Do Dogs Have Umbilical Cords

icon April 30, 2024

When it comes to our furry companions, dogs, there's an endless fascination with their biology and anatomy. One question that often arises is whether dogs, like humans, have umbilical cords. The umbilical cord is a vital structure during fetal development in mammals, including humans, but what about our canine friends? Let's delve into this intriguing topic to understand the intricacies of canine reproductive biology.

Do Dogs Have Umbilical Cords

Understanding the Umbilical Cord:

To comprehend whether dogs have umbilical cords, it's essential first to understand the role and function of this structure in mammals. The umbilical cord serves as a lifeline between the developing fetus and the mother during pregnancy. It provides a conduit for essential nutrients, oxygen, and waste removal, facilitating the exchange of substances between the fetal and maternal circulatory systems.

In humans, the umbilical cord typically contains two arteries and one vein encased in a gel-like substance called Wharton's jelly. The vein carries oxygenated blood from the placenta to the fetus, while the arteries transport deoxygenated blood and waste products from the fetus to the placenta for elimination.

Do Dogs Have Umbilical Cords?

Now, let's address the burning question: do dogs have umbilical cords?

  • The answer is yes, but with some distinctions from those found in humans.

    Do Dogs Have Umbilical Cords

Like humans, dogs do have umbilical cords that connect the developing fetus to the placenta in the mother's womb. However, there are notable differences in the anatomy and structure of canine umbilical cords compared to those of humans.

In dogs, the umbilical cord typically consists of one umbilical vein and two umbilical arteries, similar to humans. This vascular arrangement facilitates the exchange of nutrients, oxygen, and waste products between the developing puppies and the mother's bloodstream via the placenta.

Furthermore, while the composition of Wharton's jelly is similar in both humans and dogs, there may be variations in its abundance and consistency. Wharton's jelly serves to protect and cushion the blood vessels within the umbilical cord, ensuring adequate blood flow to the developing fetus while maintaining structural integrity.

The Function of the Umbilical Cord in Dogs:

During pregnancy in dogs, the umbilical cord plays a crucial role in nourishing and sustaining the developing puppies. As in humans, the umbilical cord serves as the conduit through which essential nutrients and oxygen are delivered to the fetus, supporting its growth and development.

Moreover, the umbilical cord also facilitates the removal of waste products, such as carbon dioxide and other metabolic byproducts, from the fetal circulation, helping maintain a healthy intrauterine environment for the puppies.

At birth, the umbilical cord is typically severed as part of the birthing process, separating the puppies from their mother's placenta. This allows the newborn puppies to begin breathing on their own and transition to receiving nourishment from their mother's milk.

After the umbilical cord is severed, a small remnant called the umbilical stump remains attached to the puppy's abdomen. This stump gradually dries up and falls off within the first few days to weeks of life, leaving behind a small scar.
Related: Understanding When Your Dog Is Going Into Labor

Potential Complications:

While the umbilical cord is a vital structure for the developing puppies, certain complications can arise during pregnancy and birth that may affect its function. Umbilical cord abnormalities, such as knots, twists, or compression, can compromise blood flow to the fetus, leading to developmental issues or even stillbirth.

Additionally, umbilical hernias may occur if there is a weakness in the abdominal wall through which abdominal organs protrude. Although most umbilical hernias are minor and resolve on their own or require surgical correction, they can pose health risks if left untreated.


Do All Puppies Have Their Own Umbilical Cord?

Yes, each puppy in a litter typically has its own umbilical cord connecting it to the placenta within the mother's womb. This cord serves as the conduit for essential nutrients, oxygen, and waste removal during fetal development.

What Happens If A Dog Doesn't Cut The Umbilical Cord?

If a dog doesn't cut the umbilical cord after giving birth, it's crucial for the owner or a veterinarian to intervene promptly. Leaving the umbilical cord attached can increase the risk of infection or injury to both the mother and the puppies. Properly cutting and tying off the umbilical cord helps prevent excessive bleeding and ensures that each puppy can breathe independently and begin nursing from its mother.

Do Dogs Cut Their Own Umbilical Cord? 

No, dogs do not typically cut their own umbilical cords. During birth, the mother may assist by chewing through the cord, but often humans intervene to ensure a clean cut and to prevent potential complications such as excessive bleeding or infection.


In conclusion, dogs do indeed have umbilical cords, albeit with some differences in anatomy and structure compared to humans. The umbilical cord serves as a vital lifeline during canine pregnancy, providing essential nutrients, oxygen, and waste removal for the developing puppies.

Understanding the role and function of the umbilical cord in dogs is essential for ensuring the health and well-being of both the mother and her offspring during pregnancy and birth. While complications related to the umbilical cord can occur, proper prenatal care and veterinary monitoring can help mitigate these risks and ensure successful outcomes for both mother and puppies.

Leave A Comment
All comments are moderated before being published.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Join The Puainta

Become one of pet parents and get professional tips, immediate product info, updated promotions and discounts, and more surprises from us!