You may not be able to see them but dogs do have belly buttons. Most mammals, including dogs and humans, have a scar left behind from where the umbilical cord attached them to their mother. This is what we call the belly button. In humans, the scar is very visible. Have you ever tried finding your dog’s belly button, though? If your dog is healthy, then a belly button should not be visible anymore. Read on to find out why.
Do All Animals Have a Belly Button?
Not all animals have a belly button but most mammals do. This has to do with their anatomy and the reproduction process.
Dogs are one of the mammals that do have a belly button. There are very few exceptions of mammals that do not have a belly button, even if you cannot see them. The exceptions are marsupials and monotremes. Marsupials are mammals that carry their young in a pouch. An example of a marsupial is a koala. Monotremes are mammals that lay eggs. An example of a monotreme is a spiny anteater.
Why Do Dogs Have a Belly Button?
While mammals are still in the womb, they are attached to their mother by an umbilical cord. The umbilical cord passes all the necessary nutrients and other vital needs such as oxygen from the mother to the unborn baby. This happens with unborn puppies, too. While still in the womb, each puppy is fed and receives oxygen through the tube-like umbilical cord.
When a puppy is born, the umbilical cord is still attached to the puppy’s belly. The mother dog will usually chew through the umbilical, shortly after giving birth. If the birth of a puppy is attended to then the separation of the umbilical cord can also be done by the vet or dog owner present. Sometimes, a small part of the umbilical cord is still attached to the puppy’s belly. If the separation was done properly then this will naturally dry and fall off within three days. The puppy’s skin will continue to heal around that place and what is left is only a small flat scar.
What If Your Dog’s Belly Button Protrudes?
A protruding belly button is not something you want to find on your dog. A protruding belly button means that the dog has a hernia. A hernia in dogs is similar to a hernia in humans. A hernia is when internal parts of the body are move or are in a position that it should not be. It is a serious medical condition and requires attention from your vet as soon as possible.
A hernia is most likely to occur when the dog is still a puppy, so making sure that it is safe by having a retractable lead, a comfortable car seat, and a crate are essential. When the belly button of a puppy is swollen then the puppy is likely to have an umbilical hernia. An umbilical hernia occurs when internal parts such as the abdomen are stuck in the belly button area. It is also possible that the scar did not heal properly and has left an opening. In such a case it is possible that internal parts or fat will stick out which can lead to even more health issues. You should take your dog to be examined when you notice a protruding belly button because it can be a fatal condition.
In some cases, surgery is required to fix the umbilical hernia. If it is possible, your vet will probably wait until it is time to spay or neuter your dog to fix the hernia. This way, your dog will only need to go through surgery once. However, this does not mean that you can wait until your dog’s spaying or neutering appointment to have a swollen belly button checked. Your vet needs to examine the swollen belly button as soon as possible and assess the appropriate treatment.
It is also possible for an adult dog to have a hernia. Any time that your dog has swelling, visit your vet to ask for an assessment. There are a few dog breeds that are predisposed to have a hernia. These are Airedale Terriers, Basenjis, Beagles and Pekingese dogs.
What If You Can’t Find Your Dog’s Belly Button?
Do not worry if you cannot find your dog’s belly button. It is a good sign if you cannot find your dog’s belly button. It means that your dog does not have an umbilical hernia and that the scar has healed properly. You should only worry when the belly button does become noticeably large.
The shape of the scar is why it is difficult to find the belly button on a healthy puppy or adult dog. With some careful searching, you might be able to find the scar. Feel straight down the chest of your dog to where the ribs end near the belly. This is where the belly button is. In short-haired breeds finding the belly button is easier because fur grows around the scar, making it barely noticeable.
The best way to go searching for your dog’s belly button is through belly rubs. Your pooch won’t notice your true agenda and simply enjoy the attention. Again, a properly healed belly button scar is not visible so you might need several careful attempts to find it.
To sum it all up, yes, dogs do have a belly button but it looks nothing like what we humans have. A healthy dog will have a small flat scar in the spot where the umbilical cord used to be attached. This scar is usually barely visible which is only a good sign. This means that the scar has healed properly. If the belly button does become swollen, however, then there is the risk that your dog has an umbilical hernia. An umbilical hernia is most common in puppies and a few predisposed dog breeds. A swollen belly button should always be examined by a vet.