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Inverted Nipples In Dogs: 4 Causes & What To Do

Today, we’re chatting about a topic that might make you go, “Wait, what?” Yep, we’re talking about inverted nipples in dogs.

Never heard of it? No worries, you’re not alone. So, let’s dive in and learn all there is to know and cover whether owners need to take action.

inverted nipples in dogs

Can Dogs Really Have Inverted Nipples

You bet, dogs can have inverted nipples just like humans can. So, what’s an inverted nipple?

Well, it’s a nipple that’s turned inward instead of pointing outward.

Imagine a belly button that’s an “innie” instead of an “outie.” That’s kinda like what an inverted nipple looks like on a dog.

Most of the time, inverted nipples are just how some dogs are born.

It’s usually not a big deal. But hey, we’re going to explore that more. So, keep reading!

4 Reasons Why Dogs May Have Inverted Nipples

Great, let’s talk about why some dogs have inverted nipples. It’s kinda like asking why some people have curly hair.

1. Genetics

Sometimes, it’s just the way they’re born! Yup, genetics can play a role. If a dog’s mom or dad had inverted nipples, then there’s a chance the pup will have them too.

2. Weight

Another reason could be weight. Yep, you heard that right. Overweight dogs may have nipples that appear inverted because of extra fat around the area. It’s kinda like how a belly button can look different if you gain or lose weight.

3. Accidents

Accidental physical trauma can also result in an inverted nipple. While it is unlikely, rough play, tumbling over, and just being a puppy could result in a nipple inverting if it’s struck or impacted.

4. Pregnancy

It’s not uncommon for pregnant female dogs to have inverted nipples too. It may also happen once the nursing starts as well, but this isn’t usually anything to worry about.

Pregnant dogs will have no issue feeding their pups even if their nipple/nipples are inverted. Just keep an eye out for irritation and be ready for a vet visit should that nipple become inflamed or agitated.

Main Reasons

So, most of the time, inverted nipples are either something a dog is born with or something that might change with weight. Either way, it’s usually not a reason to worry. Just one of those unique things that make your dog special!

Identifying Inverted Nipples

Now, you might be wondering, “How do I know if my dog has inverted nipples?”

Good question!

First off, feel your dog’s belly gently. You’ll notice tiny bumps in a row on each side. These are the nipples.

Now, if you see one or more that seem to dip inward, you’ve got an inverted nipple on your hands.

Don’t freak out. It’s totally okay. Most of the time, it’s just how your pup was born.

But it’s a good idea to keep an eye on it. Why? Well, it’s just one of those things you want to track to make sure your dog stays healthy.

Are Inverted Nipples Something to Worry About?

Let’s get straight to it. Most of the time, inverted nipples are not a big deal.

They’re just a part of how your dog looks. They usually don’t hurt, and they don’t get in the way of anything.

Your dog will eat, play, and wag its tail just like any other pup.

But sometimes, you’ll want to watch for skin issues. Why? Because inverted nipples can trap moisture or dirt.

This can lead to infection. So, just keep it clean and dry, and you’ll most likely have nothing to worry about.

When an Inverted Nipple Could Cause a Problem

Okay, so we’ve said a lot about how inverted nipples are usually not a big deal. But let’s talk about those rare times when they could be a problem.

Mastitis and Inverted Nipples

Mastitis is an infection of the mammary glands, which is where the milk comes from. This can happen to any dog, but it’s more common in nursing moms. It can make the nipple area red, swollen, and pretty painful for your pup.

So what’s this got to do with inverted nipples? Well, since inverted nipples can trap moisture and dirt, they might make it a bit easier for an infection like mastitis to start. If your dog has inverted nipples and shows signs of discomfort, especially if she’s nursing, it could be mastitis.

If you think your dog has mastitis, it’s really important to see the vet. Your dog might need antibiotics or other treatments to get better. Mastitis isn’t something to ignore; it can get pretty serious if left untreated.

So, mastitis is one of those times when having an inverted nipple could turn into a problem. But with quick action and a vet’s help, it’s usually something that can be cleared up fast.

Do I Need to Fix My Dog’s Inverted Nipple?

Most of the time, the answer is nope, you don’t! Inverted nipples are often just a part of who your dog is, like having a waggy tail or floppy ears.

That said, if the inverted nipple is causing issues like repeated infections or if it’s making nursing hard for a mama dog, then you might need to take action. But guess what? That action is usually a simple visit to the vet. They might give you some cream or maybe antibiotics.

Surgery to “fix” an inverted nipple is super rare. Vets usually only consider it if there’s a really serious issue, like constant infections or tumors. Even then, it’s a last resort kind of thing.

So, should you fix your dog’s inverted nipple? Probably not. But should you keep an eye on it and chat with the vet if you notice something off? Absolutely! 🐕‍🦺👍

Signs You Should See a Vet

Alright, so when should you worry?

If you see the following, it’s best to consider a vet visit to be safe.

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Irritated around the area
  • Protecting the area
  • Difficulty when nursing puppies
  • Discharge

Don’t worry, though. Most of the time, it’s something simple to fix. Your vet might give you a cream or maybe an antibiotic.

The main thing is to catch any problems early. This way, you and your furry friend can get back to playing fetch as soon as possible.

So there you have it, everything you need to know about inverted nipples in dogs!

Keep an eye on your pup’s belly and enjoy all the cuddle time you want. After all, that’s what dog parenting is all about!


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.