Dog’s Balls are Black: Why and When to Worry?

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Written by: Celestine Gomez
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Our dogs can show us that they love and care about us, but unfortunately, these lovable animals can’t tell us when there’s something wrong with them.

This is why, as a responsible dog owner, it’s your duty to check your canine for any physical changes that might signify a developing health issue.

So, what does it mean if my dog’s balls are black? When should I worry? We’ll answer all these questions in this article, so keep reading.

What Does it Mean When My Dog’s Balls are Black?

Dog owners often check their dogs’ fur, eyes, and ears, but the balls are usually overlooked. However, keeping an eye on the testicles is crucial, so you can quickly take your dog to the vet to treat any health issue before it gets more serious.

This is why you should get accustomed to how natural healthy balls look in terms of color, shape, form, and texture, as this will help you identify any minor change.

Normally, a dog’s balls can be gray or beige with some pink or brown hues, depending on the dog’s skin color. So, a dog with black skin will naturally have dark or black balls.

However, if your dog naturally has light-colored balls that turned black, it’s time to take action. Your dog’s balls can turn black or dark because of hyperpigmentation, which can happen for various reasons.

Old Age

Senior man with his old dog in nature

Dogs naturally get darker with age. Melanin levels, the skin pigmentation, tend to increase with age, so the dog is likely to grow a little bit darker.

The dog’s skin isn’t visible under the fur, but you can see that the balls have turned darker or black. Moreover, as the dog becomes a senior dog, black spots can be seen on its face and other parts of the body.

As long as it’s not accompanied by any other symptoms, the dog getting a little bit darker with age shouldn’t be a cause of concern. However, if large patches of skin turn black all of a sudden, you should take your dog to the vet to have it checked.

Recent Injury

If the dog has been recently injured, its balls can turn black or dark because of bruising. The dog’s balls are extremely sensitive, so any injury in this region will cause a lot of pain.

You’re unlikely to miss an injury to the dog’s genital region if you happen to be around. However, if you weren’t, you should gently check the surrounding area for scratches.

The balls turn dark because of the busted blood capillaries, and the color darkens over time. It’s recommended to take your dog to the vet if it has experienced bruising in this area.

If you notice significant behavioral changes or the discoloration doesn’t resolve, then there might be another reason causing the dog’s balls to turn black. The injury might have been too severe to the point of affecting the blood circulation in the genital region.

The vet can prescribe a topical treatment, but in most cases, the condition resolves on its own.

Skin Condition

If your dog’s balls are black and peeling, this is probably a sign of a skin infection. It can also happen because the skin is too dry.

If you notice that your dog is licking its balls excessively, it could be simply trying to hydrate them. Apply some coconut oil or Vaseline and monitor their status. If the symptoms improve, then there’s nothing wrong with your pooch.


Husky with his owner at the vet

Dog’s balls can turn black because of several health issues, but mainly testicular cancer. Hyperpigmentation is one of the symptoms of this disease, but it’s usually accompanied by other symptoms like swelling, hair loss, and changes in urination habits.

In most cases, cancer is only treatable by surgery. However, the sooner you catch it, the better before it spreads to other organs in the dog’s body.

If the area seems swollen and dark, then there’s probably another medical condition that requires the vet’s intervention.

Epididymitis happens when one of the testicular tubes becomes inflamed, turning the skin dark and causing much pain. Orchitis is another condition that occurs when the testicles themselves swell.


After going through castration surgery, your dog won’t have any balls to check. But the surrounding area can significantly darken.

This is a normal side effect of the surgical procedure, as the skin swells and shows some hyperpigmentation. However, this should resolve with time. If you see that the area is still dark after a few weeks, you need to check with your vet.

Normal Dog Testicle Color

Normal dog testicle color can vary, but typically ranges from pink to reddish-brown. However, if a dog’s testicles appear black, it could indicate a potential issue, such as inflammation, infection, or even testicular torsion. It’s important to monitor any changes and consult a veterinarian if concerned.

When Should You Worry?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether the reason that your dog’s balls darkened is severe or benign. This is why you need to keep an eye on several behavioral patterns to seek immediate help if something isn’t right. Here are some patterns to watch out for.

  • Your dog doesn’t stop licking its balls. It could be suffering from intense pain because of dry skin or another health issue. However, if you apply some cream or oil and the problem persists, then you need to check with the vet.
  • Your dog is showing extreme behavioral changes. It might be extremely sensitive or aggressive. You might notice that it’s weeping in pain, walking funny, or having difficulty urinating.
  • The balls seem red instead of black. This is probably a sign of skin inflammation. You might also see some blisters, and some of them might be oozing a discharge. This is a medical condition that shouldn’t be ignored.
  • There are black spots on the balls, accompanied by changes in the texture of the skin. In most cases, growing black spots shouldn’t be a concern, but if the skin’s status has changed, it’s probably time to check your dog.

Final Thoughts

Your dog’s balls can get darker and even turn black with age. They can also turn black because of an injury or a skin infection. In most cases, this shouldn’t be alarming.

However, if you notice that your dog is licking its balls excessively, behaving differently, or suffering from any other symptoms, you should take it to the vet. 

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Celestine Gomez

I'm Celestine Gomez, worked for 5 years in an animal shelter in Los Angeles, California. Having noticed the inherent passion and zeal in me to care for pets, I took a step further to create a team of I and like-minded individuals to provide an informative resource in order to broaden the knowledge base of a regular pet owners.