One of the most intriguing dog behaviors is the one where they keep on smelling people’s belly buttons. Upon noting this sort of behavior in your dog, you may want to know the reason behind it, and what (if anything) can be done about it. Read on, for answers.
Why do dogs smell belly buttons? Usually, it is because of the smells that come from the belly buttons: due to the buildup of oils, sweat and dirt or infections in there. But there are also cases where dogs smell belly buttons after detecting bodily changes that may be hormonal, due to illnesses or due to toxins.
It is important to understand that dogs have very strong senses of smell. They are able to detect very subtle smells, which are completely beyond our ability to pick.
Thus, whereas you may be unable to pick the smell coming from your belly button, your dog is able to do so. And it may find the smells – including those of oils, sweat and dirt – irresistible.
The dog may then become obsessed with your belly button. Sometimes, it gets to a point where you start wondering, why is my dog obsessed with my belly button?
On another note, when our bodies are undergoing changes due to illnesses, exposure to toxins and so on, they emit gaseous molecules referred to as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Dogs are able to smell these as well, often through the belly buttons.
A dog will then want to know what is going on – by constantly smelling the belly button.
There are also those who posit that dogs sometimes simply smell belly buttons as an attention seeking behavior.
Is It Normal For Dogs To Smell Belly Buttons?
Before proceeding to explore the why do dogs smell belly buttons subject further, we first need to know whether it is normal for them to smell the belly buttons.
The true position is that it is quite normal for dogs to smell belly buttons. Many dog owners report incidents of their dogs smelling their belly buttons often. And there is lots of literature on the phenomenon.
Therefore if I had a dog smelling my belly button, I wouldn’t view it as something that is too much out of the ordinary.
Of course, I may have interest in knowing, why does the dog sometimes sniff my belly button or stomach? But I wouldn’t view it as too much of an abnormal thing.
The answer is yes, dogs have belly buttons. But the dog belly button is much smaller and less conspicuous than ours.
That may then lead to another question: why do dogs have belly buttons? And the answer is that just like us, when they are in their mothers’ wombs, dogs get the resources they need to survive through umbilical cords.
At birth, there is severance of the umbilical cords: leaving the belly buttons.
So dogs do have belly buttons. In fact, you may even get to encounter a dog belly button ring on sale somewhere. But such rings are usually for human use. We refer to them as dog belly button rings because they have dog head shapes.
In the final analysis, we see that it is quite normal for dogs to smell belly buttons. And that leads us to our main question: why do dogs smell belly buttons?
Why Do Dogs Smell Belly Buttons?
In answering the why do dogs smell belly buttons questions, we first need to understand the anatomy of the human belly button.
We come to learn that the human belly button is usually a crevice. (But there are people with ‘outie’ belly buttons that are not crevices).
If the belly button takes the form of a crevice, it becomes a suitable spot for oils, sweat and dirt to buildup.
Even in the people with ‘outie’ belly buttons, the folds on the belly button can nonetheless host lots of oil, sweat and dirt buildup.
Now when oils, sweat and dirt accumulate somewhere, they start emitting a smell. The dog then picks this smell. The smell fascinates it. So it keeps on smelling the belly button.
Why do dogs like the smell of belly buttons? The answer is simply that such smell (which is often the smell of accumulated oils, sweat and dirt) is fascinating to them.
But there are cases where dogs smell belly buttons that have been meticulously cleaned. So in such cases, it can’t be that they are drawn by buildup oils, sweat and dirt.
One may even go as far as asking, can dogs smell food in your stomach? And the answer is surely ‘no’. That’s a stretch.
So what is happening in the latter case, where dogs are still smelling belly buttons that have been meticulously cleaned?
In such cases, you tend to find that what is drawing the dogs are gaseous molecules we refer to as VOCs. Our bodies emit those when they are undergoing significant changes – for instance, due to illness , environmental toxins and so on.
Dogs may also smell belly buttons simply as an attention seeking behavior.
Let’s look at each of these factors at greater length.
Buildup Of Oils, Sweat And Dirt As A Reason For Dog Smelling Belly Button
The belly button is the sort of place where oils, sweat and dirt can easily accumulate.
When they accumulate, they start giving out a certain smell. It may be too subtle for the human nose to pick. But the dog’s nose picks it with ease. And the smell really fascinates the dog.
Therefore in answering the why do dogs smell belly buttons question, this is where we usually start.
Indeed, it is impossible to answer the why do dogs smell belly buttons question without mentioning something about this buildup of oils, sweat and dirt.
Remember, the belly button is the sort of place you can quite easily forget to clean during the shower. So it starts to emit some odor. And such odors naturally draw dogs – as repulsive as we may find them to be.
So the whole thing is similar to what we would say, if we were answering the why do dogs smell your private parts question.
But there are cases where you may not know that it is specifically the belly button that is drawing the dog. Therefore you start complaining that the dog keeps smelling my stomach.
And you start wondering, why does my dog keep sniffing my stomach? Or generally why does my dog sniff my belly incessantly?
When you follow up, you find that what is drawing the dog to your stomach is your belly button. And in the belly button, it is the smell coming from the oils, sweat and dirt accumulated there that is drawing the dog.
So that becomes the answer to the why is my dog smelling my stomach question in that context.
And it is also one of the key points when answering the why do dogs smell belly buttons question.
Infections As A Reason For Dog Smelling Belly Button
Buildup of oils, sweat and dirt is one of the factors that can bring about a smell that draws a dog to a belly button. But it is not the only one.
Infections are also capable of creating such smells. For instance, if there is a bacterial or fungal infection in the belly button, it will smell. And that smell may draw the dog to the belly button.
Therefore in answering the why do dogs smell belly buttons question, this is another aspect we need to focus on.
Anything that can make the belly button smell will attract a dog to it. Sometimes, the attraction will be so strong that you will start complaining that my dog keeps sniffing my stomach endlessly.
Thus the problem may be in that you have an infection in the belly button. Due to the infection, a smell is coming out of the belly button. And because of the smell, the dog can’t resist constantly sniffing the belly button.
Ultimately, in answering the what does it mean when a dog sniffs your belly question, this is a possibility to consider.
Bodily Changes As A Reason For Dog Smelling Belly Button
If your body is undergoing drastic changes, it may emit certain subtle scents that the dog is nonetheless able to pick.
For instance, if you are a woman, and you are pregnant, there will be drastic hormonal changes. The dog will be able to pick the scents that arise as a result of these changes.
Thereafter, the dog will tend to keep on sniffing you, to figure out what exactly is going on. The sniffing is likely to be in the belly region.
It is not just hormonal changes that may provoke a dog into smelling a person’s belly button. Other changes, like those that occur when a person is ill or exposed to environmental toxins can also make a dog to smell the person’s belly button.
That is because such changes cause the body to emit gaseous molecules that we refer to as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). And dogs are able to pick those. Then they smell the belly button, in an effort to find out exactly what is going on.
The illness that is causing a dog to keep on smelling someone may be something as serious as cancer.
It is important to understand that dogs have an excellent sense of smell. A dog can, for instance, pick an unusual scent from your belly button. But you can barely pick any scent from the dog.
You will therefore never hear someone asking, why does my dog smell like belly button? Yet the dog is able to smell and pick scents from your belly button with ease.
Attention Seeking As A Reason For Dog Smelling Belly Buttons
There are those who posit that at times, dogs smell belly buttons as way of seeking attention. Or as a way of showing affection.
So this is still something worth mentioning, while answering the why do dogs smell belly buttons question.
Here, you find that there are no oils, sweat or dirt in the belly button. There is also no infection in the belly button. Neither is there any bodily change that the dog would ‘investigate’ by smelling the belly button. But you find it still smelling the belly button, this can only be attention seeking behavior.
What Does It Mean When A Dog Smells Your Belly Button?
This is effectively a more direct way of posing the why do dogs smell belly buttons questions.
And as we have seen, it may mean that there is oil, sweat or dirt built up in the belly button.
It may also mean that there is an infection in the belly button.
Or it could mean that there are bodily changes that are causing the emission of scents that are drawing the dog to the belly button.
Further, it could just be that the dog is seeking attention.
Take a case where my dog keeps sniffing my stomach not pregnant (and the belly button is meticulously clean). Then I would attribute it to attention seeking.
Ultimately, those are also the answers one would give while answering the why do dogs smell belly buttons question.
Why Do Dogs Lick Belly Buttons?
In exploring the why do dogs smell belly buttons subject, it is important to point out that the smelling often progresses onto licking. So it starts with sniffing. Then it moves on to licking.
Therefore we move from asking, why do dogs sniff belly buttons? The questions now become, why does my dog lick my belly button? Or why is my dog licking my belly button? And is it bad to let your dog lick your belly button?
The truth of the matter is this: when you find a dog licking tummy – specifically in the belly button area – the reason is usually because it likes the taste of it.
The dog first likes the smell of the belly button area. So it licks, because what smells nice is also likely to taste nice.
Remember, dogs mostly explore the world around them using their tongues, after all.
Suppose there are oils, sweat and dirt that have accumulated in the belly button. The dog will probably like the taste of these. So it will keep on licking them.
If my dog licks my belly button, this is the first possibility I would think of.
It can also be an infection that is making the belly button smelly. For a dog belly button infection may bring about a fishy smell that is irresistible. So it decides to follow further: by licking.
You may then wonder, why does my dog’s jaw shake after she licks my belly button? And the answer would be probably because the dog is deriving a great deal of satisfaction from the whole affair.
All in all, if you had the why does my dog keep licking my belly button question, this is the answer to it.
My Dog Is Obsessed With My Belly Button – What Does It mean?
Often, while exploring the why do dogs smell belly buttons subject, you come across individuals whose dogs are obsessed with their belly buttons. Such individuals seek to know what a dog being obsessed with a belly button means.
Now if your dog is obsessed with your belly button, it probably means that a smell that is interesting to the dog is coming from there. The smell may be due to oils, sweat or dirt accumulation.
The smell could also be due to any infections in the belly buttons.
Further, the smell could be due to gaseous molecules (known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)). The body emits this when it is undergoing drastic changes. Those may be due to illness, exposure to toxins and so on.
Then again, the dog may be obsessed with your belly button because it wants your attention. Or as part of showing you affection.
How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Smelling My Belly Button?
Usually, right after the why do dogs smell belly buttons question comes this one: on how to get the dog to stop.
One approach you can use is that of issuing a ‘stop’ command whenever the dog starts smelling the belly button. Or you can issue a ‘sit down’ command whenever the dog starts sniffing down there. This will get it to sit, and therefore stop sniffing.
Another approach you can use is that of ignoring the dog completely when it starts sniffing. Then, if it was seeking your attention this way, it will know that it can’t get attention through that method.
There is also the approach where you can distract the dog. Use a toy or anything, to distract the dog whenever it starts sniffing your belly button.
Final Verdict – Why Do Dogs Smell Belly Buttons
In most cases, dogs smell belly buttons due to buildup of oils, sweat and dirt there. When there is such accumulation of oils, sweat and dirt, it leads to a smell that is very pleasant to dogs.
The dogs then keep on sniffing the belly button, in pursuit of this alluring smell.
Infections in the belly button can also lead to smells that are alluring to dogs.
Dogs may also sniff belly buttons of persons whose bodies are emitting the gaseous molecules we refer to as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These may be due to illness or exposure to certain toxins.
Even people who are undergoing major hormonal changes, for instance pregnant women, may give out scents that draw dogs to their belly buttons. Sometimes, the smelling will progress to licking.
You can get a dog to stop smelling your belly button by issuing a ‘stop’ command. You can also opt to distract the dog, using a toy for instance, in order to get it to stop sniffing your belly button.