Do Male Dogs Have Nipples? There’s More to Them Than You Think

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Disclaimer: In the same way that you’re different from the others around you, your dog is also just as unique. With that, it’s important to keep in mind that your fur ball could present certain signs and symptoms that aren’t specified in this article answering the question “do male dogs have nipples?”

While it’s important to stay alert when it comes to your pup’s health, differences between the information stated here and your dog’s specific case don’t necessarily depict health problems.

However, if you want to make doubly sure that your pooch is in good health, you should strive to conduct your own in depth research by supplementing this information with other reliable sources you find online.

You can also pay your trusted local vet a visit to get a better understanding of what your pup might be experiencing.

The Stuff on Nipples

Of all the animals in the animal kingdom, mammals are the only ones with nipples. This is because mammals are the only ones with mammary glands, which are special glands that produce milk to feed their young. The nipples on the surface work as a channel through which milk is delivered to a baby.

Now, unless you’ve seen your dad breastfeeding before, it’s pretty obvious that only women actually have a purpose for their nipples. On men, these rudimentary structures are nothing more than a skin accessory.

On dogs, you’ll observe pretty much the same thing. So if you’re wondering – do male dogs have nipples? The answer is YES, they sure do!

If Male Dogs Don’t Need Nipples, Why Do They Have Them?

This is the obvious question on any pet owner’s mind. Well, the answer lies in the way that male dogs develop in their mother’s womb.

Just like us humans, a dog embryo first starts off without a defined sex. In utero, both male and female puppies start off with the same features and body parts. Consider this the basic dog prototype, so to speak, which will be built upon later on during embryonic development.

All puppies basically start off the same way, and nipples commonly appear during the first months after conception. During this phase when they have yet to present any defining sex characteristics, they’re called “undifferentiated zygotes.”

Later on as puppies develop and grow more, their sex characteristics will start to show, which basically include their sex organs. In females, mammary glands also develop but these only become functional when she gets pregnant and gives birth.

This phase of the process is called sexual differentiation, which basically sets males and females apart to become “differentiated zygotes”.

So, why don’t nipples just develop during the time when sex is determined so that males won’t have them? Simple – while these structures don’t serve an evolutionary advantage for male dogs, they aren’t bad for the pups either.

With that, natural selection just kind of decided to leave them on to simplify embryonic development as they don’t really pose any sort of threat to a male dog’s health. In fact, they might even serve a worthy purpose in determining disease and illness.

Why Should I Care That My Male Dog Has Nipples?

Well, the answer is simple. Your male dog’s nipples might not serve a purpose in terms of sustaining a litter, but they can tell you when something is wrong with your pup.

Dog nipples can change size, color, and shape if and when your dog develops and illness or disease. So, keeping a wary eye on your male pooch’s nipples can help you pinpoint a potential health threat and act on it before it gets worse!

Now you might be wondering what male dog nipples even look like (in that case, see the image at the top of this article). To answer that question, they’re pretty much identical to female dogs’ nipples.

They’re arranged in two columns that extend from the chest to the groin. Depending on the size of the breed of your dog, they could have anywhere between 4 to 6 pairs (that’s 8 to 12 separate teats.) Of course, the bigger your dog, the more surface it area it has on its chest. So, the more nipples it can have.

Nipple Symptoms That Point to Health Problems

Now that we’ve established the importance of checking up on your male dog’s nipples, it’s time to find out – what should you be looking out for in the first place?

There are lots of different nipple-related signs and symptoms that should raise a red flag, but here are the most common and urgent:

  • Nipple secretion in males and females (if she isn’t lactating)
  • Sudden change in color in males and females (if she isn’t pregnant)
  • Marked increase in size or swelling in males and females (if she isn’t pregnant)
  • Abnormal growths around the nipple area
  • Sudden change in the shape of the teat

The good news is that most of the health issues that are pinpointed through your dog’s nipples are easily treatable. The bad news is that a few of them could be much more serious.

For instance, enlarged nipples on a male dog could point to testicular cancer. Before you start sobbing over that, be aware that testicular cancer doesn’t metastasize very well, so chances of spreading to other parts of your dog’s system are very minimal.

In some male dogs, it’s possible for circulation to a teat or two to be abnormally cut off. This isn’t a cause for concern, but it can cause your pup’s nipple to fall off. In this case, just see your vet so you can cut off the dying nipple and clean out the wound.

In female pups, a combination of these symptoms in tandem with other symptoms like fever, lethargy, vomiting, and loss of appetite can be indicative of a serious case of the C word. Visit your doctor as soon as possible to get a definitive diagnosis and to start prompt treatment.

Are You Sure That’s His Nipple?

Suspecting that your dog has more nipples than normal? Are you sure those excess ones are actual nipples? Amateur pet parents can often mistake other structures and even some pests on a dog as nothing more than a rudimentary nipple.

  • Ticks. Are most frequently mistaken for nipples, especially if they’re latched on areas of the chest and close to the groin. A tick on your dog’s belly could be an isolated case, or could indicate a widespread infestation.

If you find a tick on your pet’s chest, or anywhere else for that matter, make sure to give them a bath and check the rest of their skin for a potential infestation.

  • Skin Tags. Are also commonly mistaken for nipples. These harmless outgrowths are nothing more than an aesthetic issue. So if you don’t mind feeling a little bump now and again while you pet your dog, sin tags aren’t a cause for alarm.

The Wrap Up on Do Male Dogs Have Nipples?

So, do male dogs have nipples? Yes, they most certainly do! While these structures don’t really function like females’ nipples, there are some things you can learn from checking them out now and again.

For as normal as they might seem, there really isn’t any harm in inspecting your pet’s nipples from time to time. That’s just what it means to be a responsible pet parent!

Keep this handy information in mind the next time you think your dog might be having nipple problems and find out whether you should take a trip to the vet or treat it at home.

For More Learning

Did you enjoy this informative article? We sure hope you did! We always try to make sure that the information we serve you is nothing short of the truth. So we scour the web and other reliable resources to piece together reliable and trustworthy content.

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can check out these vetted sources that we swear by!

http://nicepaw.net/how-many-nipples-do-dogs-have/

http://www.theeverythingdogsite.com/how-do-you-know-if-your-dog-is-pregnant/

http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/endocrine/c_dg_mastitis

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