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Hyperpigmentation: Brown Spots On Dog’s Belly

We all want to provide nothing but the best care for our beloved pets. But how do we do that on a consistent basis?

One of the ways we can care better for our pets is by knowing about the different conditions that can affect them.

In an earlier article, we discussed hyperpigmentation. We detailed what it is and the different kinds of it.

For this article, we will turn our attention to the different causes. Be mindful of them if you want to preserve your dog’s beautiful coat and skin.

The Different Causes of Hyperpigmentation

The reasons why your pet dog has hyperpigmentation can be quite varied. Some of them are not too worrisome, while others will warrant an emergency visit to the vet.

Let’s now go over the different causes of hyperpigmentation in dogs.


The moment you notice a patch of darkened skin on your dog, try to inspect it. See if there’s anything unusual about that patch of dark skin.

We hope that the patch of discolored skin is mostly just a cosmetic issue, but there’s a chance it’s not. It could also be an early symptom that your dog has cancer.

Hyperpigmentation that appears due to cancer does not always look the same as hyperpigmentation brought about by less serious causes. However, that may not be evident early on. You may want to get the spot checked out by the vet just to be on the safe side.

Skin Infection

Skin infections can explain why your dog is suddenly exhibiting the signs of hyperpigmentation. The skin infection itself is the byproduct of an underlying issue.

For instance, mange is an example of a skin infection that lists hyperpigmentation as one of its symptoms.

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs affected by mange may start to lose hair. Areas affected by the infection may also become irritated due to how often your dog is scratching them. The skin around the area affected by the infection may also grow thicker.

Dogs affected by ringworms may also display hyperpigmentation as a symptom of their current condition.

The American Kennel Club notes that hair loss is often a byproduct of a ringworm infection. The patches of skin affected by the infection may also start to get inflamed.

Pets affected by mange and/or ringworm infections need to be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Those infections are not life-threatening, but your dog may still grow uncomfortable due to their symptoms. Help your dog right away if you suspect they have a skin infection of some kind.

Excessive Licking

Dogs try to clean themselves up by licking. Your pet exercising some personal hygiene is welcome, but they can go overboard with that.

If your dog licks a specific spot of their body too much and too often, it can darken over time. This isn’t an especially worrying cause of hyperpigmentation, but it’s one worth knowing because of how common it is.

Predisposition to Hyperpigmentation

Certain dog breeds are simply more predisposed to hyperpigmentation than others. By a wide margin, dachsunds are the dogs that are most susceptible to hyperpigmentation. The emergence of hyperpigmentation is close to inevitable in dachsunds.


Lastly, your pet dog being affected by hyperpigmentation may simply just be an indicator that they’re getting older. Hormonal changes and other things going on inside the body of a dog can bring about hyperpigmentation.

Notably, hyperpigmentation in dogs that is caused by age tends to be milder. The discoloration of the spot may not be noticeable until you take a closer look.

Hyperpigmentation can be a sign that something is seriously wrong with your pet dog or just a normal part of their biology. It can be hard to tell and that’s why you should consult with a veterinarian. They can even give you tips on how to combat your dog’s hyperpigmentation.

Your dog’s hyperpigmentation may be caused by their habits. Hire us at TAILored Pet Services and we’ll monitor your pet’s habits during walks to see if there is anything unusual about them. Call 425-923-7791 or visit our dog walking page on website for more information about our services.



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