Facts about the animal kingdom

Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?

Ameera Mills
By Ameera Mills. Updated: July 23, 2019
Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?

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A navel reminds us of the deep union that once existed between child and mother before birth. It’s quite normal that, as an animal tutor you may to wonder, do dogs have belly buttons? And if they do, where is my dog’s belly button?

For more about which animals have belly buttons and whether or not dogs have belly buttons, keep reading here at AnimalWised.

You may also be interested in: Do All Elephants Have Tusks?
  1. Do all mammals have belly buttons?
  2. Do dogs have belly buttons?
  3. Where is my dog’s belly button?
  4. Puppy belly button

Do all mammals have belly buttons?

The umbilical cord is a small organic "tube" that is responsible for facilitating the transport of oxygen and nutrients to a mother’s offspring during the gestation period. After birth, this cord is removed, cut or falls off naturally, as it is no longer necessary. The place where the cord was once present is closed, thereby leaving a ‘mark’ otherwise refereed to as a navel or belly button. As we already know, all humans have belly buttons. Like humans, although not all, there are some animals that also have belly buttons.

What animals have belly buttons?

Animals that have belly buttons include:

  • Mammals: mammals are warm-blooded vertebrates that feed on their mother’s breast milk when born. These mammals include giraffes, bears, kangaroos, mice, dogs and others and all have belly buttons. So, if you’re wondering, ‘‘Do cats have belly buttons?’’ The answer is yes, they do.
  • Viviparous: viviparous animals are those born from an embryo that develops after fertilization in the womb. In the womb, these animals receive nutrients and oxygen through an umbilical cord. Although many animals with navels are viviparous, not all viviparous animals have navels.
  • Placental viviparous: all placental viviparous animals have a navel, that is, those animals whose embryo develops in the mother’s uterus: while being fed by the placenta through the umbilical cord.

Which animals don’t have belly buttons?

Marsupials (pouch mammals) and platypus’ (egg-laying mammal) are the only mammals that DO NOT have belly buttons. For more, we recommend reading our article where we list examples of mammals that lay eggs - monotremes.

It important to know that belly buttons, present on placental viviparous animals, are very small and almost imperceptible. For more about the feeding of these animals within the uterus through an umbilical cord, we recommend reading our article where we look at the difference between viviparous animals and mammals.

Do dogs have belly buttons?

Yes, dogs have belly buttons. A dog’s belly button, as we’ve already mentioned, previously functioned as an umbilical cord which connected the placenta to the puppy.

After giving birth, the mother slowly cuts the umbilical cord with her teeth and then eats it. Afterwards, the leftover residue dries and falls off of the puppy’s body naturally (this process may take a few days). In the following weeks, the skin in this area will begin to heal to the point that it may become difficult to see.

In some cases, the mother may cut the cord too close to the puppy’s skin, resulting in a wound or belly button infection. In this case, we recommend consulting a veterinarian immediately in order to treat this wound appropriately. In some cases, surgical intervention may be required.

For more about dog labor facts, we recommend reading: Is my dog about to give birth? Symptoms of dog labor.

Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons? - Do dogs have belly buttons?

Where is my dog’s belly button?

A dog’s belly button is located on a dog’s stomach under the rib cage. A dog’s belly button is usually visible as a mall flat scar, but can sometime be difficult to see especially in the case that your dog has a lot of fur.

Puppy belly button

There are, however, some health problems or which can occur in relation to a dog’s belly button. Have you notice a dog belly button outie? The most common dog belly button problem is referred to as an umbilical hernia in dogs. This belly button infection appears in newborn puppies and manifests as a dog belly button lump, which is visible as a hard mass on belly area. Some professionals recommend that you wait six months before treating this medically. If, after six months, the size of the belly button hernia hasn’t reduced naturally, a veterinarian may recommend surgery.

Umbilical hernias in dogs do not generally present an emergency problem, but neither should they be ignored or neglected. In some cases, this hernia may be removed when a dog is sterilized.

Symptoms of umbilical hernia in dogs include:

  • Evident pain.
  • Vomiting.
  • Decrease in a puppy’s appetite.
  • Malaise
  • Depression

As we’ve mentioned, some dogs may require intervention for these hernias (always under supervision of a veterinarian). If your dog has undergone surgery to remove an umbilical hernia, we recommend:

  • Taking slow and quiet walks, as your dog will need time to heal fully and may be in pain.
  • Offering your dog quality food.
  • Preventing your dog from licking the wound, so that it does not accidentally remove the stitches.
  • Regularly check that your dog’s wound has not opened.
  • Clean the wound frequently (according to your veterinarian's instructions). Remember to be gentle and avoid causing your dog any discomfort or additional pain.
  • Eliminates additional stresses, be that mental or environmental. Offer your dog a quiet and safe space to heal.
Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons? - Puppy belly button

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1 comment
Hi there! this is great article! It's very informative reading about belly buttons on other kinds of animals. And great opening it with saying that an umbilical cord is the indicator of a bond between mother and child.

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Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?