When you see nipples on a female dog, you don’t think twice about it.
After all, females use their nipples to feed their newborn pups. It’s normal and natural, so we don’t wonder why they’re there.
But what about a male dog?
It may come as a surprise to new owners of a male dog to discover that male dogs have nipples, too!
Is there something wrong with your dog? Or do male dogs have nipples, too?
Let’s learn more about our four-legged male friends.
Do Male Dogs Have Nipples?
Yes, just like female dogs, male dogs do have nipples.
At first, this seems strange. Why do male dogs need nipples, after all?
But when you consider that the human race mirrors this same physical trait, it doesn’t seem as odd.
You can find a male dog’s nipples spread across his stomach and groin area.
How Many Nipples Do Dogs Have?
The average male dog will have between 8 and 10 nipples.
Some dogs have more, and others have fewer.
Regardless of how many nipples your male dog has, there’s no reason for concern. Anything goes in this area.
Why Do Male Dogs Have Nipples?
A male canine’s nipples don’t serve any specific purpose, which separates them from a female dog whose nipples nurse puppies.
Again, this is a similarity between humans and dogs. So, why do males even have them?
The answer is quite simple. Both dog sexes start identical when a female dog conceives, and the pups begin to develop in the womb.
Each puppy in the womb will develop certain features, such as nipples.
As the puppies continue to develop and their sexes are determined, females will build their gender-specific anatomy, including mammary glands and more prominent nipples that will later nurse puppies.
Males have tiny, useless nipples.
Because this small part of the dog’s body is useless, nature hasn’t found it necessary to cause them to disappear. They are just there, and that’s it.
What Do Male Dogs’ Nipples Look Like?
You might have difficulty finding your male dog’s nipples when it comes to long-haired dog breeds.
There’s nothing to worry about – you shouldn’t need to find them unless you’re just curious.
Short-haired breeds tend to have very visible tummies, so it’s easier to recognize a nipple when you see it.
A male dog’s nipples are tiny, round bumps from the torso to the groin area. You may have an easier time feeling them before you see them.
Most male nipples will be the same color as the rest of their skin, though some may look slightly darker. They should all be around the same size, too.
Is it a Nipple or a Tick?
Finding a bump on your dog as you’re petting him can be concerning because you may think the bump is a tick.
Ticks are common pests to animals and humans in the spring and summer, but they are prevalent on dogs, as dogs tend to run through tall grass or weeds and pick up ticks easier than humans.
Ticks can be easy to pull off, but a bite from a tick can cause Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Canine Anaplasmosis.
So, it’s critical to remove and prevent ticks on your dog.
You can give your dog a tick repellant as a preventative measure, but it’s also wise to check your dog for ticks, especially if they’ve been in the woods, weeds, or tall grass.
How to Tell the Difference
Before you start pulling on your dog’s nipples (ouch!), consider these stark differences between a tick and a nipple:
- Ticks have legs; nipples do not.
- Ticks will look attached or burrowed; nipples blend into the skin.
- Ticks will look different from your dog’s other nipples; all your dog’s nipples look uniform.
Additionally, many ticks have redness at the bite site, so look for redness around any bumps you may find.
These differences should make it fairly obvious what’s a nipple and what’s a tick, but you can always ask your vet to be sure.
Why Your Male Dog’s Nipples May Be Swollen
Although a male pup’s nipples typically pose no health risk to your pooch, rare instances may lead to the swelling of a nipple.
Swollen nipples are normal for females that go into heat but are abnormal for males. Here’s why your male dog’s nipples may be swollen.
A male dog’s nipples usually won’t bother him, but they are sensitive areas of the skin.
Any skin irritation affecting the dog’s belly can also impact his nipples.
Irritants can vary depending on the dog. Your dog’s skin may become irritated due to a change in food, shampoo, poison ivy, or insects.
If your dog’s belly skin is irritated, it may also cause his nipples to swell.
If your dog has an upset stomach, one of his additional symptoms might be swollen nipples.
The usual culprit of an upset stomach is your dog eating food or objects he shouldn’t have.
Your dog may also have other symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, lethargy, and changes in behavior.
If these symptoms are severe or continue persistently, call your vet.
Other medical conditions can cause your male dog’s nipples to swell, including:
- Breast Cancer
- Testicular Cancer
These medical conditions will come with varying other symptoms.
If you notice enlarged nipples on your dog, research these symptoms to see if your dog matches the description.
If you’re unsure or concerned, take your dog to the vet.
Yes, Male Dogs Have Nipples
So, do male dogs have nipples? Yes – they do!
While males cannot produce milk or nurse young puppies, they have tiny nipples across their torso and genital area.
These nipples are purposeless and harmless, so there’s nothing to worry about regarding the little bumps.