Do Dogs Really Have Adam’s Apples?

by Stuart | Last Updated:   April 6, 2021
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Sometimes we observe things and can’t get them off our minds. If you are a pet parent, you might be wondering; does your dog have an Adam’s apple?

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, Adam’s apple is the lump you can sometimes see in the middle of a human or dog’s throat.

Well, dogs do in fact have an Adam’s apple. Just like humans, young dogs experience several physical changes as their body develops and grows. These changes include growth in their voice box or larynx. However, it’s more prominent in some dogs than others.

The name of “Adam’s apple” goes back to the biblical story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. As the tale goes, Adam was tempted by Eve (and the serpent) to eat the forbidden fruit from the apple tree that contained the knowledge of good and evil. When Adam took a bite from the apple, a part of it got stuck in his throat. This is where the name “Adam’s apple” comes from. Of course, that’s just folklore!

Adam’s apple has nothing to do with the food that you eat. Scientifically, it is known as a laryngeal protuberance.

The Adam’s apple is a lump of cartilage in the throat. In reality, Adam’s apple is a result of a dog’s voice box or larynx growing. This enlargement is what causes the bark to deepen.

It usually sits below their chin, at the front, and in the centre of their neck. The Adam’s apple develops in both male and female canines when they reach an adolescent stage.

Close up of dog's throat and adam's apple with blurry grass in the background

Do All Dogs Have Adam’s Apples?

Yes, all dogs have Adam’s apple. Every single dog has it, whether it’s a male or female. If you notice that lump or small swelling in the centre of your dog’s neck, straight down from their chin, you don’t have to worry.

It’s very likely that this is their Adam’s apple, which is totally normal. 

Both male and female dogs start with similarly sized thyroid cartilage, but this changes when they grow up. In females, where it sits on the upper edge of the thyroid cartilage, the bump is much less visible.

How Do You Find Your Dog’s Adam’s Apple?

Dog throat anatomy is quite similar to human’s and functions in much the same way as yours does. You can effortlessly find the Adam’s apple on your dog’s throat. 

  • Move your fingers from the front of the neck, located below the chin.
  • You can feel around to make sure that there are no unusual swellings around the area.
  • You will feel the firm and, sometimes sizable, cartilage known as Adam’s apple.
  • You should feel that cartilage ball towards the middle of their neck.
  • When palpitating, you should find that with mild pressure your dog shows no discomfort and doesn’t cough. However, it may become uneasy for a while during your examination.
  • Do not use excessive force on your dog’s throat. This area is delicate and it can be painful for your dog if you’re too forceful.

Whether a throat lump on your dog is it’s Adam’s apple or not, it is always best to inspect it anyhow to understand what’s going on. Even if it feels like your dog doesn’t have one, theirs may just be less prominent.

Is a Dog’s Adam’s Apple Easy to See?

Some dogs might have an easily visible Adam’s apple. In these cases, it will just look like a small bump in your dog’s throat. However, remember that not all dogs will have a prominent Adam’s apple.

For most dogs, the Adam’s apple is well covered or disguised by its fur. This is especially applicable for dogs with long coats.

What is the Purpose of an Adam’s Apple?

The Adam’s apple itself doesn’t serve any medical function, but the larynx does. The primary function of Adam’s Apple is the same as that of the thyroid cartilage. Here’s what Adam’s apple can do for your dog:

  • It protects the vocal cords immediately behind it.
  • It protects the walls and frontal parts of the larynx.  
  • It is also responsible for deepening your dog’s voice as your dog’s vocal cords help them to bark.
  • It does not hinder or negatively affect your dog’s ability to bark. 

Do Dogs Have Lumps in Their Throats?

The appearance of a lump in your dog’s neck is a cause for concern for pet parents. It can appear like a ball under the skin or seem to be more of a raised area closer to the surface.

It is important to look carefully at your dog and feel its body for lumps and bumps. You need to examine different types of lumps on your dog’s neck. Some of the types of lumps that are possible to find in your dog’s neck/throat area include:

  • Inflamed lymph nodes
  • Adam’s apple
  • Sebaceous cysts
  • Abscesses
  • Tumours
  • Allergic reaction causing lumps on a dog’s neck

Should I Worry About a Lump in My Dog’s Throat?

If the lump in your dog’s throat is just their Adam’s apple, simply relax! You don’t need to worry about it.

However, if it is not their Adam’s apple or is a new or larger lump, it is important to determine the appearance and consistency of the lump on your dog’s neck. You should examine whether it’s hard, soft, squishy, painful, or growing in size. 

Here are a few instances when you should definitely speak to your vet to see what’s wrong.

  • If your dog reacts with pain when you touch the lump.
  • If your dog has other symptoms like fever, cough, or nasal discharge.
  • If you have noticed other changes in your dog’s behaviour (i.e. lethargy, lack of appetite, difference in bowel movements, etc).
  • If the lump is growing or changing its size and shape. 

Pet Parent Tip: Not all bumps are bad but there’s always a possibility that the lump could be a tumour. If you observe any type of abnormality on your dog’s throat, you need to seek advice from the vet as soon as you can. The earlier problems are caught, the better will it be for you and your furry pal.

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Do Adam’s Apples Go Away?

For some people, their Adam’s apple is very large and sticks out, which can tend to make them look awkward. As they grow, their Adam’s apple may become less prominent.

The Adam’s apple is really just a slightly enlarged larynx. For dogs, it’s barely visible and is well covered or disguised by their fur. You may actually struggle to see the lump at all in long-coated dogs. It isn’t a medical concern, and it won’t cause any health problems. 

Do Other Animals Have Adam’s Apples?

The Adam’s apple is present in animals that have similar throat construction as humans. Adam’s apple is generally present in mammals where the males have a considerable distinction in shape. It is particularly common in animals where the males have deeper calls than the females.

Like dogs, cats too have Adam’s apples. It’s part of their voice box. Male cats have a larger larynx and large, more prominent Adam’s apples.

You may not have noticed that your dog or cat has an Adam’s apple and this does not mean theirs is missing, just that they are more noticeable in humans. You don’t usually notice it because it is smaller than yours and because it is covered up with fur.

Final Takeaway

So, that’s a wrap. Here is the short answer to the question of whether a dog has Adam’s apple. “Yes, dogs do have Adam’s apples.”

The Adam’s apple is the most prominent laryngeal structure that is visible exterior in dogs. It is simply a name for the area of the thyroid cartilage that appears prominently on the front of the neck. 

Both male and female dogs can have Adam’s apples. This is just a natural growth of cartilage that is more prominent in some dogs than others. It’s no big deal either way.

You probably won’t be able to see your dog’s Adam’s apple without investigating their throat very gently with your hands.

If you can feel a lump that has grown or changed shape dramatically, this will not be your dog’s Adam’s apple. Take your dog straight to the vet if this is the case.

Are there other things about the Adam’s Apple you’ve always wondered about? Feel free to share your thoughts. We would be happy to hear from you!

Stuart loves blogging about his hobbies and passions. Sir Doggie is a place for him to share what he learns while being a pet parent. Click here to read more.