Do Male Dogs Have Nipples, But Why? Everything You Need To Know

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why do male dogs have big nipples

I have often seen this question on social media websites, do male dogs have nipples? And the answers are plenty, and quite funny too. There was one that said, if you want a dog that has nipples, then you should get a female dog.

I’ve even come across the question; my male dog has nipples, but why? So I would like to counter question here. Human males also have nipples, but why?

And the answer is quite evident, at least to some of us, isn’t it? Nipples are a part of the human body, which includes both male and female.

So in this article, what I’m going to do is discuss male dog nipples. If you have a male dog, then it’s your duty, as a responsible pet owner, to know everything about him.


Do Male Dogs Have Nipples?

why do male dogs not have nipples

Both female and male dogs have nipples. You will find them located next to each other along the length of their torso. The first pair starts from the chest area and the last ends at the groin.

The number varies depending on the dog’s breed and size. Larger dogs have as many as ten nipples, and smaller ones have eight. But this is not a fixed number as nipples tend to manifest in different ways when it comes to dogs.

Another thing that you probably don’t know is that nipples in dogs have specific names. Let’s use a male dog with ten nipples as an example. On his body, you will find a pair of the following nipples. The names are different depending on the location of the nipples.

  • Cranial thoracic nipples
  • Caudal thoracic nipples
  • Cranial abdominal nipples
  • Caudal abdominal nipples
  • Inguinal nipples

Why Do Male Dogs Have Nipples? Do They Perform Some Function?

The primary role of human nipples is to produce milk to provide it to the young. But this does not apply to male nipples, in both humans and dogs. Their nipples don’t secrete milk for nourishment. This means that they are in a constant rudimentary state.

If the nipples don’t serve any purpose, why exist in the first place, right? I would like to offer a logical explanation to this. It is related to fetal development of dogs. In fact, we can look at the embryonic development of humans as well to understand this concept.

Human embryos, both male and female, develop in the same manner. And that means they don’t grow with any distinguishing characteristics. But this tends to change once the body’s sex hormones start to form, which leads to sexual differentiation. And the same process takes place with canines. To be specific, it happens after a month from conception.

The blueprint of our body includes nipples prior to the process of sexual differentiation. But you should also know that nipples don’t just develop wantonly. It’s during the latter development stages that they become either functional or expendable.

So what does this imply? If you give it a thought for a second, it points out to another important fact. That female dog nipples are also not fully functional right after birth.

Both male and female nipples during puppyhood share the same traits and characteristics. The major distinction starts to set in once the female dog’s sex hormones begin to flourish. And this causes the nipples to get larger and secrete milk eventually.

why do male dogs have large nipples

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Don’t Ignore the Nipples on Your Male Dog

Just because nipples don’t do anything, it doesn’t mean you should ignore them. It might be easy to do so since you think that they’re pretty much useless. Even though nipples don’t perform any valuable function, they do have the ability to give you a sign whenever something’s wrong with the dog.

Nipples tend to drastically change in size when your male dog has testicular cancer. They become large, which is a symptom of the condition. And this is something that affects both intact and neutered male dogs. But the chances of developing testicular cancer are highly unlikely in neutered dogs.

So here’s your answer to, why do male dogs have nipples? They do serve a purpose in such cases. Other symptoms of severe health conditions in dogs include pain and swelling in the abdominal area, hair loss, and anemia. If your male dog suffers from this disease, then he might attract other dogs, only male.

Once you notice such symptoms, it’s better not to wait and head to the vet as soon as possible. The veterinarian will perform an examination to determine the condition depending on the symptoms.

With an intact male dog, castration is the only option of treatment for testicular cancer. But when it’s a neutered dog, he might have to undergo chemotherapy. What you would like to know at this point is that this type of cancer is highly unlikely to spread. This means testicular cancer doesn’t have the ability to affect other parts or organs of the dog’s body. And that’s great news, isn’t it?

When Nipples Change in Color?

are male dogs supposed to have nipples

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There’s nothing to worry about if your dog’s nipples change color. It might seem a tad unusual and scary at first, but it’s no big deal.

Nipples tend to change in color, which is nothing but a natural part of aging. And this happens in both male and female dogs. Nipples turn into a dark hue as dogs get older.

But there is something that you should know about female dog nipples. When their nipples change color, it might be a symptom of mastitis. Now, this is a condition that affects female dogs only. So you don’t need to worry about it with male dogs.

And That’s All!

Many people have a habit of confusing nipples with ticks. It’s pretty common, so you don’t need to feel bad about it. The only way to determine whether it’s a nipple or not is by looking for a complete and not partial attachment. The latter is a not a nipple but a tick.

So now do you know the answers to the two most important questions?

  • Do male dogs have nipples?
  • Why do male dogs have nipples?

I hope you do. You can read through the article once again just to be thorough.

You need to understand that nipples on your male dog are not a big deal unless they start to swell up. It’s pretty simple; nipples exist because they were supposed to function, but somehow the hormones failed to activate them along the development process.

And most importantly, your male dog doesn’t seem to have a problem with them. So what’s the big deal, right?

How many nipples does your male dog have? And what breed does he belong to?

If there’s anything that you would like to share with us here, then please do so. You can drop in your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoyed reading the article. And I hope that the content was useful.

Thank you for reading. Have a great day!

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