Checking a dog’s gums is a very reliable way to check on your dog’s overall health. In many cases, a sick dog will have white gums or other gum discoloration.
But how do you check a dog’s gums? What should you look for when you check a dog’s gums? Keep reading for a guide on how to check your dog’s gums.
How Do I Check My Dog’s Gums?
Begin by lifting the dog’s lip and examine the gums. It’s best to check a dog’s gums in natural light.
A healthy dog’s gums will be pink. Healthy gum colors in dogs range from bubblegum pink to a darker salmon.
An unhealthy dog’s gums will be discolored. Unhealthy gums will look pale white, grey, yellow, blue or brick red.
In a healthy dog, the gums will also be slick to the touch. If the dogs gums are sticky or dry, this indicates dehydration. Dehydration can occur if a dog won’t eat or drink – a situation that usually occurs when a dog is ill or experiencing discomfort.
More Hints for Checking a Dog’s Gums
It’s also important to note that many dogs gums will have patches of darker skin pigmentation. You may also see dark patches on the tongue. These darker patches of skin pigmentation are completely normal in most cases. Some breeds of dog – like the Chow Chow – may normally have black-blue colored gums and tongue. The key is to check your dog’s gums when he’s healthy so you know what’s normal for your pet. When you know what’s normal, it’s much easier to know when a dog is sick.
Another hint: Avoid checking a dog’s gums right after he wakes up; the dog’s gums will appear abnormally pale as a result of slowed circulation that naturally occurs while the dog is asleep.
What Happens if My Dog’s Gums Are Pale or Discolored?
If your dog’s gums are abnormal in color or if the dog’s gums are dry and sticky, it’s best to take the dog to your veterinary clinic for an exam.
To learn more about what it means if a dog’s gums are pale or discolored, check out this article on The Sick Dog Blog titled “What Does it Mean if My Dog’s Gums Are Pale?”
(Marjorie Manicke Photo)
Tags: check dog’s gums, Dog Dehydration, Dog Gums, Dog Illness, How to Check a Dog’s Gums, Pale Gums, Signs and Symptoms, Signs and Symptoms of a Sick Dog, Signs of a Sick Dog, Sticky Gums, Symptoms of Illness