Do Dogs Have Bellybutton

Curiosity is a normal tendency of every human, and it is only normal if you have ever wondered if dogs have a belly button.

Contrary to popular opinion that only humans have belly buttons, quite strangely though, yes, they (dogs) do have belly buttons, but then, there’s more to it than dogs simply having belly buttons.

This is because the navel of this furry mammal doesn’t look the same as humans do.

It is possible for you not to notice this unique feature (belly button) in your pet if you don’t pay attention.

What is a Belly Button

The belly button, also known as the umbilicus, is a residual scar.

It is the remnant of the placenta that is attached through the uterus (womb) of the mother to the pup right from its fetus-developmental stage.

The umbilical cord provides oxygen and nutrition to the pub during its mother’s gravid period while also removing waste.

The umbilical cord has no function after birth and is soon cut off, leaving a scar.

This is because the lungs expand and take over the work of oxygen exchange whilst various other developments take place to enable the pup to fend for itself. 

As always seen, the mother chews off the remnants of the umbilical cord a few centimetres away from the pup’s belly.

And over the following few days, the residual stump of the cord dries up, contracts, and falls off, leaving behind a small scar of the umbilicus. This is what is then known as the belly button.

Do Dogs Have Bellybutton, What Does it Look Like?

Many owners may not have examined or noted the presence of the umbilicus in their dog.

Typically, they are less obvious on a dog than on a human for several reasons.

Most umbilici will be flat and small relative to the size of the dog.

Also, fur often grows on them. Sometimes the scar may remain bald, or hair will come out of it, a rosette-type pattern.

Where is a Dog’s Belly Button Located?

Looking for a dog’s belly button may be quite difficult if you don’t know where to look.

But looking at a dog’s belly while they are lying on its back, you will typically find the belly button in the center of the stomach, just under where the rib cage ends.

Sometimes it will be easier to feel than it is to see.

The belly button will be a fingertip-sized thickened spot, slightly raised or dipped below the skin surface.

You should also notice the swirling of fur where their belly button is situated. You will notice that dog belly buttons look and feel very different from a human’s.

They will be considerably shallower and smaller—no room for a belly button lint collection here! In fact, humans have one of the more prominent belly buttons in the animal kingdom.

Most animals’ navels are more difficult to locate due to their discrete size and fur covering.

What Should and Shouldn’t My Dog’s Belly Button Look Like?

Normally, our dog’s belly button should be very similar to the surrounding tissues that are hard to find, even up close.

Unless you are looking at a newborn puppy’s belly while the navel stem is recovering well, the skin should be the same color or slightly lighter than the rest of the belly skin.

However, if you notice that your dog’s skin in this region is red, dark brown, or black (i.e. any color that is not normal for your dog’s skin on the rest of the body), this can indicate problems such as:

  • Inflammation
  • Irritation
  • Infection
  • Chronic allergies

Examining your dog’s belly can be a very helpful way to spot the first signs of dermatitis or inflammation of the skin.

This is because the hair on the abdomen is very thin, and the skin is easily visible.

Dermatitis usually appears first in the abdomen before spreading to other areas.

If you think your dog’s tummy looks unusual, please consult your veterinarian.

What Are Umbilical Hernias?

An umbilical hernia is usually easily spotted as a bump or swelling on the lower underbelly of a pup in the region of the umbilicus.  

It occurs when part of the pub’s intestine bulges through the opening near its belly button (navel). It is common and typically harmless.

It is usually caused when the muscles of the abdominal wall do not heal properly.

Instead of the muscles fusing together adequately, a variably sized hole remains, which acts as a potential gap through which tissues such as fat or intestines may poke.

According to Dr O’Sullivan, “An umbilical hernia is when the muscles of the abdomen don’t close properly after birth, and things like fat and intestines can slip out of the abdomen and move under the skin.”

Umbilical hernias are most common in infants, but they can affect adults as well.

A key feature to look out for is whether a hernia is reducible or not.

For a reducible hernia, much of the bump can be pushed back into the abdomen.

However, a non-reducible hernia, however, indicates that there is a partial closure of the dormitory structures into the opening; so that the hernia remains the same size.

The contents of the hernia cannot, therefore, be returned to the abdominal cavity. 

What Causes Umbilical Hernias?

At the moment is medically uncertain what really causes umbilical hernias.

Rising events sometimes within any family line, however, suggest that there may be a genetic predisposition.

This can be the case for other clean lines of certain breeds of dogs.

However, sometimes umbilical hernia may occur spontaneously and as a rare discovery of an individual puppy. This may appear as an automatic problem during development.

Disagreements sometimes arise between veterinarians and breeders over the separation of the umbilical hernia in the “delayed closure” of the umbilicus.

When there is a true hernia, both the “hole” and the protruding tissue ring are felt, with delayed closure; neither a ring nor hole is felt.

It is thought that a small amount of fat or omentum (the double layer of fatty tissue that supports the abdominal organs) slipped through an original hole in the body wall but that this hole subsequently closed as far and as well as it could.

The small, herniated content is palpable, but no hole is felt!

How Big is a Hernia Likely to Be?

The size of an umbilical hernia can vary. However, the majority are smaller than 1cm. 

Effects of Umbilical Hernias

As perhaps expected, a large hernia has the potential to cause more concern, given the potential exists for herniation of more abdominal content.

If a portion of the small intestine comes through the hole, it will likely strangulate and compress/inhibit its own blood supply, causing sudden and severe consequences.

Can Dogs Get Herniated Belly Buttons?

If your dog’s belly button is very visible, it can 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 is 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 attention, your veterinarian will usually be able to correct it surgically 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
  • Basenjis
  • Beagles
  • Pekingese

Does My Dog’s Health Affect My Own?

Our Pets spend most of their lives inside our homes.

Sharing the same environment means that they are exposed to the same pollutants and chemicals as us.

One example of a shared pollutant is cigarette smoke. This is known to have a damaging effect on the lungs of all species.

It has become clear that the health of humans, wildlife, farm animals, companion animals, and the environment are often all linked.

Therefore, lots of medical, veterinary, and environmental professionals are working together to research common factors in the One Health movement. 

One Health movement aims to ‘promote, improve and defend the health and well-being of all species’.


Yes, dogs do have belly buttons, and it is very important we take note of certain illnesses that this feature can predispose them to, particularly at their developmental stage.

Leave us a comment via the comment box should you have further questions related to this.

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