulge can be driven back into the abdomen with a reducible hernia.

A non-reducible hernia, on the other hand, implies a partial obstruction of the hibernating structures into the aperture, causing the hernia to retain the same size. As a result, the hernia contents cannot be returned to the abdominal cavity.

If an umbilical hernia is discovered, consult your veterinarian immediately so that any potential issues related to the hernia can be handled. Unfortunately, the exact incidence and causation of umbilical hernias are unknown.

On the other hand, an often occurs within a single familial line, suggesting that a genetic susceptibility exists. This is possible in some purebred lines of specific dog breeds.

However, an umbilical hernia may appear accidentally and as a stochastic finding within a single puppy. These are most likely the result of a spontaneous issue during development.

There is also disagreement between veterinarians and breeders about distinguishing a true umbilical hernia from a “delayed closure” of the umbilicus.

Unlike an open hernia, which has both a “hole” and a perceptible ring of tissue, delayed closure has neither a ring nor a hole.

Instead, it is believed that a tiny quantity of fat or omentum (the double layer of fatty tissue that supports the abdominal organs) slipped through an initial hole in the body wall, but that this hole was closed as far and as well as it could. 

The tiny herniated content is noticeable, yet there is no hole! Delayed closure could be caused by an umbilical hernia or by the expression and presence of distinct genes.

An umbilical hernia might be traumatically sustained on occasion. What to do about your dog’s umbilical hernia.

First, it is probably prudent to avoid reproducing with your animal if genetic concerns contribute to the hernia.

Second, if the hernia is tiny and has not healed and closed naturally by the time of neutering, it can be surgically treated simultaneously.

In a relatively simple procedure, the fibrous scar tissue surrounding the hernia hole is peeled away, and then sutures (stitches) are used to heal and seal the defect. 

The success rate is high, and problems are uncommon. On the other hand, a larger hernia may necessitate more rapid surgical intervention in a puppy’s life to avoid complications.

How to Take Care of Your Dog’s Belly Buttons

Your dog’s belly button does not require special care; inspect your puppy and adult dog’s stomach for any signs of a hernia or other problems. You may then rest assured that your puppy will be happy and healthy no matter what.

Do dogs have belly buttons? Yes, but keep in mind that if your dog’s belly button protrudes past early puppyhood, it may suffer from faulty muscle closure or an umbilical hernia.

In addition, some dog breeds are predisposed to hernias more than others. Airedale terriers, Basenjis, beagles, and Pekingese, are among them.

If you have a puppy, pay close attention to his tummy area throughout the first few months of his life to ensure that a hernia does not form.

It is natural for your dog to want to lick your belly button after sniffing it. Dogs adore human navels because they hold lint and sweat; your dog may enjoy sniffing and licking them.

If you are pregnant, your dog will be drawn to your belly because it can detect a change in your fragrance induced by the hormones.

They’re just curious! If your dog’s exploration of your belly button bothers you, try positive reinforcement training and instruct him to sit. Then, when he listens to you, reward him with a treat.


Belly buttons are quite visible in humans. Whether someone has an innie or an outie, it’s clear that they have a belly button. What about our animals? Do dogs have belly buttons? They certainly do! Dogs, like humans, have belly buttons, even though it’s not often noticeable.

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