Dog Lips Turning Pink – 11 Possible Reasons

The issue of dog lips turning pink can make many pet owners worried and want to look for the reasons and treatment.

The causes are various, and the color change can be temporary or permanent.

Why is my dog’s lips turning pink?

I will help you answer the question with all possible culprits, how to identify them and point out which causes you should pay more attention to and need to provide immediate medication.

Dog Lips Turning Pink – 11 Possible Reasons

dog lips turning pink

The pet’s lip discoloration can be a serious issue or not, depending on the root cause.

For example, if your dog has pink lips, it may mean he’s getting older or a sign of Vitiligo, which affects nothing except his appearance.

Meanwhile, the symptoms can indicate serious health issues, such as Lymphoma, requiring immediate cure treatment.


Why is my dog’s lip turning pink? Aging can be the answer to your question.

When your furry friend gets older, you may notice he loses his pigmentation and has a lighter coat.

Your dog’s lip issue is not much to be concerned about, as it will not affect your pet’s health and daily routine.

Just ensure you monitor his body condition, appetite, and nutrition through regular checkups with the vet.


Sometimes, it’s just a seasonal change when your pet’s lip is pink. It just alters your dog’s appearance but does not affect his daily activities.

If you see no other symptoms and your puppy can still conduct his daily routine, you should not worry. This change is just temporary, so don’t panic.

Injury On Lips

Why is it red around my dog’s lips? It’s not strange when your pet gets injuries around their nose and mouth since they are curious and like to explore things by smelling and grabbing.

During exploration, your dog may get bitten by other animals or touch something sharp with his mouth.

It can form a cut, a potential place for bacteria and fungi to gather and cause skin infection. As a result, the lips of your canine may be swollen and red.

Excessive Tear Or Saliva

Porphyrins are the iron-containing molecules released when the blood cells are broken down. They are removed from your pet’s body through poop, urine, tears, or saliva.

The effects of Porphyrins are various, including staining the coat’s color to reddish-brown (which is more obvious on white or light fur) and strange colors around your dog’s mouth.

The situation of excessive tears or saliva often indicates an underlying cause.

Tearing up means your pet has problems with his eyes, such as blocked tear ducts or eye infection. Meanwhile, saliva requires an appointment with a dentist.

I advise you to pay a visit to the pet clinic for treatment. Plus, keeping your dog’s mouth and eyes clean will help prevent the situation.


The issue of dogs’ lips turning pink from black can be caused by allergies. In this case, you will see more accompanying symptoms, such as swelling, rashes, etc.

Your furry friend may act abnormally, including scratching and rubbing due to skin irritation. It will worsen the situation, so contact the vet immediately.

Pay attention to your canine’s diet and living area to find out the cause of allergies and avoid them in the future.

Common pet food causing this kind of reaction includes dairy products, wheat gluten, chicken, beef, and lamb.

Sudden changing of the diet menu also can be a reason contributing to the issue.

Ensure your dog’s sleeping and playing areas are clean.

If your pet is sensitive, I recommend you let him avoid environmental allergens, such as pollen, dust, dust mites, and flea saliva.


dogs' lips turning pink from black

As mentioned above, your pet might get injured during discovery, leading to infections. You should observe the lesions for color change or swelling in this case.

Severe infection may lead to Mucocutaneous Pyoderma, affecting the edge and surrounding areas of your pet’s lips.

You need to bring your furry friend to the pet hospital for a culture test to determine what type of bacteria he gets and get the proper antibiotics.

Depending on the situation, the vet suggests topical antibiotics for complete healing or oral antibiotics for serious cases.

Remember, always keep your canine’s mouth clean to avoid bacterial attacks.


Why do dogs’ lips turn white? It’s likely a sign of Vitiligo when the skin’s natural pigments vanish or fade.

Vitiligo is more likely to develop in specific breeds, including German Shepherds, Old English Sheepdogs, Siberian Huskies, Golden Retrievers, Dachshunds, and Rottweilers.

The change mainly happens to the body, face, and hair due to the destruction of Melanocytes (a type of cell producing melanin in the skin conditions).

The body will attack and destroy Melanocytes when it suffers from toxin exposure, autoimmune diseases, and neurological disease.

Dogs with Vitiligo will have a change in their appearance, but they will not feel any discomfort.


In most cases, Lupus causes crusting on the nose, but it’s also due to pink discoloration on the dog’s lip.

Although discoid Lupus can result from genetics, it is likely explained as autoimmune. The dog’s body identifies some cells as foreign, thus activating the attacking system.

Treatment will depend on the pet’s body health condition. Some only need topical steroids, while others only respond well to oral prednisone and antibiotics.

Thus, bring your canine to the vet clinic for a proper solution.

Lip Fold Pyoderma

Pyoderma, a quite terrible situation after infection, is more likely to occur in breeds with droopy lips, such as bulldogs, pugs, and basset hounds.

Besides losing the lip pigments, the pet’s mouth can be swollen and crusting. Sometimes, you may even see discharge and ulcers from its mouth.

The situation also causes bad breath and difficulty in chewing.

You need to make a bacterial test for your pet to determine what antibiotics to use.

Don’t try to guess what type and dose you should give since accidentally giving too many antibiotics can cause kidney damage.

Pyoderma can come back after curing, but it’s easy to prevent. 

Conducting regular lip cleaning is highly recommended. The frequency of cleaning is every day or a few times per week, depending on dog breeds.

You can use benzoyl peroxide or 2% chlorhexidine soap to clean your pet’s lips and clip the hair around if needed.

Sometimes, surgery to remove the excessive lip folds is required.


Lymphoma of the skin is a type of cancer that can negatively affect your pet’s health.

It usually happens when lymphocytes are replicated abnormally, forming plaques, nodules, and lesions on the skin. That’s why you have the issue of your dog’s lip turning pink.

Your pet needs to perform a skin biopsy; chemotherapy is usually a must-cure method. The veterinarian also will give prednisone to reduce the symptoms.

Uveodermatologic Syndrome

Why are my dog’s lips turning pink? Uveodermatologic Syndrome, a rare disease that sometimes can happen with serious effects, maybe the reason. 

It causes skin depigmentation, in which the antibodies are formed in the immune system and kill the skin pigment cells.

Besides lip-changing color, your pet can have serious issues with the eyes, such as excessive tears, red eyes, or bleeding into the eyes.

The disease can disappear, but if left untreated, the dog can be blind. Thus, bring your canine to the hospital when you think he gets the sickness.

How To Deal With The Situation 

How To Deal With The Situation 

When you notice your dog’s lips turning pink, you should inspect if there are any other symptoms, such as swollen lips, bleeding and painful signs, rashes or sores around the mouth area, breath changing, and speed of discoloration.

If you see there’s no pain or discomfort, the reason is probably due to aging and sun exposure. Then, there is nothing to worry about.

However, once you see the more serious cause with obvious symptoms, you need to seek help from the vet.

They will give you ointments, topical or antibiotics, depending on your pet’s situation. You’d better follow the vet’s treatment instructions and not miss any follow-ups.

To prevent the issue of dog lip discoloration, I advise you to use water-resistant sunblock for your puppy whenever you two go for a walk.

Plus, a complete and balanced diet and adequate exercise are keys to keeping your pet healthy and against different diseases.

Ensure your dog gets regular checkups and vaccine updates so he can be well-protected.

The Bottom Lines

There are reasons for you to be concerned about the issue of dog lips turning pink.

It may simply be a sign of aging, but it can also indicate serious matters requiring medical help immediately.

Therefore, I highly advise you to bring your pet to the vet for proper treatment when you notice the color change.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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