There’s a reason dogs are called man’s best friend: they have a unique way of climbing into our hearts and staying there for good.
That’s why you’ll do anything to keep your canine best friend safe, happy, and most of all, healthy.
However, many owners neglect their pup’s teeth and gums, which are an important indicator of overall health.
Here are some dog breeds with black gums, and if dark-colored gum tissue is cause for worry.
Dog Breeds with Black Gums: Cause for Worry?
If your canine best friend has black gums, you might be concerned or worry that their teeth are decaying.
However, it’s completely normal for many different dog breeds to have dark-colored or black gums, and most of them are the most popular breeds in America.
So, before you start dialing the vet, be sure to find out if your dog’s breed is one that naturally has dark-colored gum tissue.
Are Black Gums Normal?
Healthy gum tissue in dogs can be two different colors: a bubblegum pink color or a dark, black color.
In dogs with pink gum tissue, seeing dark spots or discoloration can signify serious lung or heart problems.
However, in dogs that naturally have darker colored gum tissue, this is totally normal.
That’s why it’s important to check and see if your dog breed has typically pink or black gums to ensure they have good oral health.
In fact, gum health can be a vital indicator of health in dogs.
If you’ve ever been to the vet, you’ve probably seen them open your dog’s mouth and take a poke or two at their gums.
This is because gums can also be like a barometer for doggy health.
If you see gums that are red, pale white, yellow, blue, purple, or dark-colored, this can be a sign that something is seriously wrong, and you should head to the vet immediately.
Why Do Some Breeds Have Dark-Colored Gum Tissue?
Black gums or mouths are usually caused by genetic pigmentation.
However, there’s a difference between naturally black gums and gums that are turning black, which indicates a serious health condition.
If your dog has super-bad breath paired with black gums, that could be an issue.
If they have missing or broken teeth, inflammation, or bleeding along with black-colored gums, this is also a cause for concern.
However, most dogs with black gums have that color from naturally occurring pigmentation, which should have been evident from when they were a (completely adorable) puppy.
But what if you adopted your doggy best friend?
Well, then it’s essential to either check their gums safely or bring them to the vet to ensure they’re healthy.
How to Check Your Dog’s Gums Safely
As stated before, it’s crucial to check your pupper’s gums regularly to ensure that they’re in excellent condition.
However, it’s not a good idea to go willy-nilly poking any fingers you want to keep inside your dog’s mouth!
Even if your dog is friendly and has a pleasant disposition, you should still take great care when looking at their gums.
Think about how it feels when you’re at the dentist, and they poke your gum with their dental tools—it hurts!
So first and foremost, be extra gentle when handling or touching their mouth, teeth, or gums.
To start, you want to gently lift their upper lip to take a look at the gum color above their teeth.
You should always wait until your dog is relaxed to do this.
Leave it to the Vet if They’re in Noticeable Pain
If you think your dog could be in pain, it’s never a good idea to look in their mouths.
Even the friendliest of dogs may defensively bite as an involuntary pain response.
If your dog has a bolder or more aggressive demeanor, you should always have a licensed veterinarian be the one to check.
Instead, try to take a quick peek inside their mouth when they yawn or pant.
Dog Breeds with Naturally Dark-Colored Gums
Dog breeds with naturally dark-colored, black, or purple-colored gums or tongues are often the result of genetics and selective breeding.
The Chow Chow and the Chinese Shar-Pei are the only dogs with black mouths and blue-black tongues, which is the breed standard.
However, other dogs have black-colored gums with pink tongues, like the Saint Bernard.
Not every breed has a mouth that’s entirely black or dark-colored.
Some have pink gums with splotches of black pigment or dark-colored spots, which are also totally normal.
There are over 30 breeds with black-colored or black-spotted gums, including:
- Australian Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
- Labrador Retrievers
- Bull Mastiffs
- Irish Setters
- Doberman Pinchers
- German Shepherds
However, those are only a few dog breeds with black gums.
There are still other less common breeds with black gums, including the Black Mouthed Cur, Puli, Bouvier des Flandres, and Belgian Tervuren.
If your canine best friend is one of those breeds, it’s perfectly normal for them to have dark-colored pigmentation in their gum tissue or their mouths.
How to Check Gum Health in Breeds with Black Gums
If your dog breed has naturally black or dark-colored gums, it’s still vital to check their oral health, but, it’s almost impossible to determine gum health if they’re naturally dark-colored.
Instead, the inside of the eyelid is used to determine general health.
In healthy dogs, it should be a bright pink color.
To check, gently pull the lower eyelid of the eye downwards to reveal the inner color.
If it’s not pink, consult with your vet immediately.
There’s no doubt about it: your dog is your one and only best friend and an unconditional member of the family.
It may be disconcerting to notice that your dog has black gums, but this is totally normal for some breeds.
Gums can be an important barometer of your dog’s overall health, so don’t forget to check the color once in a while to ensure they’re happy and healthy.
That way, they can remain a beloved member of the family for years to come.