Why Does My Dog Smell My Belly Button? (What the Sniff Means)


So you’re going in for a cuddle with your dog, when all of a sudden you find his nose right next to your belly button. He’s sniffing away, happy as can be. Perhaps he’s even attempted to lick it too. It seems really strange, but it’s something a lot of dogs do. The question is why do they do it?

What exactly makes your dog so drawn to your belly button? Why is he so curious about it? We often don’t like dogs smelling our belly buttons, but many of us may not have even thought to ask why. As such, we’re here to let you know why your dog is sniffing your belly button in the event that you wish to know more.

So, why is your dog trying to sniff your belly button? Usually, a dog will try to sniff your belly button if there’s a lot of oil, dirt and sweat that has built up in there. The smells can be really intriguing to dogs, and they may even want to taste it. Sometimes, the smell is even more interesting to your dog if there’s a fungal or bacterial infection in the belly button.

That’s basically the short answer! The belly button is like a tiny universe in itself. If it’s not super clean then it’s going to start smelling more, and your dog will most certainly know about it. They may not be able to resist putting their snout up against it.

Not only that, but a dog may be more likely to sniff around your belly button if you are pregnant. There are a few other reasons too. If you’re trying to conceive, you may have even wondered if your dog can tell you if there’s a baby in your stomach!

Anyway – here are a couple of the reasons why your dog likes to smell your belly button. There may be more to it than you think!

Why Is My Dog Sniffing My Belly Button? 

There are a few reasons why your dog may smell your belly button. Mainly, your dog can smell all sorts of odors thanks to sweat and oils that you produce that build up in your naval. Not only that, but the belly button can be prone to dirt build up, especially if you aren’t cleaning it often. On occasion, you may even have a bacterial or fungal condition in the belly button that your dog can sniff out.

You should pay attention to your dog’s behavior. Is he sniffing your belly button more often when it’s hot outside, or after you’ve gone for a steamy workout? There’s a reason for this. It’s because your body is sweating in the heat, meaning that it creates more salt and oils that then build up in the belly button.

These salts and oils are created all over your body, however. The smells in your belly button can really grab your pet’s attention. As such, he may try to sniff it because he’s curious, or he may try to lick it. This may seem gross to us, but it’s pretty tasty to a dog. 

What you may not know is that your belly button can contain over 70 kinds of bacteria. Pretty impressive, right? If your dog notices that your belly button is dirty or you have an infection, they’ll have a hard time trying not to sniff you. You can also get yeast infections in the belly button, since the location is damp, dark and comfortable for the bacteria.

Can My Dog Notice Anything Else From Sniffing My Belly Button?

One commonly known fact is that dogs can usually notice when things are changing in a person’s body. It should come as no surprise, then, that your dog likely knows something is going on in your body if they are sniffing around your belly a lot.

For instance, your dog may be able to tell if your hormones are changing if you’re a woman. Unsurprisingly, one cause for changing hormones is pregnancy. If your dog is sniffing around your stomach, then you may want to invest in a pregnancy test. There’s a chance that you could be pregnant! 

Not only that but dogs can also notice nasty compounds inside of your body too. Take VOCs for instance. These are gaseous molecules and they usually develop in your body because you are ill, or because of changes in diet and pills that aren’t agreeing with your body. They can also crop up thanks to toxins around you. You can read articles about this sort of stuff online!

If you are noticing that your dog is smelling your belly button, then it may be because they can smell VOCs in your body. It may be a good sign that you need to get something checked out with your healthcare provider.

At What Point Do I Need To Worry About My Dog’s Sniffing? 

You’ll tend to find that your dog will continue to sniff your belly button until the odor has gone. Your dog is attracted to the smell, so they’ll want to keep coming back to investigate it. Dogs do this with all sorts of odors.

Your dog may keep coming back to your belly button. In this case, there are a few things that you can do to rectify the issue.

  • Take a bath – there’s a chance that your belly button is attractive to your dog because you’ve gotten a little sweaty after a workout or a day relaxing in the sun. This issue is easy to fix. Simply hop in the tub or the shower and thoroughly scrub your belly button. Use some soap and warm water to do this. After you have done this, any weird smells or dirt should be removed and your dog will stop sniffing.
  • Check if you have an infection – if your dog is sniffing your belly button then there’s a decent chance that you may have an infection. In this case, it’s a good idea to look out for signs that you may have an infection. Look out for any pain, swelling, redness or yellow discharge. These symptoms may suggest that you have a bacterial infection.
  • Check to see if you have candidiasis – this is a kind of yeast infection. It tends to produce a rash that’s itchy and red near your belly button. You may sometimes notice a white colored discharge. This infection is much more common in people who have diabetes.
  • Monitor your belly button after surgery – if you’ve recently had an abdominal surgery, you should monitor your belly button. There’s a chance that pus may come out of the belly button, in which case you need to see a doctor.
  • Check for blood – if you’re noticing there’s blood coming from the belly button, you could have a urachal cyst. Again, you should see a doctor.
  • Look for lumps – you may have developed a sebaceous cyst on the belly button – this usually occurs thanks to oil on the skin. If this cyst gets infected then the skin can look red, it can hurt and you may notice discharge coming from it.

It’s always best to pay attention if your dog is sniffing around your belly button since it could be a sign of a deeper issue. Keep an eye out for any signs that something may be amiss if you have already cleaned yourself and your dog keeps sniffing around your belly button.

How Do I Prevent My Dog From Sniffing My Belly Button?

If your dog starts smelling your belly button, there’s a chance that they may then proceed to lick it. This is okay every once in a while but it’s not ideal if it happens frequently. There are a few things that you can do to stop your dog from sniffing your belly button.

The main thing to start with is to ensure that you have cleaned your belly button. Then you should check to see if you have any health issues that need to be addressed. After covering your bases, you may surmise that your dog is simply trying to show you some love.

Here are a few suggestions.

1. Provide Distractions

Grab a toy and toss it to your dog – that’ll draw his attention away from your navel. You can do other things too, such as taking your dog for a walk or playing a game like fetch with him.

2. Give Him Some Love

Dogs can sometimes sniff around the belly button because they’re trying to get your attention. You can stop him from sniffing you in this situation simply by giving him a little bit of love.

Give him plenty of cuddles, and play with him. Take him for a walk more often! These are all things that can help you to curb any unwanted behaviors. 

3. Discourage The Behavior

Some dogs are pretty tenacious! If your dog won’t stop sniffing your belly button because they want attention, you can practice some training techniques.

Use positive reinforcement – when he responds the way that you want him to, reward him with toys and treats. Alternatively, you should give him a firm ‘no’ or another sound to get him to stop. Not all dogs respond well to this, however.

4. Ignorance is Bliss

If your dog keeps sniffing your naval, just channel your inner Kelly Clarkson and walk away. If he puts his nose by your belly button, turn around and walk. Eventually your dog will stop doing the unwanted behavior because he realises that it’s not benefitting him.

Hopefully a few of these ideas can help you to curb your dog’s unwanted sniffing behavior! You may just have to deal with it if you’re pregnant though – your dog is just so excited to see your little one! These are just a couple of the reasons why your dog may be smelling your belly button.

Kerry White

Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.

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