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Do Dogs Have A Belly Button? Here’s the Innies and the Outies 🐾 Little Dog Tips

Dogs have a lot in common with their humans.

They’re mammals, they’re highly social, and they – unfortunately – share most major diseases with us, from diabetes to cancer.

On the bright side, though, they also have a belly button. Here are some fun discoveries about your dog’s navel, an adorable ancient relic of their early puppyhood.

Why Do Dogs Have Smaller Belly Buttons Than Humans?

You might be wondering why your dog’s bellybutton is a shallow scar, while your own is more… dimensional. A human’s belly button is more likely to come in different shapes and sizes, can collect lint, and changes with fluctuations in weight, during pregnancy, and in general throughout our lifetime. A dog’s navel, though, is usually simple and flat.

A dog’s belly button is a simple scar because, according to AKC.org, their umbilical cord is much smaller and narrower. Dogs are only pregnant for around 60 days, so a puppy’s umbilical cord only needs to be substantial enough to sustain them with oxygen and nutrients for a month and a half. That’s why a dog’s belly button looks like a narrow slit.

Naturally, if your dog has lots of fur on their belly, their bellybutton is all the more hard to find. You might not even notice it unless you’re really looking for it, or feeling for a tiny, telltale knot with your fingertips.

Can Dogs Have Innies or Outies?

Most dog bellybuttons are flat, not really qualifying as either an innie or an outie. Around 10% of humans have an “outie,” belly button with a little bit of protruding flesh that sticks out. This formation is random, caused by the way the area healed shortly after birth.

Some dogs, though, have an umbilical hernia. Normally, the opening, called the umbilical ring, completely heals and closes up a few days after birth. In some puppies, the ring does not close up all the way. As a result, a bump may form, where tissue or a part of the intestines protrudes. This bump may close up on its own, but it may require corrective surgery if it doesn’t.

What’s Wrong With My Dog’s Belly Button?

Cow’s belly button, which is situated between a fatty lipoma and her green line spay tattoo.

In normal, healthy dogs, the belly button is a flat scar and nothing more.

My dog, Cow, was spayed at a humane society, so hers is filled in with a green tattoo that denotes her spayed status.

She also has an egg-sized lump near it. That’s her fatty lipoma, a benign tumor that our vet aspirated to ascertain that it only contains fat cells, not cancer. It’s unfortunately situated in such a way that makes people mistake her for a male, but otherwise is not causing her issues.

If your dog suddenly develops a lump on or around their belly button, it could be a tumor, and you’ll need your vet to check it to make sure it’s not cancerous.

An umbilical hernia usually develops shortly after birth, and while it may not be an immediate concern it may eventually cause your dog pain or complications, so you should ask your vet if it should be removed.

Shortly after birth, a puppy’s belly button is an open wound, so if you’re caring for young puppies, you’ll want to keep that area clean. Use an antiseptic cleanser as directed by your vet to prevent infection until it’s fully healed. If there’s any redness, oozing, or any other concerning symptoms, see your vet right away, as infection of the umbilical area can enter the puppy’s abdomen and potentially become fatal.

Do Male and Female Dogs Have Different Belly Buttons?

Both male and female dogs have a belly button that’s located near the base of their ribcage between two rows of nipples. A male dog’s genital area is just below the belly button and should not be confused as such.

How Should I Care for My Dog’s Belly Button?

Your dog’s belly button doesn’t need any special care beyond early puppyhood. You should regularly check your dog’s belly for lumps or bumps, as fatty lumps, breast cancer, and rashes may manifest on their abdomen. Beyond being attentive, there’s nothing you need to do to care for your dog’s belly button.

Lindsay Pevny
Lindsay Pevny lives to help pet parents make the very best choices for their pets by providing actionable, science-based training and care tips and insightful pet product reviews.

She also uses her pet copywriting business to make sure the best pet products and services get found online through catchy copy and fun, informative blog posts. She also provides product description writing services for ecommerce companies.

As a dog mom to Matilda and Cow, she spends most of her days taking long walks and practicing new tricks, and most nights trying to make the best of a very modest portion of her bed.

You’ll also find her baking bread and making homemade pizza, laughing, painting and shopping.

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