What is a Normal Gum Color for Dogs?

When Dogs have gums that are red, it indicates that they are in good health. However, it is critical to pay attention to the color’s hue when determining this. 

In order to prevent bacteria and other debris from entering the root and ultimately the jaw, gums are used to cover and protect the teeth. 

In some cases, tooth infections can progress to the point of causing an abscess, which manifests itself as a pus-filled bump on the gum. 

Nonetheless, a color that is similar to lava is considered to be a healthy choice for dogs. 

Today, we’ll talk about what it means when your dog’s gums are a particular color and what can be done if the condition necessitates medical attention.


What Different Colors Mean For Your Dogs Health

1: Red

Among all types of gum, red is the most common color, and it is generally considered healthy for dogs. It is critical, however, that the gum is a vibrant red color before using it. 

The color should be as close as possible to the hue of freshly drawn blood. 

The presence of red gums indicates that the gums are receiving adequate oxygen and are not suffering from any diseases such as gingivitis. 

Some dogs, even those with red gums that appear otherwise healthy, can be infected with a bacterial infection. This also hold true for red paws in dogs.

2: Dark Red

This type of red will be more closely related to the color of a kidney bean in terms of hue. 

The fact that your dog’s gums are this color could indicate that he or she is suffering from an internal organ issue. 

Having dark red gums in your dog could mean that it is not getting enough oxygen to the gums. 

There is a mixture of circumstances that can contribute to this, including low blood pressure and heart problems, among other things.

Dark red isn’t always a bad sign, though. Dark gums may very well mean that your dog is healthy. Each dog is going to have slightly different colored gums, no matter its health status.

3: Brown

The presence of brown gums indicates that a fungus is rapidly taking over the mouth. It is likely that this is owing to poor oral health or hygiene. 

It has been reported that dogs on a raw food diet can suffer from this condition in some cases due to fungus found on the food that had no chance of being killed by the heart. 

Brown gums can be caused by any of the heart-related issues listed above, with the exception of accelerated heart failure.

4: Pale

Pale gums in dogs are an indicator of both anemia and kidney disease. When the kidney begins to function improperly, it is unable to remove debris from the bloodstream as effectively. 

Furthermore, poorly functioning kidneys are unable to regulate the levels of specific proteins in the blood. Another possibility is anemia, which is defined as a lack of red blood cells in the body. 

It is the job of blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body, and when there are not enough red blood cells, anemia can develop, leading to a lack of oxygen.

5: Black

Depending on the breed of your dog, black gums could be a natural color for the dog’s gums. In particular, if your dog’s skin is a dark shade of brown or black, you should be concerned. 

But even if your dog’s skin is a deeper shade of brown, it is possible that it is the result of a fungal or bacterial infection. 

Black gums can also be a sign of plaque build-up, as fungus can stick to plaque much easier than clean teeth. 

It can be difficult to determine what is causing this; as a result, proceed to the next step to be certain.

How You Can Help

1: Call Your Vet

You should have your dog’s gums checked as soon as possible if you notice any discoloration. This will let you rule out any severe health issues that may be present. 

It is possible that discoloration of the gums in dogs indicates a problem with the kidneys, liver, heart, or any other organs of the body. 

Given the urgency of all of these issues, I do not recommend waiting to see if your puppy’s gums improve on their own before seeking professional help.

2: Brush Its Teeth

When gums discolor, it’s usually just a symptom of poor oral hygiene, and it shouldn’t be taken seriously. 

Dogs, like wolves, have evolved to eat raw meat and bones, which they do by chewing them up in their mouths. 

When dogs eat dry dog food, it is possible for debris to become stuck between their teeth, allowing a fungus to grow and become infected. 

Possibly, brushing the animal’s teeth will remove the discoloration and thus resolve the situation.

3: Change It’s Diet

When you visit your vet, be certain to inform him about the food you’re giving your dog. Some dog foods include elements that can be harmful to a dog’s oral health if consumed by him. 

Some dog treats may contain ingredients that are harmful to a dog’s teeth in certain circumstances. 

If you’re feeding him human food, I strongly advise you to discontinue this practice. 

If you must switch his regular dry dog food, make the switch no less than ten days in advance to avoid severe stomach distress.


It is possible to use a dog’s gums to help you and your veterinarian determine what is going on with not only its oral health but also with its overall general health. 

It is possible for anemia, kidney and liver problems, as well as heart problems, to manifest themselves as changes in the color of the gums. 

The good news is that a simple phone call to the veterinarian may be all that is required to decide whether or not the color is healthy. 

It is possible that the veterinarian will request that you send photographs or bring him into the office for evaluation.

Written by Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has been a dog lover since childhood. He has had his Lab Mix with Hound for over 10+ years now! They enjoy playing outdoors together. Brian loves sharing his knowledge about all things dog on this website. Read more of Brian's articles.