Why Do Male Dogs Have Nipples?

Male dogs have nipples like their female counterparts. However, not many people are aware of this. And when they do hear of this, they are shocked to see that male dogs who don’t have any use of nipples should have one. So why do male dogs have nipples? Let’s find out in this article.

Male dogs have nipples because they go through an indifferent growth stage during the early period before birth. During this stage, while the gender is not yet determined, nipples will be formed. As maturity occurs, male dogs’ nipples cease to grow while that of females develop. Consequently, the nipples of male dogs are smaller in size than that of females.

Therefore, nipples in male dogs enlarged than normal could be associated with diseases or abnormalities, as we shall see later in this article. We shall also understand what a male dog’s nipple looks like and if male nipples in doggies eventually disappear.

Further, we shall see why a male dog’s nipple is enlarged and how to differentiate between a tick and a nipple in dogs. However, before looking into this, let’s understand why male dogs have nipples.

Why Do Male Dogs Have Nipples?

Image from Instagram:@luckydobbie

Male dogs have nipples because it was formed during the period of the indifferent growth stage of their embryonic life. This indifferent growth stage is the stage wherein their body parts haven’t differentiated into a male or female type.

That means that the male and female doggies start with the same body structure in the first few weeks of their uterine life. And it is this period wherein the nipples are formed.

But as development proceeds, the influence of their gene determining their sex takes effect. Subsequently, sex hormones that play a role in differentiating them into their different genders are produced.

Being males, male dogs produce testosterone, which prevents further growth of their nipples. Whereas, for the female dogs, their genes influence the production of estrogens.

Estrogens cause their nipples to develop further and become adapted for breastfeeding their young pups. Hence, the female dogs’ nipples are bigger than their male counterparts.

Is It Normal For Male Dogs To Have Nipples?

Yes, it is normal for male dogs to have nipples like their female counterparts, as it is a natural process of their development. Also, it is important to know that all doggies, either male or female, have to have nipples.

A male doggie without a nipple will need to be assessed by a veterinarian. The absence of a nipple is a congenital anomaly in dogs. It could also indicate the absence of other body parts that may not have formed during its embryonic life.

Why Does My Male Dog Have No Nipples?

Your male dog’s nipple may be absent for different reasons. One reason is that it is located on another part of his body that you are not aware of.

And another reason is that his nipples do not exist, which is a very rare situation. When a male dog’s nipple doesn’t exist, it indicates an abnormality in the doggie’s development.

When doggie owners can’t find nipples in their canine companion, they usually think that it is absent. However, in most cases, that’s not true. Nipples can be present in your doggie’s body in places they will not normally be, for instance, on their hands and legs.

This happens because the nipples have a predetermined line or path they follow, and this becomes the nipple’s final location. Normally, this line runs between their chest and groins, but at times, it can occur in other sites like on their hands and legs. When this happens, it is known as ectopic nipples.

If you have checked other parts of your doggie body and still didn’t find any nipple there, you should inform your vet. Usually, an absence of nipples could indicate the presence of other anomalies in your furry friend unknown to you.

Do Male Dog Nipples Go Away?

Although a male doggie doesn’t use its nipples for any known function, it doesn’t go away being with them throughout their life period.

Also, the size of their nipples remains fairly the same and doesn’t decrease in size throughout their life period. This is in contrast to the female nipple, which fluctuates in size during periods of estrus cycle and pregnancy.

What Do Male Dog Nipples Look Like?

Image from Instagram:@paxton.pupper

The point of identification of a male nipple is in their size. A male nipple is smaller than a female nipple, and it doesn’t fluctuate in size like the female one does during her estrus cycle and pregnancy.

Aside from these differences, a male dog’s nipples are similar to that of a female one. Both of them are round, have a similar number and arrangement of nipples, and are usually located in the same place. That’s between the groin and the chest region.

How Many Nipples Does A Male Dog Have?

A male dog has the same amount of nipples as that of a female dog. The nipple arrangement is also the same, that is, two sides in a row. The total amount of nipples found in a male dog total about 6 to 10 nipples.

How To Tell If It Is A Tick Or A Nipple On A Male Dog?

The most obvious way to differentiate between a nipple and a tick parasite in your doggie is to look out for the tick legs. A tick will have legs, and there are about 8 of them.

All or some of their legs will be buried inside your doggie’s body. If you clip with a tweezer and find legs, that could be a tick. Otherwise, it may not.

Secondly, the arrangement of nipples is usually symmetrical and in pairs. While ticks usually position themselves irregularly.

Lastly, if while removing it and your doggie attempts to bite you or bark you off from removing it, that could be its nipple. Clipping on their nipples will hurt them, and they will dissuade you from clipping them.

Finally, if you are still unsure whether it is a tick or nipple, you should take your furry friend to a veterinarian. Your veterinarian will help you discern whether it is a tick or a nipple.

Knowing how to differentiate between a tick and a nipple is important when grooming your pooch. It prevents you from mistaking a nipple for a tick.

A male dog is usually affected by this error because not many people are aware of a male dog having nipples. Hence, they falsely identify a male dog’s nipple as a tick and clip it ignorantly.

Why Are My Male Dogs’ Nipples Enlarged?

Not only do female doggies get enlarged nipples, but male doggies can also get enlarged nipples. When this happens, it is often one of the symptoms of a disease.

Enlarged nipples can be caused by an infection in and around the nipple area called canine mastitis. It can also be caused by breast cancer or testicular cancer that spreads to the nipple region.

As male nipples should not normally be enlarged, it is required that you let your veterinarian know about any unusualness if you find one in your canine buddy.

Black Spots On Male Dog Nipples

Black spots on a male dog’s nipples are not uncommon, and they may not always be due to diseases. It may be caused by their skin color or a patch around the nipple.

Nevertheless, the darkening or dark spots on the nipples can be caused by acne. Hence, you should check for any acne or bumps around their nipples if you notice a black spot.

Male Dog Nipples Itchy

A male dog’s nipple could become itchy if it is infected or irritated. Infection of the nipples can be due to flea and dirt from lying on the floor. Irritations can also be due to allergies.

Allergens can be dust, grass, and chemicals from floor cleaning that your pooch comes in contact with while lying on the floor. Other possible causes are allergens from food such as dairy and poultry products that cause itching or allergic dermatitis in dogs.

Image from Instagram:@donna_girling
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Pete Decker