A lot of people have asked me how many nipples dogs have. It’s a pretty funny question that some people even have a hard time asking a vet, so this article comes to your help and answers this, along with some other questions about the dog’s nipples.
The female dog will usually have six to ten nipples, that are split into two rows. Although this is the normal, there are some dogs that will have more than 10 and some that will have less than 6, and this is still very normal.
These rows are usually one on the right side of the abdomen and one on the left side, matched up evenly.
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This means that usually, a dog will have 3 to 5 nipples on the right row and 3 to 5 nipples on the left one.
There are instances where the rows won’t be even, resulting in an odd number of nipples in total, and there are situations in which dogs will have more or less than the average 6-10 nipple count. None of these situations should be a reason to worry in itself, as long as the dog seems healthy.
Nipples and their count won’t be influenced by the health of the pet, its age, breed, or gender. It has also happened that different puppies inside the same litter have a different number of nipples.
The nipples of male dogs will also be situated on their abdomens. These will be split into two rows just like in the case of females.
A male dog will have the same number of nipples as a female in general, which is anywhere between 6 and 10.
A lot of people have also asked me at one point or another if the number of nipples a dog has can change in time and if the dog can either gain or lose nipples.
A dog won’t be able to either gain new nipples or lose the ones it already has, even while going through pregnancy or other hormonal changes.
The gender of the dog can’t be found by analyzing the nipples, considering that both female and male puppies have the same number of nipples that are situated in the same position.
In mammalian species, nipples are categorized as raised areas present on the surface of the mammary tissue.
A nipple is made to allow the passing of milk from the mammary tissues of females.
Nipples are used by the mother to feed her babies, which will suck milk produced by the mother through them.
Most of the mammals are known to have nipples, which means that dogs will also have them.
So, yes, dogs do have nipples.
The dog’s nipples will develop during gestation, in the reproductive tract of a female dog.
When the pup is born, it will already have properly formed nipples.
You will notice your dog’s nipples by their pimple-like aspect.
They will usually look like a bug bite, a small cyst, or a pimple unless they are swollen, which happens due to a few different reasons.
A dog’s nipple will usually feel like a pimple or a bug bite, depending on the dog and its genetic traits.
Swollen nipples, on the other hand, will usually be warmer to the touch, and should feel squishier, softer, and bigger.
I have even come across some owners that came to an emergency visit to my clinic for a weird persistent bump on their pet’s abdomen, only to find out that they found one of the dog’s nipples.
You should already know the answer to this, but let’s go over their position once more.
A dog’s nipples should be found on the underside of its abdomen.
There are usually two rows of nipples that are clearly divided.
You will usually notice that these two rows are situated on the left and right sides of the dog’s abdomen (stomach area) and will have a fairly even number of nipples.
There are dogs that although healthy, will have an odd number of nipples, so the rows won’t be split evenly.
If you notice that your dog has an odd number of nipples, it shouldn’t worry you at all.
It will usually happen that, although the dog will have an even number of nipples, they will be harder to spot due to the dog’s fur and the small size of the nipples.
It should only be a reason of concern if you feel a bulge that seems like a nipple on any other part of the dog’s body, other than the abdomen.
There is usually a medical reason behind the dog’s nipples changing size, consistency, or color.
If you notice that the nipples are becoming very red in color or feel tender, talk to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Your vet will be able to take your dog through a series of tests and find out exactly what is going on with it.
Enlarged mammary glands won’t happen by accident and will usually be a sign of some other medical issue for the animal.
Below you will find some of the most common reasons for enlarged nipples on your dog:
As you’d expect, the dog’s nipples will grow during pregnancy. One change in the dog’s body when it gets pregnant is for the nipples to become pinker and larger.
While your dog is going through these changes, it will be a lot easier for you to find its nipples. As with most mammals, this is when the female dog will prepare to feed her puppies after giving birth.
As always, it will be very important not to panic when you notice that your dog’s nipples are enlarged. Get in touch with your veterinarian, as they will be able to give you a clear answer on why the dog might go through these changes.
You should also try to avoid touching the nipples of the dog, as depending on the issue, this might be stressful or even painful. Also, keep an eye on any other symptoms your dog might develop.