Mindy my black Pug loved belly rubs, but to tell you the truth, I never gave it much thought if dogs have belly buttons. The other day, I was hanging out with a friend and she asked me, “do Pugs have belly buttons?” To be honest, it got me wondering if they do and why.
Do Pugs Have Belly Buttons?
The short answer is Yes, all dogs have belly buttons. However, a canines belly button differs from that of a human, where a canines belly button is simply a scar that is smaller in size compared to that of a human navel.
After a successful whelping, the mother dog removes with her teeth. This leaves a small flat scar, that may be hidden by your dog’s fur… read this article if you want to read learn about the Pug pregnancy cycle.
Unlike humans, a canine’s belly button is only visible for a short time following birth. We’ll take a closer look at the two in a bit.
First, let’s take a look a closer look at the canine umbilical cord.
Canine Umbilical Cords
A belly button is a scar that was created by the umbilical cord. When puppies are born, they are connected to the mother’s placenta. As I mentioned above, the mother will remove the umbilical cord from her pup, by chewing through it.
After the removal, the puppy has a small umbilical cord stump on their belly for about a week, which is similar to human babies. Once it disappears, all that is left is a small, light-colored scar.
Where Is A Dog’s Belly Button?
For medium and short-haired dogs, you can see the scar where the umbilical cord was connected to the pup. The image above shows it is just above the base of the ribs.
You’ll most likely see a small thin scar that is located just below the xiphoid process or where the bony part of the rib cage starts.
What Does A Dog’s Belly Button Look Like?
As you can see from the image above, your puppies belly button is not as big and noticeable as that of a human. In fact, if you don’t really know what to look for, you won’t even know your dog has one.
Some breeds may have more visible navel scars, while other dogs may look like they’ve never had one. In fact, the scar is so small, that you may not even be able to feel it.
Herniated Belly Buttons In Pugs
Your Pug’s belly button should not be extremely noticeable and if they have an “outie” it’s NOT normal for dogs. An outie belly button on dogs is known as an umbilical hernia. This is usually due to genetic dispositions and is most commonly found in the following breeds; Basenji, Airedale Terrier, and Pekinese.
This condition occurs when the tissues around the umbilical cord didn’t close properly, leaving an opening for intestines, abdominal fat, or abdominal lining to poke through the navel.
Symptoms of Umbilical Hernia in Dogs
This isn’t a life-threatening condition, however, your dog can suffer from pain that is due to swelling beneath your dog’s navel. If left untreated, it can prevent them from doing regular activities such as straining and barking.
Other symptoms may include:
- Lack of appetite
- Noticeable pain
- Warmth on the navel area
- Depression or Malaise
Basically, if you adopt or buy a Pug that has an outie, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to have them checked out.
Is An Outie Something To Worry About?
Umbilical hernias are present when your puppy is old enough to be spayed or neutered. They will then run some x-rays and or ultrasounds to ensure no abdominal organs are trapped.
Once they diagnose the issue, they will opt to leave it either perform surgery or let it close on their own. Small hernias (less than 1/4 inches) will usually close on their own, especially, if the puppy is under six month of age.
If your puppy has an outie, then you’ll want to talk to your veterinarian. They will be able to tell you whether your puppy will require surgery or if it’s small enough to close on its own.
Why Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?
All mammals require a placenta during the gestation period. As a puppy develops inside its mother’s womb, the mother passes oxygen and nutrients to the offspring via the umbilical cord.
Basically, it is a flexible tube that connects both the mother and the baby. The tube not only feeds the baby with oxygen and food, but it also carries waste away from the baby back to the mother.
Nearly All Mammals Have Belly Buttons
All mammals have belly buttons, including cats and dolphins. However, humans are the few species that actually have a concave “belly button.”
Marsupials and platypuses that don’t have belly buttons. A platypus lays eggs during birth, so they do not have an umbilical cord.
Marsupials, such as kangaroos, opossums and etc give birth to underdeveloped young. The newborns get their nutrients from a yolk sack in their mother’s womb.
Final Take On The Purpose Of A Pug’s Belly Button
You’ll probably never see your Pug’s belly button. Unless you’re breeding puppies, most new prospective Pug owners won’t ever see a puppy that is less than a week old.
I got to see my new Pug puppy when she was less than a week old. I actually picked her out in a litter of four pups and let me tell you, that was a great experience. If you’re not able to see your puppy, when it’s that young, it’s okay.
As long as your new pup’s navel doesn’t protrude outward, you don’t have anything to worry about. This is great news because it means that you just have to worry about the regular grooming procedure and one less thing to clean!
References and Further Reading
Veterinary Partner – Becky Lundgren, DVM – Umbilical Hernias In Puppies and Kitten
USBC ScienceLine – Do Cats Have Belly Buttons?