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My Golden Retriever’s Belly Turned Black: What Is Happening?

My Golden Retriever’s Belly Turned Black: What Is Happening?

A Golden Retriever that enters your home soon becomes an integral part of your family, and you care for him just as you care for other members of your household. We are used to seeing or reading on Facebook and other social media networks about various diseases that affect Goldens. They are particularly prone to cancer and other serious health conditions, and that’s why we are worried if we notice even the smallest change in our dog’s behavior or physical appearance. One of such cases is most certainly when you notice your Golden Retriever’s belly turned black. 

For most owners, this is an alarming and worrying situation. You will instantly ask questions such as: Is this dangerous? Is my dog suffering from some deadly disease? What is the cause of this change?

In this article, you will find answers to these questions.

My Golden Retriever’s Belly Turned Black: What Is The Cause?

One of the causes your Golden Retriever’s belly turned black is the condition called Hyperpigmentation. This is a very common condition in dogs.

Many factors can cause Hyperpigmentation in Golden Retrievers. Here are some of the most common.

Endocrine disorders

Certain disorders of the endocrine system and endocrine glands can cause a pigmentation change in the Golden’s skin. These are the most common:

If your Golden is affected by one of these diseases, you will notice symptoms such as loss of fur, excessive thirst, loss of appetite, lethargy, decreased energy, thinning of hair, and skin.

Golden Retriever's belly turned black


Hyperpigmentation can also be caused by various bacterial infections and parasites like ringworms.

These are the most common symptoms of infection:

  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Decreased energy levels
  • Shivering
  • Loss of appetite
  • The appearance of red areas in the dog’s skin
  • Loss of hair around eyes
  • Red eyes


If your Golden Retriever is allergic to certain ingredients in food or some allergen from the environment, it will experience an allergic reaction if it digests or comes in contact with that allergen. An allergic reaction can be manifested in many ways, but most commonly, it will result in the excessive licking and scratching of the affected areas. This chronic itching can cause a change in skin color. It is important to notice that it will take some time for this change to occur. It will not happen suddenly. 

While excessive licking and scratching are the main symptoms of allergies, there are many others:

  • Sneezing
  • Red and watery eyes
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Pain in the facial area
  • Hives
  • Skin redness

Hormonal disbalance and abnormalities

Hormonal abnormalities and hormonal disbalance in a dog’s body will most often manifest themselves through skin issues. The most common clinical signs of hormonal abnormalities are:

  • Chronic chewing of the coat
  • Excessive scratching
  • Chronic licking


Golden Retrievers that are overweight can also develop hyperpigmentation. In this case change in skin color will occur in areas around the legs, belly, and groin.

Blueberry Belly In Golden Retriever Puppies

In Golden Retriever puppies, you will more often notice a blueberry belly instead of a black belly, but the causes and symptoms are similar. Blueberry belly is common in Golden Retrievers, but if you notice other symptoms following the change in skin pigmentation, you should visit your vet.


As we see, many factors can cause a change in skin pigmentation of your Golden Retriever. Some are more serious than others, but all of them require appropriate treatment. If you notice that your Golden Retriever’s belly has turned black, the best course of action would be to visit the veterinarian. He will then perform all the necessary testing to identify the underlying cause and determine the appropriate treatment. 

I'm Michael, and I absolutely adore dogs. My faithful companion, Toby, is a Corgi who means the world to me. I'm passionate about building strong bonds with dogs and providing them with all the love and care they deserve.