Our canine companions have various skin pigmentations in different areas of their bodies. While some may just be normal, other cases may indicate certain health issues.

When it comes to your dog’s gums, for instance, you might ask, what is the normal color of dogs’ gums? And if your dog has black gums, should you be worried?

In general, the normal color of dogs' gums is pink, except for some dog breeds such as the Chow Chow, Dalmatian, and Shar-pei, among others.

However, if you notice that your dog has black gums when their gums are normally pink, it's important to consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible to determine the cause.

Stop Googling - Ask a Real Vet


  1. Are Black Dog Gums Normal
  2. Why Does My Dog Have Black Spots on His Gums
  3. How to Treat Black Spots on My Dog Gums
  4. How Can the Emergency Fund Help with Treatment
  5. FAQs
  6. Conclusion

Are Black Dog Gums Normal

Upon noticing black gums in your dog, you need to determine whether it's normal for their breed or if it's due to something else.

Among the dog breeds that normally have black gums or mouths that have black spots are:

  • Chow Chow;
  • Dalmatian;
  • Shar Pei;
  • Irish Setter;
  • Australian Shepherd;
  • Mastiff Breeds;
  • Pit Bull Breeds;
  • Newfoundland.

A way to determine if your dog’s black gums are normal or if they're unnatural is by checking if they have accompanying symptoms. For example, if they suddenly develop bad breath along with black gums, it may be due to a medical condition. Other signs, such as inflammation, tooth loss, and bleeding, may indicate that something is wrong.

To detect symptoms as soon as your dog exhibits them, a good pet camera, such as the Pet Camera, will help. That way, you’ll be able to monitor any changes in your dog 24/7, allowing you to quickly address anything wrong.

Read more: Why Are My Dog's Gums, Lips, & Tongue Red?

Why Does My Dog Have Black Spots on His Gums

Below are some possible causes of black spots on dogs’ gums:

  • Dog breed

Like what was mentioned above, there are dog breeds that naturally have black spots in their gums, mouth, or tongue. If your dog is one of the breeds mentioned, this could be the cause. However, if there are accompanying symptoms, it’s best to consult with your vet for a proper diagnosis.

  • Periodontal disease

Oral care is important to keep our dog’s teeth healthy. If this is neglected, they may be susceptible to periodontal disease (aka gum disease). According to NCBI research, as the disease progresses, it may cause your dog’s gums to turn dark or black. Accompanying symptoms may include bleeding in the gums or bad breath.

  • Gingivitis

This is a type of periodontal disease that may occur in the early stages of the disease. Signs of gingivitis in dogs may include a blackish line on your dog’s gums. It is often accompanied by inflammation.

  • Periodontal tumors

If there is any abnormal growth around your dog’s teeth, this may affect irrigation and cause their gums to darken. These tumors may either be benign or malignant, and the cause would depend on your dog’s specific case.

  • Acanthosis nigricans

This is a skin disease that exhibits discoloration in certain parts of the body. Because the gums can be affected, they may darken with the condition.

  • Melanoma

This tumor is the most common malignant oral tumor in dogs. It is important to detect and treat the tumor early to lessen the risk of the disease spreading to other parts of the body.

How to Treat Black Spots on My Dog Gums

Treatment would depend on why your dog’s gums are black or have black spots in them. For a better prognosis, early treatment is advised for better recovery and to prevent further complications. Below are some treatment methods that your vet may prescribe, depending on the corresponding causes.

  • Oral care

For dogs with gingivitis, for example, an oral hygiene regimen will likely be recommended by the vet. This may consist of brushing your dog’s teeth with toothpaste for dogs (which may or may not be medicated, depending on your dog’s case).

In severe cases of black gums in dogs due to periodontal disease, professional dental care may be needed.

  • Diet changes

In mild cases of gingivitis, your vet may also recommend a certain diet, or they may require food restrictions along with your dental care regimen.

  • Medications

In specific conditions, your vet may prescribe medications. This may change depending on how your dog responds to the medications.

  • Surgery

In some cases, such as Oral Melanoma, for example, surgery may be recommended to remove the malignant tumor and prevent it from spreading.

  • Therapy

Your vet may suggest therapy, depending on your dog’s condition. Some examples include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, oxygen therapy, or immunotherapy to help your dog recover from their specific condition.

Read more: Pale Gums in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

How Can the Emergency Fund Help with Treatment

Though we never want our pets to get into an emergency, we can never be sure when it may happen. Because of this, it’s best to be prepared. Having a Pet Emergency Fund will be a lifesaver when our pets do get into an emergency.

For example, if our dog’s gums turn black due to severe periodontal disease, which would need immediate treatment, a pet Emergency Fund would cover the expenses of treatment while you focused on taking care of your canine companion. That way, you won’t have to worry about the expenses involved in providing your dog with the medical care that they need.


My dog has black gums and bad breath. What does it mean?

Black gums accompanied by bad breath may mean that your dog has dental disease. It’s best to have your dog checked out by the vet immediately to have a proper diagnosis and treatment in place. Doing so may go a long way toward preventing complications.

What breed of dog has black gums?

The dog breeds that naturally have black gums or black spots on their mouth, gums, and tongue include:

  • Chow Chow;
  • Dalmatian;
  • Shar Pei;
  • Irish Setter;
  • Australian Shepherd;
  • Mastiff Breeds;
  • Pit Bull Breeds;
  • Newfoundland.


There are cases where black gums in dogs are not a cause for worry, as in the case of dog breeds that have naturally black gums. However, when black is not the normal color of your dog’s gums, it may indicate an underlying cause that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Accompanying symptoms may give you a clue as to the cause, but remember the importance of consulting with your veterinarian to determine the exact cause and find options for treatment.

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