dog with mouth wide open

A Guide to Dog Gums

by Sam Salvati - 11/26/19

Examining your pooch's gums may seem like a strange task as a pet parent, but it is actually an essential procedure. The color, texture, and condition of your dog’s gums offer insight into the health and well-being of your pup. Here’s how you can identify sick or healthy dog gums.

Healthy Dog Gums

To inspect your dog's gums, delicately lift his upper lip by his canine teeth, trying carefully not to irritate your pup. Light red gums in dogs are a healthy sign, except for some breeds which are exceptions. Healthy gums also have a moist feel. Dog gum color and texture are primary traits to analyze when inspecting dog gums.

Unhealthy Dog Gums

If you notice odd coloring or texture in your dog's gums, it may be a sign of gum disease in dogs.

Some worrisome colorings include:

  • Pale gums in dogs suggest a lack of blood circulation or anemia
  • White gums in dogs can also indicate anemia
  • Yellow gums are a result of liver disease
  • Blue or purple gums are due to a lack of oxygen
  • Bright red gums are caused by a fever

Worrisome textures include:

  • If dog gums are bleeding, it may be a sign of gingivitis
  • Swollen dog gums also indicate gingivitis
  • Dry could signify dehydration

Unhealthy gums could lead to serious medical conditions in your pooch. If you notice any of these signs, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.

Keeping Gums Healthy

Studies have shown that just under three-quarters of all dogs over the age of two suffer from gum disease. The most efficient way to maintain the health of your dog's gums is by cleaning your dog's teeth. With a little bit of practice and care, dog tooth cleaning can be an enjoyable process that fosters bonding with your pup. As well as a regular tooth brushing, your dog needs professional dental care, just like humans. Try scheduling an annual dental cleaning for your dog to ensure optimal dental health.

Pasadena native Sam Salvati is the adoring dog dad to Pablo, Ester and Farris. He enjoys keeping abreast of and writing about the latest developments in pet care.