Homedog health & care

Female Dog Anatomy – Types, Parts and Functions

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Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that studies the morphology and structure of living organisms. And female dog anatomy aims at making a study of all parts of the female dog’s body. The detailed structure depends on a lot of factors such as the dog breed, age, and weight. Keep reading to learn more!

Types and Functions of Dog Anatomy

Canine anatomy has a variety of similarities to that of other mammals. Like an adult dog, a puppy has all parts, including bones, muscles, and tendons from birth. When the dog gets bigger, the size of those parts increases, but their number does not change. The following information will give you a closer look:

External Anatomy

Via: buzzle.com

Like most of the mammals, dogs have eyes, ears, nose and forehead.

  • Eyes: The ability to watch at night of dog’s eyes are much better than that of the human. That’s because the dog’s retina can focus on both daylight and dim light of the night. This is important to help them hunt and protect well at night.
  • Ears: Dog’s ears are able to hear ultrasound, and that’s why trainers often use ultrasonic horns to teach dogs. Whistling or chirping of animals, rusting of insects are processed into "memory" and can be heard at other times.
  • Noses: Their noses are cold and wet. They might be cut, upright, or cropped based on the hybrid. Their recognition of the smell is faster around 1 million times than that of the human. So, they can smell the taste of food, find prey to hunt, locate themselves, communicate with each other in the community, find partners, or distinguish offsprings with strange puppies.

Besides, external anatomy of dogs includes a throat, flew, chest, shoulder, arm, toes, stop, thigh, nape, hind foot, back, a tail, and buttocks.

Especially, paws have five components including the digital, metacarpal, carpal, paw pads, and dewclaws:

  • The digital and metacarpal pads work as shock absorbers, helping to protect the bones and joints in the foot.
  • The carpal pads act as brakes when the dog moves on slippery and steep roads.
  • The paw pads are made up of fatty tissue, protecting other inner foot tissues from high temperatures.
  • The dewclaws are thought to be the remains of thumbs, which is often discarded by the breeders to avoid collisions. Although dewclaw does not have many functions in moving and digging, pooches can take advantage of their dew, for example, to keep the food tighter with their feet while chewing.

Thelength of muzzle varies in every breed of dog. Whiskers are near the muzzle; they can have the high or low tail with the function of feeling expression. Dogs usually use their nostrils to cover the nose in winter to keep them warm. They do not sweat with a tongue as many people think; in fact, the sweat escapes from the soles of the foot.

Internal Anatomy

  • Heart: As in humans, this organ carries out the function of pumping and bringing blood throughout the rest parts of the body. The blood must be rich in nutrients and oxygen to supply energy for all the activities of the body cells.
  • Lungs: Theyre responsible for exchanging gases, removing waste gases like carbon dioxide and taking oxygen.
  • Liver: It plays an important role in producing bile and improving the digestive process.
  • Kidney: It has the responsibility to filter the blood and eliminate the harmful toxins in the dog.
  • Spinal column: It includes vertebrae, forming a part of the nervous system.
  • Trachea: It is a large tube transporting inhaled air from the nose and throat to small airways (bronchi) into the lungs.
  • Esophagus: It is the tube which links the throat to the stomach with an eye to supporting in transporting food for digestion.
  • Larynx (or the voice box): It holds the vocal cords and responsible for participating in the process of breathing, creating the sound and protecting from the process of food aspiration.
  • Stomach: It is regarded as the organ in between the esophagus and the intestine, crushing the hard food to pasty ones and combining with the digestive gastric juices.
  • Intestine: It comprises of the small and large intestine. The small one is where the digestive process and the absorption of nutrients are introduced into the body. The large one stores the stools.
  • Spleen: It produces blood cells, gets rid of old cells, holds the red cells, and plays a vital part in the immune system.
  • ​​​​Bladder: It is where the urine is stored until it’s gone out.
  • Rectum: It is at the end of the large intestine with the role of expelling stool.

Reproductive Anatomy


Female dogs do not have menstruation like women. Instead, they havean estrous cycle, often called a heat cycle, appearing twice and often more than once per year. This usually starts from 6 to 12 months old depending on the breed.

The heat cycle of a dog consists of four stages: proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus. Three hormones that are essential for the heat cycle are: estrogen used for starting the heat cycle, luteinizing hormone (LH) supporting ovulation, and progesterone responsible for maintaining pregnancy.

Reproductive system consists of ovaries, uterus, oviduct, cervix, oviducts, and vagina.

  • Ovaries: They are hung over the highest of the abdomen by the suspensory ligament. There are many small tubes which range from the ovaries to the uterine horns. This organ contains the unfertilized eggs which will be released from the follicles through the ovulation period and then come in the uterus thanks to the fallopian tubes.
  • Oviducts: They are thin tubes, transporting the ovulated and released eggs from the ovaries to the uterus within roughly 42 hours. They hold egg maturation and take place fertilization.

Uterus: It is Y in shape. It consists of two horns, uterus, and cervix. The uterus is responsible for reproduction. It is known as a place for implantation of fertilized ova, a house for the fetus until it is willing to be born.

  • Cervix: It consists of connective tissues and muscles in order to take shape a firm tube-like sphincter. This is usually locked to avoid contagion. In the process of fertilization and reproduction, the sphincter of the one is opened.
  • Vagina: It is very long and goes through the pelvis in the direction of the vulva. For example, for a 25-pound dog, the average vagina has the length of 12 cm and the diameter of 1.5 cm. Both will increase remarkably during the stages of pregnancy and birth. On breeding, the vagina has the function of storing the male's sperm. It creates a protected track for the movement of the fetus from the uterus to the outside. Also, it helps to protect the opening of the urethra for urine leaving the body.

Skeletal Anatomy

The skeleton of dogs, as well as other mammals, is the lever of movement, the backbone of the soft tissues of the body, the protective organ, the place to develop the blood-forming organs (Redbone marrow). This system is a stockpile of inorganic and organic substances, involved in metabolic and biological processes in the body. A structural dog bone includes 247 bones and 262 joints.

The skull is one of the essential parts of the skeletal anatomy. It has the function of encasing and protecting the dog’s brain. It may be different depending on the tail’s size of every dog.

The vertebral column has 33 vertebrae: 24 presacral one (7 cervical, 12 thoracic, and 5 lumbar bones), the sacrum (5 fused sacral vertebrae), the coccyx (4 frequently fused coccygeal vertebrae) with 13 double rib cages and caudal vertebrae.

The forelegs begin with the scapula, humerus, forearm (radius, ulna), 7 carpus, 5 metacarpus, phalanges (4 digits 3 phalanges, 1 digit 2 phalanges). At the end of the toes are the claws. The hind legs begin with 4-5 metatarsus, tarsus, fibular, tibia, sometimes, 1 dewclaw.


On the whole, the body is a unified organism that is structured from different organs and systems to perform proper living functions.Through female dog anatomy, you now have a visible look at the organs, giving a deeper insight into the specific features and functions that serve to study life's realities.

What’s more? You can study the lessons and find out the intimate relationship between morphological changes and functional disorders on the organs to diagnose and determine the appropriate treatment.

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