Dog Adoption, Dog Health, Dog Questions, Dogs

How Many Nipples Do Female Dogs and Male Dogs Have?


Humans, male or female have nipples. Just like that, male dogs also have nipples just like a female dog. The number of nipples a dog has varies from dog to dog. Some may have 8. While some others may have 10.

These nipples grow from their groin part and extend all over their stomach. Many dog owners, regrettably, may not be aware of the fact that dogs also have nipples. You might have hugged your dog when you come across some bumps in your dog’s abdomen.

Did you start wondering what it could be? They are nipples and know that both the male and female dogs have nipples.


When Do Dogs Have Nipples?

A black dog may have dark colored nipples, while a fair dog will have their nipples in pink color. Just like women have nipples to feed her newborn, female dogs also have nipples to take care of the dietary needs of their pups.

When a dog is pregnant, her teats bulge up. Her body is preparing to secrete milk for the yet to be born puppies. During this time, her nipples are very much visible. When the mother dog delivers her pups, her mammary glands secrete milk, and the puppies are solely dependant on her milk.


Regaining Pre-Delivery Body

Once the weaning process is set, the pups start eating all kinds of foods. During this stage, the dogs don’t suckle their mother’s teats. Hence, her nipples regain their original shape as it shrinks in size. As time goes on, the puppies will develop much sharper claws and teeth. They start biting their mother’s nipples. The mother dogs find it very hard to feed her babies, now.

It is the appropriate time for you to introduce additional food to the young puppies. Or maybe it is time they have to leave their mom to live elsewhere, forever. Gradually, the milk production comes to a halt. If your dog produces more milk than required for her baby, then consult a vet to stop her making more milk.

Dogs, unlike humans, recoup their pre-delivery body, swift. When your dog is young, you don’t need to take care of her nipples. But, when she grows older, you have to check her nipples to make sure she has no health conditions that could put her life at stake.

When you find any discoloration in or around her nipple area, understand that something is wrong with her. It may be a red flag that warns of a health issue. Seek the help of a vet who will investigate to confirm her health condition.


Reason for Discoloration of Nipples

If your dog is six months old and was on her first heat stage for the first time, her nipple may be slightly reddish than usual. You don’t need to worry because it is the way a dog’s body show signs that she is pregnant. Some hormonal change has happened in her body, and not a thing to be taken seriously.

It may also occur when your pet was in heat but refused to mate with any dog. It may be due to pseudopregnancy. If you feel nipple discoloration in your pet, take her to a vet who can do estrogen or testosterone ratio test to determine the cause of discoloration.

If your dog who is in lactating her pups, the probable reason of discoloration is due to puppy biting her nipples. The pups scratch her out of excitement. The nipple discoloration may be due to that reason, too.

If your dog is not in heat, then you have to take her to a vet as every discoloration is not associated with pregnancy. If she has a sore nipple that oozes out any fluid discharge, that is a health issue that needs attention.


Medical Symptoms of Diseases


A thorough examination of your canine pet will reveal many health complications like mammary gland cancer. The dogs who are not spayed are more susceptible to get a mammary gland cancer than those dogs that are spayed.

If your pet shows signs of cancer, you will find certain bumps underneath her fur. A vet may help you because he can accurately predict the symptoms and treat the dog for cancer. If your dog has cancer, and she has a few just born puppies, she may, not feed them properly. Her puppies may not get enough milk due to lack of proper maternal care.



If you find any discoloration in your dog’s nipples and it is not cancer, it may be mastitis. Mastitis is also one kind of deadly disease that can lead to the death of your dog if left untreated. If you find this initial symptom, seek help from a vet. The pus may start coming out, and the affected area may begin to rot.

If needed, the vet may remove your dog’s nipple to save the dog. In ordinary cases, a vet will prescribe an antibiotic or will ask you to press hot fomentation bag against her nipples to treat this condition.


Why Do Male Dogs Have Nipples?

As we saw it in the earlier part of this discussion, male doggies also have nipples. No one including scientists knows the purpose of nipples in male dogs. It is just a general framework of male counterparts of any species. Men have nipples that don’t lactate or have no use in a human’s life.

But, they can create trouble, sometimes. One probable reason attributed to the presence of nipples may be due to the natural selection in the male species. If you take the case of whales, they have a leg like structure; even though, they don’t expressly have them. It may be the remnants of the past.



In short, female dogs, as well as their male counterparts, have nipples. The female dogs have nipples to nurse their young ones, while male dogs don’t feed their pups in their life. The purpose of nipples in male dogs is unknown. She may have her nipples protruding while she is feeding, and may have normal ones during the weaning stage of lactation.

If your dog is not on heat stage and has bulged nipples, seek medical advice from a vet. It may be a symptom of cancer that requires immediate treatment. Rarely, male dogs also develop mammary gland cancer, the female mammary gland cancer is common, though.


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