Pups come in all shapes, sizes, and furs. Some dogs have one blue and one brown eye. Some dogs have two noses. And there are some dogs out there with purple, dark blue, or almost black tongues! We think it makes them all the more pawdorable.
So why do some dogs have black tongues or spotted tongues?
Actually, it means that there is extra pigmentation. Just like humans, dogs can have extra pigmentation that results in freckles or birthmarks. However, this also extends to their tongues, where some will develop spots and some completely dark tongues.
Aren’t certain breeds predisposed to having dark or spotted tongues?
Yup, you’re correct! Chows are perhaps the most famous for their dark tongues, but there’s actually 38 breeds that are prone to spotty or deep colored tongues. Check out a full list of breeds here.
Needless to say, if your dog has a spotted tongue, she might be very well one of those breeds. But, it’s not necessarily a definite indicator. Scientists are not sure why these breeds are predisposed to spots or dark tongues in comparison to other dog breeds.
Should I be worried about spots? Could it be a sign of illness?
Most likely, flat spots are not a sign of illness. However, if the spots are raised, or look concerning in any way, you should go to a vet and get your pup examined. Canine oral cancers and melanomas can appear as raised spots or fleshy tumors.
Always practice dental hygiene with your pup (brush teeth, inspect your dog’s gums, teeth, and tongue) and make routine appointments to examine your dog with a veterinarian.