Do dogs have belly buttons? Are they visible or not?

At first, though, asking and wondering “do dogs have belly buttons” is a weird one. Many of you might not even be here through Google. Someone just sent you a weirdly interesting link and you wanted to see what the fuss is about.

Now that you’re here, make a guess. What do you think? Do you think dogs have belly buttons?

Done? Let’s see if you were right or wrong.

Dogs do have belly buttons albeit it’s quite different from humans, making them difficult to spot. At birth, the mother bites the umbilical cord indicating the presence of a belly button. But the puppy gets a straight slit-like scar for a belly button instead of a round one like humans.

This scar too heals as the puppy grows into an adult and gets hidden away by fur. Hence, a lot of people, even many dog owners, think that dogs don’t have belly buttons.

What exactly is a belly button?

A belly button is medically known as a navel or umbilicus and is a scar left where the umbilical was during gestation. Put it simply, the belly button is just a scar left when the umbilical cord is cut.

It can come in many shapes and sizes but a dog’s belly button does not look like a human’s and is usually very discreet. In the wild, the mother will often bite the umbilical cord off which leads to the scar being created or a human helper may cut it off. Either way, in most normal circumstances a simple scar will be left behind as a keepsake.

Read More: Why does my dog walk around in circles around me?

Where is a dog’s belly button?

Dogs, like humans, are placental mammals which mean they are fed nutrients in a womb via an umbilical cord while they are developing. The umbilical cord beings at the placenta and enters the puppy around the stomach area.

You can find the dog’s belly button right where you’d pretty much expect it, just in between the bottom of the rib cage and the genital area. A dog’s belly button is usually not prominent and may:

  • Be just a patch of slightly darker skin
  • Hidden under the fur
  • Surrounded by a swirly of dog hair

Don’t expect your dog to have an inward or outward belly button “hole” like we have, it will usually present itself as merely a tiny insignificant scar.

My dog’s belly button is sticking out – is this a problem??

Your dog most likely has an umbilical hernia if the belly button is sticking out, has a bulge in the area or it doesn’t quite look the way we described above then this is not normal. The cause of umbilical hernia is when the belly button has not been cut cleanly and the ‘wound’ has not been able to heal properly.

Umbilical hernia is not a life-threatening condition and can be repaired with relative ease by a veterinarian, as this is a condition puppies get it’s a good time to sort it while they get their vaccinations or when they are being spayed or neutered. If you do suspect umbilical hernia, however, do not assume it will heal itself – go and see a vet!


  • Jonathan Spaeth

    I'm a professional business person who loves dogs. I'm motivated by a passion for dogs and a deep understanding of pet care and behavior. I have more than 10 years of experience in animal healthcare—my lifelong passion for helping dogs.

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