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Have you ever wondered why some people have freckles, moles, or beauty marks on their bodies? Or why do some have oceanic blue eyes while others have pitch-black ones? We all know that it is a result of our individuality. But, if you are wondering why your dog’s tongue has black spots, you might think it is a reason to worry.

If you (too) are worried about that black spot on your dog’s tongue, this blog is for you. We have explained here everything you need to know about those mysterious spots.

Why Some Dogs Have Black Spots On Their Tongue?

Dogs may have black spots on their tongue and it is completely normal. These black spots occur as a result of hyper-pigmentation when more pigment (melanin) gets deposited at one spot of your dog’s tongue.

Think of this as the freckles and beauty marks of the dog world. And, while mostly beauty is an inherited trait, so are the black spots. They can appear in all sizes and shapes. Pigmentation can occur as a single spot, multiple spots, or in the entire tongue. It all depends on the genetic makeup of the dog.

[Also Read] Why Cats’ Coats Change Color

Is It Normal If These Spots Appear Suddenly?

Let’s say your four-legged alarm clock tries to wake you up with slobbery kisses as usual, and you notice something scary: a black spot on your doggo’s tongue just appeared overnight. And it wasn’t even a nightmare.

Calm down; black tongue spots are almost always harmless. As long as the texture of the pigmented area is similar to that of the rest of the tongue area, there’s nothing to worry. Else, you should consult your vet once.

How Do I Know If These Spots Are Abnormal?

While black spots on your dog’s tongue are completely normal, it is best to still be vigilant about it. Any spots raising from the flat surface or turning bluish may be an alarming sign.

Melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the two most common types of oral cancers in dogs that are characterized by the appearance of black masses and may appear as raised areas. Sometimes, fungal infections and periodontal diseases may also cause discoloration or spots. If you find anything unusual, don’t hesitate to seek your vet’s assistance.

[Also Read] What Are The Types Of Melanoma In Dogs?

Are Certain Breeds More Likely To Have Spotted Tongues?

Dogs of any breed can have a black spotted tongue. However, black spots are more likely to occur in more than 35 dog breeds, including:

  • Golden Retriever
  • German Shepherd
  • Irish Setter
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Mastiff
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Dalmatian
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Bichon Frise
  • Shiba Inu
  • Siberian Husky
  • Pomeranian
  • Rottweiler
  • Pug

Does Black Spotted Tongue Mean A Dog Is Not Purebred?

Absolutely not. According to canine experts, having black spots on the tongue is not a characteristic of the breed standard. It is a result of hereditary traits.

Typically, only Chow Chows and Chinese Shar-peis have dark-colored tongues as a part of their breed standards.

This is why there is a myth that dogs with black spots on their tongues share their DNA with Chow Chows or are not purebred dogs. However, this is not always true.

Bottom Line

Black spots on your dog’s tongue are just another beauty marks that your good-looking canine friend possesses, and you must never forget to embrace it!

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Jesse McDaniel is an animal activist that raises concerns and spreads awareness regarding pet health issues. She is also a self-proclaimed pet lover who tends to support many pet shelters, assisting them with supplies and medical aid on a regular basis.