Belly Buttons

Everybody has one. Here’s how to hunt one down.



Why don’t dogs and cats have belly buttons like people?


Dr. Nichol:

Well, the truth is that they do but they’re just a bit more modest about it. I’ve examined the tummies of countless dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice and guinea pigs and everybody has one but they are all strangely unfestooned with rings and studs and starburst tattoos. Each of them is discreetly covered with hair. Nonhuman mammals never seem to display their navels. I just don’t get it.


To find your dog’s or cat’s belly button (navel/umbilicus) roll that baby on his or her back under a good light. It’s located about one-third the distance between the rib cage and the pelvis. Many dogs have a little cowlick with their belly button in the middle. Cats, on the other hand, are evenly haired making locating this little vestige an even greater challenge. While nobody needs theirs after they leave the womb, that little scar serves as a reminder of the essential connection we had with our mothers that was the pipeline of nourishment during our first months. I still love my mom.