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A belly button is a scar left over from where an umbilical cord used to be attached. So before we answer the question, “Do dogs have belly buttons?” we must first discuss if they have umbilical cords in the womb.
Each puppy is born in a fluid-filled sac, which connects to the mother’s placenta with an umbilical cord. The umbilical cord is the lifeline between the mother and her pup, carrying blood throughout it.
After a puppy is born, the mother often bites through and breaks the umbilical cord, which leaves a scar on the puppy after it heals (referred to as a belly button for us humans). This means that dogs do have belly buttons, but they don’t look identical to that of a human.
For dogs, a belly button isn’t as noticeable as on humans because it’s much smaller and covered with fur.
A puppy’s scar also heals into a small slit instead of a round hole.
Finding a dog’s belly button can be tricky and may even be a lost cause. The scar starts so small, and it becomes less noticeable as the dog grows. The hair also makes it hard to find, so if you have a long-haired dog, you may have extreme difficulty.
Nonetheless, it doesn’t hurt to try and look if you’re up for it. Begin your hunt around the base of your dog’s ribs. It is typically located below the end of the ribcage and above the abdomen. Remember, you’re looking for a small, thin scar, not a human-like belly button.
If your dog’s belly button is very apparent, it could be herniated. A hernia is when something that should be securely positioned within the body is bulging out. This can occur if the wound from the umbilical cord does not heal correctly. Normally, a muscle forms around the spot where the umbilical cord was connected.
Just because your dog has a herniated belly button doesn’t mean it’s cause for concern. Some hernias can subside on their own. However, you won’t find out unless your dog sees a vet, so it’s important to make an appointment. If your puppy’s belly button needs medical attention, your vet can typically surgically repair it when your dog gets spayed or neutered.
The following breeds are predisposed to umbilical hernias, so be sure to keep a close eye on them during the first few months of life:
- Airedale Terriers
What Else Do You Wonder About Your Dog?
Can you find your dog’s belly button?
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