What a Dog's Gum Color Can Tell Us About Their Health

Posted by Amanda Langill on

I know a dog's gums aren't necessarily something we pay attention to very often. However, they can give us some hints about how our pet might be feeling and if there is anything to be concerned about.

A dog's gums should be a bubble gum pink color. It is totally normal to have dark spots on the gums as seen in Scout's photo below.

Some dog's gums vary and that's okay! Just make sure to check with your vet so you know what your healthy dog's gums look like.

Often times we we can tell a lot about a dog by their gum color. This is no diagnosis but it can be a great way to catch problems early on and better understand our pet in certain circumstances.

Red Gums - If the gums are a bright red color this could mean two different things - totally unrelated to each other so you'll have to pay attention to their actions and other symptoms as well. If the gums are red, your dog could be suffering from heat stroke. This means that your dog's body temperature is much higher than it should be. You could determine this as a possible cause if your dog was just exercising or playing, if they are panting, or if they seem lethargic.

Red gums could also mean dental diseases such as gingivitis. Other symptoms along with red gums to help determine gingivitis are swollen gums, plaque on their teeth, and if they seem to be in pain when touched or when eating. Regular dental check ups and cleaning are important to avoid dental diseases in dogs.

Blue Gums - Blue gums also have two different possible causes. Hypothermia and lack of oxygen. If your pet's body temperature is dramatically lower than it should be, they are suffering from hypothermia. This could happen after being exposed to the cold temperatures for too long or being wet for too long.

This could also mean low oxygen levels. If your pet has gotten into something and has started choking you would also notice them pacing, scratching at their nose, and not breathing. Low oxygen can also be due to an internal medical emergency. Regardless, if you notice your dog has blue gums they should be taken to the vet right away.

Yellow Gums - This could be a sign of liver issues. This could happen if your pet has digested any toxic items such as plants or medications. It could also be specific to your dog's breed if they are prone to liver diseases.

Pale Gums - If your dog's gums look like they are a very pale pink or almost white, they could be in shock. This is when the body is not getting enough blood flow. This could be after an injury or due to other medical emergencies.


If you think your pet may have discoloration of the gums or showing any signs of illness, make sure to get them to your vet right away.

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