Chow Chows have a blue tongue and gums, so checking these dogs gums is not usually possible. Read on for photos of pale dog gums and photos of healthy dog gums. (Thomas Wang Photo)
When checking a dog’s gums, you need to know what to look for; many dog owners are left wondering “How pale is too pale?” and “What do a normal dog’s gums look like?” I’ve received a few emails on this topic, so here is some additional information on dog gum color and photos of healthy dog gums, along with photos of pale dog gums. These photos should give pet owners a better idea of the spectrum of dog gum colors.
Dog Gum Color – Photos of Normal Gums in a Dog
Normal gum color will vary among dogs. Some dogs have darker pink gums, more of a salmon pink in color. This is a photo of healthy dog gums in a dog with darker, salmon colored gums.
Other dogs and most cats have a gum color that’s a lighter pink; a color that could be described as a bubblegum pink. This photo of a dog with healthy gums falls into the lighter end of the normal gum color spectrum.
Checking a Dog’s Gums – Pale Dog Gums
There is a distinction between pale dogs gums and white dog gums, the latter being indicative of a more serious illness. This is a photo of pale dog gums; this photo is representative of the darker end of the unhealthy dog gum color spectrum.
Notably, you must consider the dog’s normal gum color. If the dog in the above photo has darker, salmon colored gums when he’s healthy, he could be just as sick as a dog with white gums (if this second dog has bubblegum pink gums when he’s healthy.) A dog with a lighter gum color to begin with will exhibit white gums sooner in the illness process.
The bottom line is the same: a dog with pale gums or white gums is sick and a visit to the veterinary clinic is required as soon as possible.
How to Check a Dog’s Gums – Photo of White Dog Gums
Here is a photo of white dog gums. This is a more severe presentation of pale dog gums. If a dog’s gums look pale and white like the dog in the photo, this is an emergency and the pet owner should immediately bring the dog to a veterinary clinic.
A dog’s gums may not be this pale; they may just be paler than normal, which is why it’s important to check the dog’s gums when he’s healthy.
Tips for Checking a Dog’s Gums – How to Check Gums’ Capillary Refill Time
Pet owners must avoid checking a dog’s gums when he’s been resting or sleeping. Give the dog a few minutes to wake up and move around. Circulation slows during sleep or rest, so the gums will appear paler than normal.
In addition, dog owners may wish to check the dog gums’ capillary refill time. This can give you a better idea about the dog’s health.
Check out related articles on The Sick Dog Blog to learn more about how to check a dog’s gums, how to check a dog’s gums if he has black gums, and what it means if a dog’s gums are pale, brick red, blue, etc.