As dog owners, we’re pretty familiar with our pups’ tummies. After all, there’s nothing quite like a nice good belly rub. If you have a male dog, you might be settling in for one of those belly rubs when you notice a bump. What is it? Is it a tick? A tumor? Do male dogs have nipples? Here are all your awkward boy dog-related nipple questions answered!
So Do Male Dogs Have Nipples?
Yes, male dogs have nipples.
How Many Nipples Do Male Dogs Have?
Just like female dogs, male dogs have several nipples running from their groin area up their torsos. How many nipples each dog has can vary, with most pups having 8-10. However, some dogs have more and some have less.
What Do Boy Dog Nipples Look Like?
If you have a short-haired dog, it’s much easier to make out their nipples than if you have a long-coated pup. If you have a long-haired dog, you’ll probably have to part their fur to make out their nipples since they’re so small. Look for the nipples on the stomach, running from the groin area up between the legs on the torso. The nipples are round and small. It’s normal for nipples to be pigmented or the same shade as your dog’s skin. Abnormalities include one being larger than the others or leaking discharge. If you suspect something is wrong with your dog’s nipples, call your veterinarian.
Why Do Male Dogs Have Nipples?
You may be wondering why the heck male canines have nipples since they seem to serve no purpose. And you’d be correct in that assumption! Indeed, nipples have no function on male dogs since they obviously aren’t used for nursing puppies like they are on female dogs.
Male dogs have nipples because male and female dogs are basically identical in the womb. Both sexes start off exactly the same in utero. Boy dog nipples haven’t disappeared thanks to evolution because they’re harmless. A male pup without nipples has no evolutionary advantage over a male dog with nipples.
How to Tell a Nipple From a Tick
If you find a bump on your male dog’s belly, don’t panic. While it might be a tick, it also just might be a nipple, skin tag or other benign bump. In case it’s a nipple, don’t reach for your tweezers quite yet.
Here are some clues that the bump is a nipple and not a tick:
- The bump doesn’t have legs. Ticks have legs and nipples obviously don’t.
- The bump seamlessly blends with the rest of your pup’s tummy. If it looks buried or attached, it might be a tick.
- The bump looks like your dog’s other nipples. Nipples tend to look fairly similar in size, shape and color.
When in doubt, ask your veterinarian!
Do Nipples Ever Cause Health Issues for Male Canines?
Generally nipples are harmless in male dogs, but very rarely do they cause health issues. Every once in a while a male canine may get mammary gland tumors. Signs of tumors include bumps underneath the nipple and changes in the appearance of the nipple.