Dogs Lips Turning Pink – What To Do?

In most cases, a dog’s lips turning pink could be due to age or seasonal changes or indicate a severe health issue.

Many dog owners worry about what to do—treatment for lips turning pink varies based on the cause. However, in all cases, the best course of action is to consult your veterinarian to get a proper diagnosis and decide on a treatment plan if necessary.

Here are the possible reasons why your dog’s lips could turn pink and what you can do in every situation.

What To Do If You Notice Your Dog’s Lips Turning Pink

First, determine the cause of your dog’s lips turning pink. There is no need to panic if it’s a loss of pigmentation caused by age, seasonal changes, or skin conditions like vitiligo.

These circumstances will not cause your dog harm, pain, or discomfort. Still, it’s better to visit a vet to rule out other potential conditions.

Look for other symptoms, such as inflammation, redness, rashes, or lesions on the affected area. They indicate an underlying, painful health condition that will require immediate treatment.

Causes of Dog’s Lips Turning Pink and What To Do

Your dog’s lips turning pink is not always a cause for alarm. However, if you notice other symptoms like a wound, rashes, redness, or swelling, it is cause for concern, and you should consult your veterinarian.

Below are the leading causes of dogs’ lips turning pink and what you can do to solve them.

Allergic Reaction

Like humans, dogs suffer from allergies, including food and skin. The symptoms of allergies in dogs include diarrhea, itchiness, vomiting, swelling, rashes, or redness on the lips, face, ears, and eyelids.

Most dogs will react negatively to new bathing/cleaning products or foods, especially the highly allergic ones.

A different ingredient to your dog’s diet or changing bathing shampoo could trigger an allergic reaction, making lips turn pink. Besides the lips turning pink, you’ll also notice redness, swelling, or rashes forming on the discolored area.

To determine if it’s an allergic reaction, look for sudden discoloration after eating, bathing, or playing outside.

If you suspect an allergic reaction, take your furry friend to a veterinarian. Once you get a diagnosis, your dog may be prescribed medication.

Regardless, pay attention to potential triggers and do what you can to insulate your dog from them.

Could It Be an Infection?

Naturally, dogs are curious animals that use their nose and mouth to connect with the environment. You’ll see them sniffing and picking random things every time you take them on a walk. That is their unique way of exploring the world and the things around them.

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But it’s also how they develop skin infections since not everything they encounter on their way is healthy.

Leaving skin infections in dogs untreated for a long can be potentially dangerous. The infection will quickly spread, resulting in severe health conditions like mucocutaneous pyoderma, which affects the lips.

In this case, lesions and swelling accompany the pink lips.

Even if it isn’t a severe infection, you should visit a vet as soon as you notice any symptoms. Your dog will undergo specific tests to determine what bacteria affect its skin. 

After these tests, your vet will prescribe some oral antibiotics. You may also get a cream to apply to the affected area to speed up healing. You’ll need to keep the affected area clean for this treatment to be effective.

Perhaps It Is Vitiligo

Vitiligo can also cause pink discoloration. This hereditary skin condition is prevalent in the following dog breeds.

  • German Shepherds
  • German Shorthaired Pointers
  • Old English Sheepdogs
  • Dachshunds
  • Rottweilers

If you have one of the breeds above and notice the dog’s lips turning pink, the cause could be vitiligo. Should it be the culprit, you will likely see white patches on the rest of the dog’s body.

Any suspicions merit a visit to your vet. However, there is no available treatment. Thankfully, it doesn’t cause any pain or irritation, so your pup will live comfortably with it.

A vet may suggest management options, such as greater sun exposure or stress reduction, but the affected areas of the skin will never regain normal pigmentation.

Although vitiligo is hereditary, the cause can sometimes be an autoimmune disease. If an autoimmune disease attacks your dog’s body, it will destroy melanocytes responsible for melanin production. Again, your primary option is to consult your veterinarian and formulate a long-term treatment plan.

An Injury to the Lips

Dogs explore the environment through their mouths and noses. Their lips or nose can get injured when sniffing or picking up things, especially when they contact with sharp objects.

Such injuries become itchy when healing, so the dog scratches the area, forming a wound that may appear pink. If there is an open wound, you must first try to stop any bleeding by applying pressure to the lacerated area and dressing it in gauze.

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After you have performed your initial first aid, you must go to the vet.

Your vet may have to anesthetize your dog before cleaning and suturing the wound and prescribing antibiotics. Once the wound completely heals, your dog’s lips will return to their original pigmentation.

Porphyrin Due To Excessive Salivation or Tear Production

Porphyrin is a natural substance the dogs’ body produces and primarily comes out through their poop. Dogs can also get rid of porphyrin through saliva, tears, or urine.

While excessive salivation makes porphyrin stain a canine’s bottom lip, excessive tears will cause pink or brown coloration on the upper lip. These conditions indicate an underlying health condition that needs medical attention.

Excess saliva production, for instance, shows that the dog suffers from a mouth or dental condition. Check for foreign objects in the mouth, broken teeth, or cavities, as they are the biggest culprits.

Increased tear production could also result from eye injuries, infections, or allergies. You will have to deal with the causes of excessive salivation or tear production first to stop the lips’ discoloration.

Regardless of the cause, there are preventative measures you can take. Look to keep your pup’s facial hair neatly trimmed, and be sure to wipe their face twice a day with a gentle cloth. Consider using filtered water as tap water can be a culprit for tear stains.

In addition, cut out anything from their diet that might be full of filler or allergens and get rid of plastic bowls, as they can be a source of tear stain-inducing bacteria.

Once you have identified and addressed the cause, your dog’s lips should regain their original color.

Final Thoughts

Most dogs will at one point have their lips turning pink. This change is not always a cause for alarm but can be deadly if accompanied by other symptoms like swelling and redness. You only need to determine the cause to know whether it’s harmless or harmful. Visit a qualified vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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Kevin Myers

Kevin Myers is a passionate animal lover, pet enthusiast, and dedicated writer. With over a decade of experience as a professional pet blogger, Kevin has gained a wealth of knowledge and insights into the world of pet care. He firmly believes that every animal deserves a loving and nurturing home, which has driven him to adopt and foster numerous pets throughout the years.

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