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Thursday, 19 December 2013

Belly up

Do dogs have belly buttons? 

I imagine they must do, as all other mammals have, but I've not noticed a belly button on any of my dogs.

Katie Banner, by email

Alison Logan, vet, advises…

The umbilical cord attaches the unborn pup to the placenta to act as a channel for nutrients and oxygen to the pup, waste products away from the pup. At birth, the bitch bites through the umbilical cord and with time the remnant attached to the pup withers and dies, eventually dropping off. There is a scar on the belly which may be apparent if you look very closely, clearly visible when we clip up the belly prior to abdominal surgery, for example.

Humans naturally have a belly button rather than a flat scar, reflecting a difference in anatomy, perhaps to do with being bipedal, walking on two feet rather than four? A puppy may have a belly button if it has an umbilical hernia, where the body wall has not closed off properly as it should.


  1. Yes, dogs are born with umbilical cords, however the mothers lick and nibble away at newborn pups so much that the belly button becomes 'invisible' to us.

  2. They do have belly buttons as Earl Lover says. You can find you dog's one if you follow the mid line of the belly, it's located near the last rib and end of the sternum. It will look like a small scar, you may be able to feel it better than see it. Some dogs are born with umbilical hernias and the navel is where they pop out from.

    Olwen Turns SAC.Dip, Behaviuorist - Cloverleaf Canine Centre