How countless nipples carry out dogs have? do male dogs have actually nipples, too? What is mastitis in dogs? we answer every little thing you ever wanted to recognize (and more!) around dog nipples.

Picture this: You’re scratching your dog’s belly. Then her fingers operation along something small and bumpy. If you’re favor me, you have to dig with a layer of dog fur to number out what that is. Eventually, you discover a weird, fleshy, mole-like bump and realize: Hey, that’s a nipple! This deserve to lead you come a whole number of questions, like, Why does my dog have nipples? execute male dogs have actually nipples, too? How countless nipples do dogs have? Let’s check out some facts around dog nipples right 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 (including humans), nipples secrete/produce milk to feeding infants. That’s the same function nipples play because that female dogs and their puppies, says Nataya Chayasriwong, associate veterinarian at nation Oaks pet Hospital in Sacramento, California. But, as Dr. Chayasriwong clues out, the common dog owner won’t ever before see that.

“We don’t really watch milk manufacturing in our dogs nowadays since most that our animals are spayed,” Dr. Chayasriwong explains. “So, castle don’t build the mammary glands favor they would if they were intact.”


The mammary glands swell increase on woman dogs throughout heat or when they are lactating. Dog nipples room usually bigger and much more pronounced than the tiny bumps you discover on spayed females.

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

How countless Nipples execute Dogs Have?

The number of dog nipples counts on the breed, Dr. Chayasriwong says. “It can variety from 6 to 10 top top average,” she explains. “Most dogs are symmetrical, meaning they have actually an even variety of nipples on both sides. Occasionally there are an odd variety of nipples, though.”

But why so countless dog nipples? It’s due to the fact that they have huge litters with around two to eight puppies. All those puppies require feeding, hence plenty that nipples because that them pick from. Dr. Chayasriwong describes that you can actually phone call how many babies a certain mammal has based on their nipples.

“Cats have big litters, so they have roughly 6 come 10 nipples on average,” she says. “Humans typically only have one or two babies in ~ a time, for this reason they only have actually two nipples. Horses have two nipples, because they, in ~ most, have two foals.”

The much more you know!

Do masculine Dogs have Nipples, Too?

Yup! You might have noticed that the human men in her life have nipples —they have them because that the same reason dogs do. Together Live scientific research reports, “During the very first several weeks, male and also female embryos follow the exact same blueprint, which includes the development of nipples.” This is prior to the gene that construct male genitalia switch on; by then, as Live science puts it, “those nipples aren’t walk anywhere.”

What Issues affect Dog Nipples? Dog Mammary Cancer

Now the you know an ext about dog nipples, let’s look in ~ whatproblems or issues influence them.

“The mammary organization can build cancers,” Dr. Chayasriwong says. “That’s why it’s really vital for people to bring in dogs routinely so we can check for any kind of weird bump or lumps. Difficulties in mammary glands are an ext likely to show up in female dogs who room intact, or female dogs who were spayed later on in life.”

This is because the hormones during heat that reason dog mammary glands to prosper can cause abnormal growth, which may cause cancer. “On rare occasions, you’ll see mammary gland cancers in maledogs, too,” Dr. Chayasriwong adds.

Another problem That affects Dog Nipples?Mastitis in Dogs

Another problem that affect dog nipples is a bacterial infection called mastitis. Mastitis in dogs can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Mastitis is often seen in undamaged female dogs who either just had actually puppies or had actually a pseudo-pregnancy during heat. (Basically, a woman dog in ~ the end of her warm acts prefer she has actually puppies, through her mammary glands swelling as a result. She may also do things prefer guard her toys prefer they are her puppies.)

It isn’t just minimal to intact female dogs, though. Spayed females and also even male dogs can construct mastitis together well.

The Merck Veterinary hand-operated reports that mastitis can impact dog nipples due to “poor sanitary conditions, trauma inflicted by offspring and also systemic infection.” signs of the infection incorporate swollen mammary glands that might or may not be leaking pus, and your dog appearinglethargic and/or not eating. If your dogdoes have puppies, she may not it is in feeding them and also the puppies may appear malnourished.

Mastitis in dog Treatment

If you doubt your dog has actually mastitis, he or she requirements to obtain to the veterinarian appropriate away. Left untreated, mastitis have the right to lead come septic shock and kill your dog. Once your veterinarian confirms mastitis together the diagnosis, she will prescribe antibiotics for your dog. She may also have you apply warm compresses to the affected dog nipples, and regularly milk them out to clear the end the ducts.

In major cases, your dog might need intravenous fluid therapy to treat shock or dehydration. If the mammary gland is abscessed or simply can’t it is in saved, surgical treatment is required to remove it. If there room puppies involved, they might need treatment too if they room malnourished and dehydrated. You can find yourself feeding lock until mom is better.

You’re in luck, though: Mastitis in dog is easily treatable if recorded early. Most dogs do a complete recovery.

And Here’s a monster Thing around Dog Nipples …

You might find dog nipples in unusual places. Choose the within of your dog’s legs.

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Why would dog nipples grow there? “There are lines nipples typically follow during advancement of the placenta,” Dr. Chayasriwong explains. “Typically, the lines extend from your arms to your feet. Those lines room why nipples room where they are on a dog’s , yet sometimes there’s a stray one that establishes in a monster place.”

If girlfriend do find a fleshy bump on the inside of her dog’s foot (or various other odd place), check the opposite leg for anything similar. Dr. Chayasriwong states if over there is an similar bump symmetrical to the an initial bump, opportunities are it’s a nipple. If girlfriend don’t, have actually your veterinarian check the bump over just in instance it’s something serious.