A dog is physiologically different from a human in various ways. This puts out a common question like – do dogs have belly buttons? Here is the answer.
Do Dogs Have Belly Button?
How Belly Buttons Are Formed?
Whether it is a human or an animal, inside a mother’s womb, food, oxygen and other nutrients is received through the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord connects the mother’s placenta and the stomach to cater what a developing baby needs when he or she is inside the womb.
Once the baby is out, it starts to breathe and then the cord is cut. There will be remains of the cord, but it will soon wither away after several weeks. When that happens, it will leave a hole in our stomach, which we call our navel, or more commonly known as the belly button.
Yes, our belly buttons are there to remind us of that irreplaceable and special bond that we have with our mothers. Humans as we are, we tend to generalize that we are special and unique. But do you believe that dogs also have belly buttons just like we do? Even if they are four-legged creatures, they also have navels because they are connected to their mothers when they are inside the womb.
You might raise an eyebrow here and ask how do dogs have belly buttons. Even if you have not seen it, it does not mean that it does not exist. In fact, all mammals share the same experience of developing inside their mothers, and this process is in need of a connection to pass the nutrients and oxygen from the mother, which is needed by the young. Dogs are just like us, and though they are born in a fluid-packed sac, they are still attached to their mother’s placenta via the umbilical cord.
The difference though is that it is the mother dog who will break each of her pup’s umbilical cord right after she gives birth. The mother dog will bite off the cord, and the remains will soon wither, and it will leave a slit, which is your dog’s belly button.
Why Can’t I See My Puppy’s Belly Button?
Unlike humans, the belly buttons of puppies are not always visible because the size of their umbilical cord is small. When the umbilical cord withers and heals, the scar will only be a small slit instead of a big hole. Another reason why you can’t see their belly button is that of their fur. When dogs grow, their hairs also grow, hence, making visibility even harder.
Are There Different Types Of Belly Buttons?
Yes, there are two types of belly buttons that your dog can have. It is important to know what type of belly button your dog has so that you will know if the situation warrants care and constant monitoring.
An innie belly button is the usual belly button that is inward and leaves a “hole” in the abdomen. In contrast, an outie belly button in dogs are the ones that protrude to the outside.
If your dog is still in the early months, the navel may be an outie belly button considering that it is still healing and may look more than a scab on the skin. An outie belly button is more common in humans that in dogs or any pets for that matter.
When your puppy already reaches a certain age or become an adult dog but still has an outie, then it might be because of a poor closure of the muscles in their abdomen during their developmental stage. But you should also make sure that this is not a cause for major concern. Hence, you need to visit your dog’s veterinarian for the protrusion to be assessed to determine that it is not fatal and not a result of some underlying medical condition.
How Can I See If Belly Buttons In Dogs Exist?
One way to check and see for yourself that your dog indeed has a belly button is to let your dog sleep. It is best if he sleeps on his back because it will make it easier for you to check. Once he is sleeping on his back, you can do your investigation and take a look – viola! You will be able to locate his belly button, and you will then have an answer to your question if do dogs have belly buttons.
How Does My Dog’s Belly Button Look Like?
One main reason why we are not familiar with our dog’s belly button is the fact that we do not know how it looks like. Hence, we are unable to determine that we have already seen their navel even if we already did. So how does a dog belly button look?
To easily put it, a dog’s belly button or umbilical looks like a scar that is located in the middle of their abdomen and is midway between their ribcage and their pelvis. This “scar” appears flat and without any hairs. For your dog, and even cats, their navel may be scab-like, while some people pointed out that once they see a white area on that location, that is already their dog’s belly button.
It is important to know how your dog’s belly button looks like because it will help you assess their health condition, and see if there is any swelling, hernia, tumor or infection occurring in the area. If you see any of these, it is best that you consult your licensed veterinarian as soon as possible for immediate treatment.
Is It Okay For My Dog To Have Belly Button Rings?
Personally speaking, I advised that you stay away from dog belly button rings because it can cause trauma to the umbilical area and can result in infections and hernia development. However, some pet owners still undergo the process of navel rings, and they do not experience any problems as long as proper care is done.
However, you need to keep in mind that if the belly button rings cause swelling and pain in your dog, you should visit your dog’s vet at the soonest possible time to help limit the spread of infection and development of an umbilical hernia.
If surgery is to be made, the vet will just close the tissue after removing the affected tissue that is within the ring placement. Sometimes, the vet will place a wire to help support the body wall in cases of large hernias.
Where Is My Dog’s Navel Located? Is It The Same For My Male And Female Dogs?
As I said earlier, the navel is located on their mid-abdomen, and this location is for both dog genders. If you still find it hard to locate for their belly button, you can mark their ribcage and their pelvis, then locate the area in the middle and you will soon find that white hairless area, which is their belly button.
If you are still unsure if what you find is their real belly button, then what you need to do is to press their umbilicus. The area will feel firm underneath your hand.
My Dog’s Belly Button Is Protruding. Is This A Normal Phenomenon?
A dog’s belly button is usually not a concern for owners because they are just there and remained unnoticed. However, if you have seen that the belly button of your dog protrudes, it should greatly concern you as it implies something else.
A protruding navel or a navel that is swollen is known as an umbilical hernia. If left untreated, this condition is fatal for your pet considering that the organs in his abdomen are trapped in his belly button.
An umbilical dog hernia is the opening of the muscle wall in the area of the umbilicus or the navel. A hernia will allow the contents of the abdomen to move out of the opening. Though this can occur in any dog breeds, some dog breeds are genetically predisposed and high risk in developing such case. These dog breeds with high predisposing level for umbilical hernias are Airedale Terriers, Basenjis, Beagles, and Pekingese. If you are an owner of these dog breeds, you need to be vigilant and closely watch and monitor their growth and development during the first few months of their lives.
Another cause of umbilical hernias can be trauma to the umbilical site, though the puppies from their parents also genetically inherit some conditions.
Types Of Umbilical Hernias
Complicated Umbilical Hernia: a complicated hernia is a condition wherein the contents of the abdominal cavity, like a portion of the intestine, already passes through the opening and has been entrapped. This can be fatal and dangerous to your dog.
Uncomplicated Umbilical Hernia: this is less fatal and is characterized by a soft swelling in their navel area. Usually, the swelling may come and go, and they differ in sizes. Aside from the swelling and protrusion, your dog is considered healthy.
Symptoms Of Complicated Umbilical Hernia
- Loss of appetite
- Dog is depress
- The area of the umbilical swelling feels warm
How To Diagnose The Case?
Physical examination. This is usually the way to determine and diagnose the presence of an umbilical hernia. Your dog’s veterinary will do a physical examination, and he/she can assess and see the protruding section in the abdomen. The swelling will be visible during the exam.
Contrast radiographs (x-rays), or abdominal ultrasound. These diagnostic tests are usually done to check the condition of the contents of the abdominal cavity. If there are some contents that are entrapped, this will also be made visible through these imaging tests, and this will help the vet diagnose the extent of damage of a hernia.
Can It Be Treated?
Fear not because an umbilical hernia can be treated. Some umbilical hernia even closes naturally at the age of 6 months. If an umbilical hernia is just small, then there will be no need to conduct surgical procedure. However, if a hernia is large, it should be removed through a corrective medical surgery to eliminate the risk of complications.
How To Prevent Umbilical Hernia From Occurring?
Unfortunately, for those umbilical hernias that are hereditary, you can never do something about them. The only way to stop a hereditary hernia is to stop breeding. If you have a dog with such condition, it is best that you keep from breeding him/her because it will only pass on to his/her offspring.
In the meantime, some hernias are caused by trauma, hence, the protrusion. In such cases, it is best that you take care of your puppies to ensure that they will be safe from any traumas that might result in the occurrence of an umbilical hernia.
Dog Licking Behavior
Dogs are often seen licking belly buttons. There are a few reasons as to why your dog licks your belly button. One reason is that it is attracted to the odor. If your belly button smells, or if you sweat, expect that your dog will sniff and lick it all the time.
Another reason is that dogs simply like areas that they cannot see, and since your belly button is likely to be an innie, they are curious about it. Hence, the licking behavior.
Sometimes, it is also your dog’s way to play and be affectionate with you. However, if your dog is constantly licking your belly button, you should be aware and cautious of the medical disadvantages that it can bring you. Constant licking of your belly button by your dog may bring many bacteria to your belly button and will result to some infection to you. Hence, it is very important that you should also be aware of your hygiene to ensure that you stay healthy.
Knowing if do dogs have belly buttons and understanding the possible condition of hernias will help you take care of your dog, and assess some dangers that you need to address. It is also important to know these stuff because it will help you deal with your dogs better considering that you know even those stuff that are less visible to everyone.