How Many Teats Does A Dog Have? Everything You Need To Know

We don’t know our dog’s bodies as well as we think we do. Sure, we spend time with them every day, petting and playing with them, but that doesn’t mean that we understand every part of their bodies.

I remember playing with my dog one day. They rolled over, and I was surprised to see how many teats he had! I didn’t know that male dogs could have teats, and my dog had quite a few.

How many teats does a dog have? Do you know how many teats your dog has? You’re probably questioning yourself now, aren’t you?

Don’t worry - there is more than one answer. Let’s go through the essentials!


How Many Nipples Does A Dog Have?

Generally speaking, dogs have between 6 and 10 nipples. These are usually in even numbered sets, but some dogs have an uneven number of nipples.

A good average number is eight, and this is probably the most common number of nipples seen on a dog.

The number of nipples that a dog has will stay consistent throughout their entire life. Sometimes, some nipples will become more swollen than others, which can make it seem like they have fewer nipples. If you look closely, however, you will see that they have the same number of nipples as they always did.

Do Male Dogs Have Nipples?

Yes, dogs also have nipples. In fact, many male mammals have nipples even though they do not have a reproductive function in males. They remain in a rudimentary state that cannot produce or secrete milk in the same way that female dogs do.

The reason male dogs have nipples is because they develop in the womb before the dog’s gender has started to show in their characteristics. So, all dogs (male or female) can have nipples.

Nipples on a male dog should never secrete anything. If they do, consult a vet immediately. This might be a sign of sickness or infection in your dog, and you should get it checked out as soon as possible.

Keep An Eye On Them

Checking a male dog’s nipples from time to time is a good choice. Even though they don’t have any real functioning, they can alert you to problems in your dog’s body.

If you see that the nipples get bigger on a male dog, this could be a sign that your dog is suffering from the early stages of testicular cancer. If you notice any changes in your dog’s nipples that last more than a few days, you should have your dog checked out by the vet.

What Else Is There To Know About Female Dogs’ Nipples?

Female dogs have nipples just as male dogs do.

Some people mistakenly believe that female dogs have to have an even number of nipples, but this is not true. Just like male dogs, they can have an even or odd number of nipples.

Can Female Dog Nipples Predict Litter Size?

If a female dog has a little of dogs, she these nipples will be used to feed her puppies. There is an old wives tale that the number of nipples that a dog has will match the number of puppies in her litter, but this is not true.

In fact, there are many cases where a dog has more puppies than she has nipples. This can cause some puppies in the litter to be undernourished because they have to fight for a space to feed. In this case, these puppies often have to be hand fed so that they can grow up strong.

The only accurate way to determine the size of a litter is through a veterinary exam or to wait patiently!

Monitor The Size

Like male dogs’ nipples, the nipples on a female dog can be used as an indicator of health problems. If your dog’s nipples are secreting pus or blood, or they are changing in size unexpectedly, you should take her to the vet for a screening. These changes can be indicative of a problem.

Why Do Some Dogs Have An Odd Number Of Nipples?

To put it simply, I don’t know the answer to that question...and I couldn’t find it, either!

It’s obvious, however, that many people have had dogs with an odd number of nipples, and the odd number has never caused any problems for their dogs. In most cases, the missing nipple is at the end of the line of nipples on your dog.

My Dog Has More Than 10 Nipples. Is This Okay?

Yes, it’s okay!

There is no set number of nipples that a dog (male or female) needs to have to survive. In fact, nipples serve no real function in male dogs, and female dogs only need them for reproductive purposes.

Some breeds of dog - particularly larger dogs - can have more sets of nipples. The simple reason is that they have more space on their stomachs for nipples, so more nipples form! From an evolutionary standpoint, this makes sense. More nipples mean more chances for puppies to feed, which helps more puppies survive.

If your dog has more than 10 nipples, you do not need to be concerned. Your dog is okay!

Fun Fact: Each Nipple Has It’s Own Name!

Nipples on dogs actually have different names depending on their location. If a dog has five sets of nipples, the names can be broken down like this:

  • cranial thoracic nipples
  • caudal thoracic nipplesc
  • ranial abdominal nipples
  • caudal abdominal nipples
  • inguinal nipples

If your dog has more or fewer nipples, the names of their nipples will be split up differently. This isn’t important for most dog owners to know, but it might be helpful for your next night of random doggy trivia!

Find Out For Yourself!

So, do you know the answer now? How many teats does a dog have? How many does your dog have?

If you don’t know, check for yourself or ask your vet. It’s not essential information, but it can be interesting to know more about your dog.

Comment below about your findings, and share with friends who think they are dog experts - even they can learn a little more!


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