Why is my dog’s nose sometimes pink?


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Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – I have a lab named Woody that I love. Can you tell me why his nose is pink? (he is a yellow lab). The black lab has a black nose.



Hi – thanks for your email. You asked why your yellow lab's nose is pink. The yellow lab (as well as many light colored dogs) have minimum pigmentation on the gums, nose, pads, oral mucous membranes and tongue. When there is minimum pigmentation – then you can see the normal pink fleshy color. The pink is from the flesh tone and blood running in the tissues under it making it appear pink.

It is the same reason our gums are pink. It is a normal color for a yellow lab. However, some dogs have black pigmentation and their noses are black. This is normal for them. It is just that they have black skin.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for PetPlace.com, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.