How Many Nipples Do Dogs Have?

Humans share many similarities with their canine friends because, for one, they are both mammals. As such, just like humans, dogs also have nipples but they come in different variations. No matter how many offsprings a woman gives birth to, her nipples will not increase from the normal two but this is not the case in dog nipples number. The canines come with multiple nipples but many stories have been made up about them, including the fact that the number of nipples determines the number of pups a pregnant dog will have. Does this myth hold any water?

What Is The Exact Dog Nipples Number?

The average number of nipples you can find on a dog is between eighth and ten but this depends on the dog. There is no perfect number when it comes to counting your dog’s nipples. Some can have as few as six while some others can even go as high as twelve. Interestingly, you can also find odd numbers like seven or nine which is not strange but rare. Generally, nipples are more visible on dogs with short fur.

There is no striking difference in the number of nipples found on small dogs and the big breeds respectively. Both can have the same number of nipples, as aforementioned, it just depends on the dog. The nipples can be found if the dog is turned over as they spread out from the groin to the belly in two parallel lines but don’t be shocked to find them in odd places.

Asides from having multiple nipples, another difference between dogs and humans when it comes to the mammary gland is the breast tissue. Female dogs don’t have protruding breasts like humans who have reached puberty. The only sign of the mammary gland in dogs is the nipples while the breast tissue remains flat, even when the bitch is pregnant (though significant changes occur on the nipples at this time).

Dog Nipples Number

Can You Tell A Dog Is Pregnant By Looking At The Nipples?

Naturally, when a mammal is pregnant, the body begins to record significant changes which will grow with the pregnancy and gradually bounce back to normal after childbirth. This is also the case with dogs. When they get pregnant, swelling will be noticed around the mammary tissue around each nipple. This is in preparation for the production of milk which will feed the puppies when they arrive. In some cases, the mammaries will remain swollen for long, even after having more than one litter. Most times, however, the tissue will become flat again.

As much as you can tell that your dog is pregnant by just looking at the nipples, you can also predict the heat period in them through the same strategy. As long as your dog has not been spayed and it is in perfect condition, the nipples may become swollen and tender when the heat cycle is in motion. The nipples are usually more pronounced if the dog is not neutered.

Can The Dog Nipples Number Predict Litter Size?

This is an old wive’s tale that doesn’t have any scientific backing and has not been confirmed to be true. Nipples can predict the heat period and even pregnancy but never the litter size. The number of puppies a dog would produce can differ according to the size of the dog. As expected, larger dog breeds tend to have more puppies than small ones. However, this does not mean that they would also have more dog nipples numbers.

The number of nipples found on dogs can vary, depending on the dog. Again, the number of puppies per litter can go up or down but is never fixed for any dog. A dog can have eight puppies now and the next litter will be less in number, thus, dog nipples number cannot tell you how many puppies to expect when your dog is pregnant.

If you do want to know how many puppies to anticipate when your dog is pregnant, take the bitch for an ultrasound or x-ray. External examination known as abdominal palpation is another method that can determine how big a litter will be but it must be done by an expert. However, this is not always as accurate as ultrasound, even when an expert performs the examination. They can easily miss some of the puppies while counting.

Do Male Dogs Also Have Nipples?

Having demystified some beliefs about dog nipples number, another one that often pops up is the argument about male dogs and nipples. You might be wondering – since they don’t really need it, male dogs might not have nipples. The truth is, just like men, male dogs also have nipples. The nipples are similar in both the male and female dogs with exceptions to the pregnant ones. Normally, the nipples appear like small bumps spread across the dog’s belly, starting from the groin area.

The nipples may not be visible if your pooch has a long coat but for dogs with a short coat, they are easily spotted. Though no plausible reason can be given concerning why male dogs have nipples in the first place, we can’t see why not. They are mammals and it’s in the nature of mammals to have breasts and nipples. For male dogs, nipples are not useful in the ways their female counterparts use them but at the same time, they hardly pose any threat.

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Can Breast Cancer Occur In Dogs?

Breast cancer is common among animals with mammary tissue, including the male ones. A tumor may develop in the mammary gland in mostly female dogs and even though spaying them can curb the risk, the disease does not only affect the intact ones.

Aside from mammary tumors, the female dog can also develop mastitis, a bacterial infection that affects the mammary tissue. Pregnant or nursing dogs are most prone to this infection. The heat cycle also leaves a dog vulnerable to the bacterial infection and spayed or not, male or female, any dog can catch it. However, the chances are very low in spayed and male dogs.

Inflammation, lethargy, loss of appetite, as well as nipples that produce pus are possible signs of mastitis. The common cause of this infection is poor hygiene and trauma, thus, abandoned dogs are most likely to have it. Notably, dog nipples number has not posed any known health problems. Early detection is always the best if you want to effectively treat any disease. So, the next time you rub your pooch’s belly, be sure to look out for unusual bumps or swollen nipples with discharge.

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