Why is my Dog's Nose Dry?

August 01, 2017

Why is my Dog's Nose Dry?

Normally, your dog’s nose will be wet. However, it is common across all breeds to have a nose that is intermittently wet and dry throughout the day. Your dog’s nose being wet is completely normal, as the dog uses the mucus to enhance its sense of smell. So, a wet dog nose usually just means your dog’s sniffer is kicked into gear.

A dry nose can be just as common, however in some cases it can also be a sign for concern. It’s important to be mindful of any possible causes in your dog’s environment, their daily routine, or their general physical condition to understand what may be drying up their nose. Dryness can be caused by a number of factors, some more natural than others. Take a look at the list below, and let’s see if we can’t figure out why your dog’s nose might be dry.

Frankie the French Bull Dog

1) Sleep

Dogs' noses naturally become more dry when they are sleeping, so don’t be alarmed when your groggy pup wakes up with a bit of a dry nose. This is very common, and should go away once they start their day.

2) Age and Breed

Older dogs, as well as certain breeds like French Bulldogs, Pugs, and Mastiffs are prone to dryer noses in general, and for most dogs age increases the odds of their nose drying up. With age, your dog may become more susceptible to any of the causes of dryness on this list, so with an older dog it’s important to keep a closer eye on their condition throughout the day, especially during warmer seasons. For breeds where dry noses are unavoidable, like our French Bulldog Frankie, we recommend using our Black Lightning Nose Balm twice a day to keep it healthy.

3) Heaters or Radiators

With heat being one of the main causes for dryness in dog noses, it’s no wonder that heaters or radiators in your home can be problematic for your pup. If your dog has been close to a radiator or heat source in your home, it’s a good idea to either turn these elements off, or move your pup to a different area, training them to stay away from these elements.

Molly the Shih Tzu

4) Allergies

Just like us humans, your dog can have problems with allergies. For dogs, allergies can create a number of problems, including dry skin, and of course a dry nose. Reactions to allergens in your dog’s environment can make it difficult for their nose to produce the mucus it needs to keep the nose cool and moist. It’s a good idea to consult your vet to discover what specific allergies may be bugging your dog, so you can work to treat the issue at its source.

5) Plastic

If your dog’s nose is dry, it may be because of a sensitivity to plastic products in its daily routine. Plastic is everywhere, in your dog’s toys, it’s bowls, even in the packaging of certain dog kibbles. If your dog is demonstrating a sensitivity to these products, try and remove them from their daily routine and replace them with products made from other materials, such as more natural chew toys, and metal bowls.

6) The Sun

Ah the sun, it gives us warmth, it helps plants grow, and it can also dry out your dog’s nose (Nothing is perfect, give the old sun a break). Being out in the hot sun can directly dry out your dog’s nose, and in some more extreme cases, your dog’s nose may become sunburned. Sunburns can be mild and most will heal on their own, however if your dog’s nose becomes red and flakey, take your dog to the vet just to be safe. It’s important to be mindful of how much time your dog is spending out in the sun, especially in warmer months. Along with directly drying out your pup’s nose, the sun can also cause your dog to become dehydrated.

Oreo the Portuguese Water Dog

7) Dehydration

A dry nose can arise from something as simple as dehydration. If your dog isn’t drinking enough water in general, its nose will be more dry, and in specific circumstances such as being out in the sun or being in a warmer room of your home, dehydration can occur and worsen more rapidly. The solution to this is simple, make sure your dog is getting enough to drink throughout the day. If you know your dog will be out in the sun, or doing a lot of exercising, make sure to keep their water bowl topped up. If dehydration becomes more severe, and your dog begins to show worsening symptoms, go see your vet right away.

8) Air Quality

The humidity and circulation of air in your dog’s environment can increase the chances of their nose drying out. Dry, stale air could cause your dog’s nose to dry out, especially if it’s in a part of your home where your dog spends a lot of time. If the air is dry in your home, consider regulating it with a humidifier. 

9) Fever

Your dog’s dry nose could be due to a fever. If your dog is fighting a bug, it will need to consume more water, as its body will be using a lot of the water it consumes in the fight against illness, so a little extra will be important to help keep your dog’s nose healthy during these times. A fever could be signalling a more severe underlying issue, it’s a good idea to consult your vet if a fever persists.

A dry nose is usually nothing to worry about. If your dog is in contact with any of the above factors on a regular basis, consider switching up their routine to ensure their noses aren’t becoming abnormally dry. Remember, a good rule of thumb is to always consult your vet if your dog’s condition becomes concerning, or if you have any questions about their health.

A dry nose can be uncomfortable for your dog. To keep your dog’s nose nice and healthy when it gets chapped, check out our Black Lightning Nose Balm.


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