All humans have belly buttons, but did you know that we’re a very rare species that has a visible umbilicus? All mammals require a placenta during gestation, and a placenta means there was an umbilical cord, but humans are one of the very few species that actually have a concave “belly button”. Are dogs one of those species?
Canine Umbilical Cords
A belly button is nothing but a scar left behind from the umbilical cord. When a puppy is born, they’re born connected to the placenta. The mother dog, if left uninterrupted, removes the umbilical cord by chewing through it. For about a week after birth, there is a small umbilical cord stump left on the puppy (just like human babies have) before it disappears and turns into a very small, light scar.
Your dog’s navel is located at the point on the belly where your dog’s fur starts to disappear. If you run your finger down the center of your dog’s chest straight down towards their tail, the navel scar is located just below the xiphoid process, or the small bony protrusion where the ribs stop.
You may or may not see the scar; some dogs have very visible navel scars while other dogs look like they never had one.
Can I Feel Their Belly Button?
You shouldn’t be able to feel your dog’s navel except for a tiny area of scar tissue.
There are photos floating around on the internet of puppies with “outie” belly buttons. While they are technically an “outie”, this is never normal for dogs. If your dog’s navel protrudes outwards, they have something called an umbilical hernia.
An umbilical hernia means the tissues where the umbilical cord entered didn’t close with a layer of muscle, leaving an opening for fat or even the intestines to poke out of the body. A small hernia isn’t necessarily dangerous for a dog, but larger hernias letting the intestines come through can cause secondary health issues in your dog.
Usually hernias present themselves by the time your puppy is old enough to be spayed or neutered, and your veterinarian will repair it then to prevent your dog from going under anesthesia more than once. Regardless of how big or small it is, it needs to be closed.
Your dog won’t have a visible belly button, and that’s completely normal! Sometimes people forget puppies are born with an umbilical cord because there isn’t a visible remnant of it, and not many people get to see their puppies when they’re less than a week old. As long as your dog’s navel isn’t protruding from the body, there isn’t anything you need to do to it. Just be glad it isn’t one more thing to clean on your dog!
Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over 6 years and in that time I’ve written countless blogs that have reached millions of people. I am a DVM by profession but all you need to know is that I LOVE DOGS!
SDO started way back in 2015 on a whim. I’d read a couple of dozen blogs online while searching for the best products for my pup and the amount of misinformation online from unqualified sources giving potentially harmful advice shocked me. Then suddenly it hit me, hey, I can do this too! And I can do this RIGHT! Without even knowing what a blog was or how it makes money. I jumped right in to share the years of knowledge I have of dogs with the world.
Within a few months I realized that people were reacting extremely positively to my blogs. My website had taken off and I would receive countless emails from happy dog owners telling me how my website was a God-send for them and their pups were doing so much better after they followed my advice. I would get so many questions as well, and in my attempt to consolidate and answer all the questions I would get from my readers, my blog has evolved to the website you see today. Over the years I encouraged my good friend Tina who is also a DVM to share her experiences and better guide the people who read us. By the Grace of God we now reach close a million people a year and we get such a warm feedback on how we have made life easier for new dog owners all over the globe.
As a dog owner only you would know the feeling you get when you come home at night and you pup is there at the door wagging their tail in sheer joy. The bond a person and their dog share can not be explained in mere words. Yet dogs are like children, and they need to be cared for and trained, and that’s why Smart Dog Owner exists, to give you the precise and exact information that you seek about your dog. No matter how minute that detail is, chances are we will be there to help you out! As someone who has raised 7 of her own dogs. Jacob will always help you out.