Why do dogs not have belly buttons


Photos by: Annette Shaff / Shutterstock.com

Is it an Innie or an Outie? No, we don't talk about you - we talk about your dog! Have you ever noticed if your dog has a belly button?

The belly button is just another part of the human anatomy that most people are familiar with. When you are born an infant, the doctor clamps and cuts the umbilical cord - what remains attached to the body eventually shrinks and falls off, leaving the belly button behind. Dogs are mammals like humans, so it only makes sense that they have belly buttons - doesn't it?

Does your dog have a belly button?

All mammals give birth to live cubs. Babies develop in the womb, where they are connected to the blood of their lives by the umbilical cord. Nutrients and oxygen are brought to babies through the umbilical cord, and it also removes waste products.

When babies are born, they are still attached to the umbilical cord, so it must be severed in order for the baby to live on its own. After giving birth, the mother typically bites off the umbilical cord, which leaves a scar. The scar that remains is the same as the navel in humans, although it may not look quite the same. All mammals, including dogs, have belly buttons with the exception of marsupials.

What does a dog's belly button look like?

A dog's belly button is more of a scar that is left when the umbilical cord is cut. Since your dog's belly is covered in hair, you probably won't even be able to see the belly button if you don't look for it. Another reason you probably won't notice the belly button is because it will be tiny - puppies are smaller than human babies, so the umbilical cord is narrower. While the human navel forms a round hole, a dog's navel forms a slit. When looking for it, look on the underside of the dog's belly where the coat meets at the base of the dog's ribs. If your dog's belly button protrudes, this could be a cause for concern - a swollen belly button in dogs is often the result of an umbilical hernia and, if left untreated, can lead to death. Any swelling around your dog's belly button is of concern, so it's a good idea to contact your veterinarian.

A hernia occurs when something that was meant to be protected inside the body bulges. If the hernia remains very small and uncomplicated, it can resolve over time, but large, complicated umbilical hernias require veterinary treatment. Some breeds that seem prone to umbilical hernias are Beagles, Basenjis, Pekingese, and Airedale Terriers.

The more you know about your dog's anatomy, the better at identifying problems when they arise. In a normal, healthy dog, you probably won't be able to see or feel the belly button unless it becomes herniated. At this point, you should seek veterinary care for your dog immediately as he or she could become dangerous without treatment.

  • Is it an Innie or an Outie? No, we don't talk about you - we talk about your dog! Have you ever noticed if your dog has a belly button?
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