Pink Spots on Dog’s Lips

dogs playing in the ground

If you notice a sudden change in your puppy’s lips, gums, or mouth, several reasons may cause this. While some physical changes are not concerning, pink lips or spots may indicate a medical condition or health issue. You can address the issue when noticing discoloration or difference in your pet’s mouth.

What Are the Main Causes of Lip Color Changes in Your Dog?

If you’re a new dog owner, a sudden change in your dog’s lips, skin, or mouth can be alarming. It’s important to note that while subtle changes are usually regular over time, a drastic change in your pet’s appearance, including a black spot, pink spot, or significant shift in pigmentation, it’s essential to visit your vet to assess the situation further.

Allergic Reaction

When you adopt a puppy or an older dog with specific dietary requirements, you may not be initially aware of any allergies. If your pet’s environment changes, or there is a change in diet or items around your home, this may cause an allergic reaction. Food sensitivities or allergies are the most common reasons your dog’s lips may turn pink.

Often, the simplest solution is to change your pet’s dog food formula, or if the problem persists, review further modifications at home and contact your veterinarian. An allergy test can determine severe allergies or sensitivities to specific foods, dust, plants, and other environmental factors.

In addition to pink lips, your dog may develop a skin rash, irritation between skin folds, redness, and swelling. Your furry friend may scratch or rub the affected area, which can lead to an inflamed area prone to a skin infection.

The most common foods dogs may react to are dust mites, wheat, gluten, dairy products, pollen, beef, chicken, and lamb. If you notice a consistent reaction when your pup consumes any of these foods, this is likely an allergic reaction. Your vet can provide medication or treatment if your pet is affected or make dietary changes.

Skin Condition Called Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a skin condition that occurs when melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, which provides skin pigmentation, are destroyed. During this process, you’ll notice changes to your pet’s skin on their face and body, usually in patches or spots. Many skin color changes may be lighter, such as white or pink; this condition is hereditary in most cases. These pigmentation changes often start around your pet’s nose, eyes, and lips.

In some situations, vitiligo may occur from exposure to toxins, or it may be caused by a  neurological or autoimmune disease, which targets melanocytes, which alter the pigmentation in your pet’s skin. The most common breeds of this skin condition include the German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Doberman Pinscher, Dachshunds, Rottweilers, and Siberian Huskies.

dog licking nose

Sign of Infection

When you notice bumps, lesions, or swelling around your dog’s lips or the affected area, this may be caused by an infection. In most cases, an infection is easily treatable at your vet’s office with a test to determine the type of bacteria and a prescription for antibiotics.

One of the most common skin conditions that cause pink lips or discoloration is mucocutaneous pyoderma, which is caused by an infection. Some antibiotics can be applied to the affected areas as a topical treatment, which can help with the healing process.

Injury or Trauma

As dogs use their noses and mouths to explore their world, these areas are often subject to injury or infection. It’s not unusual for your puppy’s mouth to sustain injuries due to aggressive biting or chewing, bruising, burns, or other injuries from play or exploring.

When this happens, it’s best to treat the wound as quickly as possible to avoid infection. It’s also essential to monitor your dog, especially if they are a puppy, to ensure they do not chew on or eat items that could cause injury. Fortunately, most small injuries heal quickly with proper attention and do not cause health problems.

Your Dog’s Age

As your pet ages, you’ll notice skin, coat, and pigmentation changes. It’s common for many fur coats to become lighter in color and skin to turn pink or lighten. These changes are gradual and have no cause for concern. You should contact your vet to rule out serious illnesses if you notice a sudden change.

Sun Exposure

If your dog doesn’t receive enough sunlight, this can reduce melanin and cause natural changes in pigmentation over time. As temperature changes over the seasons, melanin production varies, which can cause your pup to develop lighter skin around its lips and mouth, especially during colder months.

While there are no major health issues concerning these changes, you can increase your pet’s melanin by taking them outside for regular walks and sun exposure year-round.

dogs sitting near the fence

Other Reasons for Skin and Lip Color Changes

There are many other reasons why your pup’s lip color change, and while there may be no adverse impact on your dog’s health, it could be a sign of a serious condition that requires professional care.

While more severe conditions, such as the oral papillomavirus, mouth cancer, mast cell tumors, and other diseases, are less common, it’s always a good idea to check with your veterinarian to rule out any further issues.


Generally, suppose you notice a change in your dog’s mouth color, such as pink lips, without any other changes or concerns. In that case, it’s likely due to seasonal or temperature changes or naturally altering pigmentation that occurs with age.

If you notice inflammation, discomfort, skin lesions, and behavior changes in your pet, it’s best to consult with a vet to ensure your furry friend receives the proper treatment and support.

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