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Why Gum Health Is So Important

Gum Health

Your pet’s gum health can tell you a lot about their overall condition. For example, pale pink to pink gums are a sign of health. Very pale or gray/purple gums can be a sign of shock, stress, overheating or dehydration, and red gums can be a sign that your pet is fighting a systemic infection or fever.

Doing the gum, gum refill and hydration tests are an easy way to see if all is not right with your furry friend. Remember this tip as it can be one that makes all the difference when checking to see what condition your pet is in during illness, poisoning or an emergency situation.

The colour of your pet’s gums depends on the capillaries, which are small blood vessels in the tissue. If something affects the flow of blood then the gums are a good indicator and will change colour. Monitoring the rate at which the capillaries refill is another indicator of health. Furthermore, assessing your pet’s hydration levels can also be done via the gums.


Gum Colour indicator

Healthy gums are naturally pale pink/pink in colour.

Dark pink, very pale pink, purple or gray is a sign that something is not right and means you need veterinary advice immediately.


Checking the refill time of your pet’s gums is as simple as pressing the tip of your index finger gently on your pet’s gums for a couple of seconds. Healthy refill time is 1-2 seconds, but if it takes much longer it is time to get to the vet.


Slick, wet and slimy gums are the norm. You should be able to feel moisture on them when touching them.

Checking your pet’s gums is one of the top ways to assessing their condition. If your pet’s gums are pale, bloodless and/or dry it is time to get them to a vet ASAP.

Please call Pet Doctors Palm Beach for more information on 5576 0400.