How many nipples perform dogs have? Do male dogs have nipples, too? What is mastitis in dogs? We answer every little thing you ever wanted to know (and also more!) about dog nipples.

Picture this: You’re scratching your dog’s belly. Then your fingers run along somepoint small and bumpy. If you’re prefer me, you have to dig via a layer of dog hair to number out what it is. Eventually, you discover a weird, fleshy, mole-choose bump and realize: Hey, that’s a nipple! This deserve to lead you to a totality number of inquiries, choose, Why does my dog have actually nipples? Do male dogs have nipples, too? How many nipples do dogs have? Let’s check out some facts around dog nipples best here:

First, What Do Dog Nipples Do?

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There’s more to dog nipples than nursing puppies.Photography by kukiatB/Thinkstock.

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For female mammals (consisting of humans), nipples secrete/create milk to feed babies. That’s the exact same function nipples play for female dogs and also their puppies, states Nataya Chayasriwong, associate veterinarian at Counattempt Oaks Pet Hospital in Sacramento, California. But, as Dr. Chayasriwong points out, the typical dog owner won’t ever before check out that.

“We don’t really watch milk manufacturing in our dogs nowadays considering that the majority of of our animals are spayed,” Dr. Chayasriwong explains. “So, they don’t develop the mammary glands choose they would if they were undamaged.”


The mammary glands swell up on female dogs throughout warm or when they are lactating. Dog nipples are commonly bigger and also more pronounced than the small bumps you uncover on spayed females.

Dog nipples variety in color from pink to black, relying on your dog’s breed and coloration.

How Many type of Nipples Do Dogs Have?

The variety of dog nipples relies on the breed, Dr. Chayasriwong claims. “It have the right to array from 6 to 10 on average,” she defines. “Most dogs are symmetrical, meaning they have an even number of nipples on both sides. Sometimes tright here are an odd variety of nipples, though.”

But why so many type of dog nipples? It’s bereason they have big litters through about two to eight puppies. All those puppies need feeding, thus plenty of nipples for them pick from. Dr. Chayasriwong describes that you deserve to actually tell how many type of babies a particular mammal has based on their nipples.

“Cats have actually large litters, so they have actually around 6 to 10 nipples on average,” she states. “Humans typically only have actually one or two babies at a time, so they just have 2 nipples. Horses have 2 nipples, given that they, at the majority of, have actually two foals.”

The more you know!

Do Male Dogs Have Nipples, Too?

Yup! You might have noticed that the humale males in your life have nipples —they have them for the exact same factor dogs do. As Live Science reports, “During the first several weeks, male and female embryos follow the same blueprint, which consists of the breakthrough of nipples.” This is before the genes that construct male genitalia switch on; by then, as Live Science puts it, “those nipples aren’t going all over.”

What Issues Affect Dog Nipples? Dog Mammary Cancer

Now that you understand even more around dog nipples, let’s look at whatproblems or problems affect them.

“The mammary tconcerns deserve to build cancers,” Dr. Chayasriwong says. “That’s why it’s really necessary for civilization to carry in dogs on a regular basis so we deserve to inspect for any weird bumps or lumps. Problems in mammary glands are more most likely to show up in female dogs who are undamaged, or female dogs who were spayed later on in life.”

This is because the hormones throughout warmth that reason dog mammary glands to flourish can reason abnormal expansion, which might bring about cancer. “On rare occasions, you’ll check out mammary gland cancers in maledogs, as well,” Dr. Chayasriwong adds.

Another Issue That Affects Dog Nipples?Mastitis in Dogs

Anvarious other concern that affects dog nipples is a bacterial infection dubbed mastitis. Mastitis in dogs deserve to be life-threatening if left untreated.

Mastitis is regularly viewed in undamaged female dogs that either simply had puppies or had a pseudo-pregnancy during warm. (Basically, a female dog at the end of her heat acts favor she has puppies, via her mammary glands swelling as an outcome. She might additionally do things prefer guard her toys like they are her puppies.)

It isn’t just restricted to intact female dogs, though. Spayed females and also male dogs have the right to construct mastitis also.

The Merck Veterinary Manual reports that mastitis have the right to influence dog nipples because of “bad sanitary conditions, trauma inflicted by offspring and systemic infection.” Signs of the infection incorporate swollen mammary glands that may or might not be leaking pus, and also your dog appearinglethargic and/or not eating. If your dogdoes have puppies, she may not be feeding them and the puppies might show up malnourimelted.

Mastitis in Dogs Treatment

If you suspect your dog has actually mastitis, he or she requirements to acquire to the veterinarian best ameans. Left untreated, mastitis can lead to septic shock and also kill your dog. Once your veterinarian confirms mastitis as the diagnosis, she will prescribe antibiotics for your dog. She might also have actually you use heat compresses to the influenced dog nipples, and routinely milk them out to clear out the ducts.

In serious instances, your dog may require intravenous liquid therapy to treat shock or dehydration. If the mammary gland is abscessed or simply can’t be conserved, surgical procedure is required to remove it. If there are puppies affiliated, they may require therapy as well if they are malnourimelted and also dehydrated. You could uncover yourself feeding them until mommy is much better.

You’re in luck, though: Mastitis in dogs is quickly treatable if recorded early on. Most dogs make a complete recoextremely.

And Here’s a Weird Thing About Dog Nipples …

You can uncover dog nipples in unexplained places. Like the inside of your dog’s legs.

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Why would dog nipples prosper there? “Tright here are lines nipples generally follow during breakthrough of the placenta,” Dr. Chayasriwong defines. “Usually, the lines extfinish from their arms to their feet. Those lines are why nipples are wright here they are on a dog’s , however occasionally there’s a stray one that develops in a weird area.”

If you carry out uncover a fleshy bump on the inside of your dog’s leg (or other odd place), check the oppowebsite leg for anypoint comparable. Dr. Chayasriwong states if tbelow is an identical bump symmetrical to the first bump, possibilities are it’s a nipple. If you don’t, have actually your veterinarian examine the bump over simply in case it’s somepoint significant.