Spots on Dog Tongue - Are They Dangerous?

Spots on Dog Tongue - Are They Dangerous?

Author WDF Staff | Last updated: Jun 09 2023


Aside from their lion-like mane, one of the most distinguishing features of the Chow Chow breed is their blue/black tongue. It's widely assumed that if a mixed-breed dog has black spots on their tongue, they’ve got some Chow Chow in them. Another common misconception is that if your purebred dog has spots on his tongue, you must have been misled about his ancestry, and they are not actually purebred.

Well, none of that is true. Still, many dog owners wonder, “Why do some dogs have spots on their tongues?” Here’s what you should know about the unusual appearance of a spotted dog tongue.

What causes black spots on the tongue of a dog?

Pigmentation is what causes black spots. Spots on a dog's tongue are simply pigmented skin cells, similar to certain breeds with darker "points" or spots. Regarding dog coloring, points refer to a dog's lips, nose, eye rims, paw pads, and toenails. Many breeds have darker lips and noses, as well as pigmentation on their tongues and gums.

eurasier spotted tongue

How do black spots on a dog's tongue appear?

The texture of the pigmented spots is the same as the rest of your dog's tongue, but the skin appears black or blue. These spots are perfectly normal and can change shape and color over time. Most dogs are born with these spots or develop them as they grow.

Dog tongue is really a unique part of their body, and if you want to learn five fun facts about dogs tongue, make sure to check this article - 5 Fun Facts About Dog Tongue

What breeds of dogs have black spots on their tongues?

Tongue spots are common in a wide range of breeds. You won't get very far if you try to narrow down the breed based solely on the spots. With the list below, you can narrow the field slightly, but there are still a lot of possibilities when you consider the 38 breeds that it could be. Many breeds are Spitz descendants, and many have Spaniel or Pointer, ancestors.

While many of these breeds share some characteristics, no one has been able to pinpoint why some have tongue spots while others do not. When someone assumes your dog is part Chow because of their tongue, you can tell them that's not always the case. Here are the 38 breeds that can have spotted tongues;

  • Tibetan Mastiff
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Siberian Husky
  • Shiba Inu
  • Rottweiler
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Pug
  • Pomeranian
  • Newfoundland
  • Mountain Cur
  • Mastiff
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Korean Jindo
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Keeshond
  • Irish Setter
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Gordon Setter
  • Golden Retriever
  • German Shepherd
  • Flat-Coated Retriever
  • English Setter
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Dalmatian
  • Collie
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Chinese Shar Pei
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Bullmastiff
  • Bouvier des Flandres
  • Bichon Frise
  • Belgian Tervuren
  • Belgian Sheepdog
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Akita
  • Airedale

eurasier tongue

Is it ever a problem if a dog has black spots?

Pigmented spots are completely normal. However, if the spots begin to change quickly, or if the texture of the spot is raised or different from the rest of the tongue or gum, contact your veterinarian. Colors other than bluish-black and a foul odor are also cause for concern, as they may indicate a more severe problem. Please consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about the black spots on your dog's tongue.

Canine melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma can manifest as spots on your dog's skin, while oral cancers can manifest as pigmented fleshy masses inside your dog's mouth. Consult a veterinarian if you notice any unusual changes in your dog's mouth.

Routine dental care, such as brushing your dog's teeth and oral examinations, are both excellent preventative measures for oral cancer.

However, a black spot on your dog is usually nothing to be concerned about. It does not imply that your dog is not purebred or has a tongue problem. What it does mean is that there is yet another aspect of him that is somewhat unique and you can adore.

RELATED: 5 Main Reasons Why Dogs Stick Their Tongue Out

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