What does it mean when a dog has a black roof mouth?

Dogs are known for a lot of things: being loyal companions, always happy to see us, and always ready for a good game of fetch. But one thing that often puzzles pet parents is when they notice their furry friend’s roof of the mouth has turned black.

Do you also have a dog with a black roof?

You may be wondering what it means. Today, we’re going to explore what this condition is, what causes it, and most importantly, what it means for your furry friend. So keep reading for more information on black roof mouths in dogs.

Black roof mouth in dogs: what is it?

One of the most common questions pet parents ask vets is about their dog’s roof of the mouth turning black. This blackening can occur on either one area, or over the entire mouth, so knowledge about this condition will help you know what to expect for your pooch.

First of all, don’t worry: a black roof mouth in dogs is completely harmless and is nothing to be concerned about in your pet’s health. However, this condition will still need to be treated because it can lead to other problems if ignored over time.

What causes the blackening of an affected dog’s roof of the mouth?

1. Plaque

The most likely reason for the blackening is due to plaque build-up. Plaque, which can be caused by bacteria, accumulates on your dog’s teeth over time and turns into tartar. When this occurs, your furry friend will be left with a black or brown coating on their tongue and the roof of their mouth.

2. Genetics

In rare cases, a black roof of the mouth can also be an inherited condition. In these scenarios, it is usually seen in certain breeds such as American Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Boxers, and German Shepherds. This condition will appear in puppies and may not ail your pet later on in life.

3. Diet

Just like plaque build-up on your dog’s teeth, a black roof of the mouth can be caused by how they eat as well. If your pet swallows large amounts of dry food, they may ingest too many grains and charcoal. This can lead to a black roof in their mouth as well.

What it means

So what does a black roof in your dog’s mouth mean? If you notice this, there is no need for an alarm because it doesn’t affect your pet’s health in any way.

However, you do need to treat your furry friend for this condition because it can lead to heart and gum problems if left untreated over time. The moment you notice a black roof in your dog’s mouth, contact your vet immediately so they can give them the proper care that they need.


While this condition doesn’t signal any health issues, it does need to be treated by your vet. As with all health conditions that affect your pet, knowledge is power so you can be well-informed on what happens when they suffer from something like a black roof in their mouth.