Your dog's tongue - a window into their health

Author picture Jessica

Did you know that your dog’s tongue is not just for giving us kisses….it’s also a window into their health? Here’s how to get to know, read and interpret your pup’s tongue!

Your dog’s tongue is a super important organ with many essential functions. It is made up of fatty, muscular and connective tissues as well as blood vessels, nerves and pores that lead to taste buds. A dog uses their tongue to drink, taste, chew, self-groom, clean their wounds, regulate body temperature and, of course, give you a friendly lick!

Dog owners and regular pet sitters should familiarize themselves with the colour, texture and shape of their dog’s tongue – it is a great health indicator and can show when a dog may be unwell. Communication between a pet sitter and dog owner can really help to keep track of any changes that need addressing, so take note and talk openly about what you observe.

Most dogs have a pink tongue like the colour of bubble gum (though some breeds may naturally have brown, black or patchy tongues). The trick for you as a pet owner or sitter is to get to know what is normal and usual for your pooch so that any changes can be noted immediately. 

Here are some features to look out for in your dog’s tongue that indicate it's time for a visit to the vet: 

- Changes in colour – for example, reddening, whitening, yellowing or even a bluish tint

- Excessive dribbling, bleeding or oozing

- A bad odour

- Swelling or puffiness

- Any raised dark patches that are new, or unusual textures and coatings

- Changes in eating or drinking patterns

Keep an eye on your dog’s gums, teeth and the surrounds of the mouth too, as any changes in the oral cavity can indicate an underlying health problem.

Do you want another set of eyes keeping watch over your pooch’s tongue and health? Head to Pawshake to find a sitter or become one today!