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How to spot healthy gums on dogs

A quick tell-tale sign of health issues in your dog is unhealthy gums. Knowing the difference between healthy and unhealthy dog gums can help you figure out their overall wellbeing. But if you’re no dog-dentist – how do you spot the differences?

Healthy gums

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You want your dog’s gums to be salmon coloured, or even a light bubble gum pink. Some dogs have dark-coloured or spotted gums, and this can still be healthy!

Your dog’s gums should always be moist and smooth, and the best way to check is to press a spot on their gums with your finger. After letting go, the spot you touched should be white (or pale pink) and should change back to their normal colour after a couple of seconds.

                                                Unhealthy gums

As we’ve already said, unhealthy gums could be a sign that your pup’s health isn’t up to scratch. Whether they’re dry and sticky, red and bleeding or just look a bit odd – this could be due to ill health. If your dog’s gums start changing, try taking pictures for when you show your vet.

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Red gums

Bright red, or cherry-coloured gums are very sensitive and could start bleeding easily, or could even be painful for your dog. If your dog has just had a fun time playing outside, their gums may be redder than usual, but this should return to normal quickly.

Reasons for red gums can include:

  • Heatstroke / over heated
  • Infection
  • Poisoning or toxicity
  • Inflammation or gingivitis

White gums, or lacking in colour

Whilst your pup is supposed to have light pink gums, too light of a pink can be an indication of a lack of red blood cells. Anaemia is very common for white gums, which could mean your pup is experiencing the following:

  • Blood loss
  • Trauma (shock)

Yellow gumsBest Dental Products for Dogs | Dog Training Nation

Just like with us humans, yellowness can mean jaundice. Jaundice can cause your skin, and the whites of your eyes to turn yellow and could mean:

  • Liver issues
  • Red blood cell damage

Blue/purple gums

Blue and purple is usually paired with poor blood circulation or a lack of oxygen. So, if your dog’s gums are blue or purple, this could mean heart or lung problems, as well as breathing issues. If your dog’s gums are this colour, we would suggest taking them to the vet as soon as possible as they could be experiencing:

  • Heart failure
  • Respiratory issues
  • Blood clots
  • Pneumonia
  • Choking
  • Low blood pressure

Dry / Tacky gums

Dry gums can be a sign of dehydration, just like how our mouths feel dry when we’re thirsty. If your dog has been panting mHow to Brush Your Dog's Teeth | PetPros | Seattle's Favorite Pet Storeore than usual, this can dry out their gums more. Help your dog drink some water and let them sit in the shade, if after a while they’re now moist then all is good! If they remain dry, a trip to the vet is needed, especially if paired with these other symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of appetite

Bumps and lumps

Warts, bumps, and lumps are actually pretty common on dog gums. But if you’ve been noticing a change in numbers, sizes, or colours a trip to the vet is advised. An example of this would be, if the lumps are bleeding, a different colour to the gums, or changing quickly.

How to maintain healthy gums

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Get brushing! To get some pearly whites, and rosy gums the best thing you can do is brush your dog’s teeth. Find a dog friendly toothbrush, and some toothpaste and brush your pup’s teeth twice daily. This will help prevent the build up of plaque and tartar.

You can also find some tasty treats that also help with keeping your dog’s teeth and gums healthy. Dentastix are very commonly used, or you can buy Proden’s dental bones.

Proden also have a powder that you can sprinkle on top of your pup’s food which can help fight off bad breath too!

Check out our Dog Dental Range for more products!