We receive a lot of questions regarding what is normal dog belly color...owners wondering if coloring is "off" or if spots/freckling is normal.
The belly of the Maltese is normally pink, as it is simply the dog's skin.
However, there are a lot of Maltese dogs who have a darker belly or a tummy with dark spots on it. This is usually normal. What does this mean? This occurs because of a pigmentation of the skin. If you needed to compare this to humans, you might say that it is akin to having a tan; the color of the skin darkens.
What colors can the tummy be? The tummy may be a solid or most often, a pink tummy with spots of:
When the Maltese dog is exposed to natural sunlight, this can cause the pigmentation to darken. Some owners will find that the tummy becomes darker in the summer months and lighter in the colder winter months.
The nose of the dog may also change color as the seasons change.
Aside from sunlight, other elements may cause the pigmentation on this dog to change and an owner may begin with a pink bellied Maltese and end with a pink and black bellied Maltese adult dog.
When This Could be a Medical Issue
There are some canine diseases which cause a a dog's belly color to change, usually to one with black markings:
The signs to look out for are:
If you see any of the above signs, you should bring your Maltese to the veterinarian for a full and complete checkup to determine the cause of skin change.
- Severe scratching
- Fur/ Hair loss
- Bumps on the skin which are filled with fluid
- Lesions that are raised above the skin surface of the dog
- Bumps on the skin which bleed
- A thickening of the dog's skin
- Crusting of the dog's skin
- Redness and irritation