why are my dogs gums white

why are my dogs gums white


Why Are My Dog’s Gums White?

As a dedicated caregiver to your beloved four-legged companion, you might find yourself asking, “Why are my dog’s gums white?” This post will take you through the possible reasons, what they mean, and what to do about it.

1. Anemia

Anemia is a condition where your dog doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to their tissues. This often results in pale or white gums. Other symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Rapid breathing
  • Loss of appetite

If you suspect your dog has anemia, you should contact your vet immediately.

2. Dental Disease

Dental diseases can cause gums to change color, usually to a more pale shade. The severity can range from mild gingivitis to severe periodontitis. Signs of dental disease can include:

  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty eating
  • Loose or missing teeth

Regular dental check-ups can help prevent dental disease and catch any issues early.

3. Shock

Shock is a serious condition that requires immediate veterinary attention. It can be caused by severe trauma, allergic reactions, or major illnesses. Signs of shock in dogs can include:

  • Pale or white gums
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Weakness or lethargy

If your dog is exhibiting signs of shock, seek veterinary care immediately.

4. Other Illnesses

There are many other illnesses that can cause pale or white gums in dogs, including heart disease and cancer. In these cases, the change in gum color is usually accompanied by other symptoms.

Illness Other Symptoms
Heart Disease Coughing, difficulty breathing, fatigue
Cancer Unexplained weight loss, changes in behavior, lumps

Always consult a vet if you notice changes in your dog’s health.

5. What to Do If Your Dog’s Gums Are White

If you observe that your dog’s gums are white, don’t ignore it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

  1. Check your dog’s gums regularly
  2. Note any changes in color
  3. Immediately consult your vet if you notice any abnormalities

Regular check-ups can also be beneficial in detecting any issues early.


Q: How do I check my dog’s gum color?

A: Lift your dog’s upper lip and look at the color of the gums above the canine tooth.

Q: Can a change in gum color be temporary?

A: Yes, some causes of pale or white gums are temporary and resolve once the underlying issue is treated.

Q: How often should I check my dog’s gums?

A: Ideally, you should check your dog’s gums at least once a week.

Q: What is the normal color of a dog’s gums?

A: The normal gum color for dogs is a pinkish-red. However, it can vary somewhat depending on the breed.

Remember, your dog’s health is in your hands. Stay informed, be observant, and when in doubt, always consult a veterinary professional.