Though our pets probably spend less time gazing at it than we do, all placental mammals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, horses and even hamsters, who receive oxygen and nutrients through an umbilical cord while in the womb, have a navel. Once the umbilical cord is removed at birth, and the abdominal walls close up, the scar left from this results in your pet’s belly button.
While the mark on your pet’s stomach might not be as distinctive as a human’s belly button, it is still very much present, notes New York City-based veterinarian Dr. Robert Proietto.
“The ‘belly button’ is from the umbilicus which gives the fetus nutrition while it is in utero,” Proietto tells The Dodo. “When the puppies and kittens are born, the mother usually cleans away the placentas and a small piece of umbilicus is left to dry and fall off.”
No matter how the birthing process goes, your dog or cat will be left with a belly button — a little scar on her abdomen — which she will have for life.