I remember when we first picked up Beans. He was 8 weeks old, could pretty much fit in my hand if he went into bagel mode and his ears took up nearly half of his body. He was divine and I couldn’t believe he was ours. Having him home the first few days was chaotic, as it always is when you get a puppy (especially if it’s your first ever puppy, like he was ours) and as all other new pup parents know, it brings up a lot of questions that you never thought you would be asking.
We were playing with Beans when he rolled onto his back and we saw a small swirl right in the centre of his tummy. I remember thinking it was a mole or a birth mark, but then saw that it was flanked by two small bumps on each side of his tummy. So of course, we set about looking it up online and found out the most obvious answer:
Yes, dogs do in fact have nipples and belly buttons!
I assumed that only female dogs had nipples but just like humans, male dogs also have nipples except they are much flatter than their female counterparts. Even with this mistake, I had no idea that pups could have belly buttons!
Dogs, just like humans, have placentas inside their mother’s womb, except for pups they are born in a fluid filled sac (making large litters a little easier to carry for mum), although this can also be broken during the birth. The pup has an umbilical cord attaching them to the sac and it is typical that mum will nibble through the cord whilst cleaning their pup up (they lick their pups clean to help stimulate breathing but also eating the placenta and umbilical cord help mum produce milk for her pups).
Much like our umbilical cords, the end withers to form a little scar (although your pup’s belly button could be covered by fur) in the middle of their tummies. There can be some complications around the belly button but this would be checked over by your vet when you take your pup in for their first jabs and check-up.
It can make you feel so silly not knowing this when you first get your pup, but remember, you aren’t going to know anything and becoming a pup parent means that you get to learn a whole host of new things, including the fact that yes, all dogs will indeed have belly buttons!