Dogs have evolved to have a highly developed sense of smell. They rely on their nose to interpret and interact with the world around them.
Just like a finely tuned engine, a dog’s nose needs regular lubrication to function properly since scent molecules in the air adhere to moist surfaces more efficiently. Lubrication generally comes from mucus-producing glands that excrete moisture as a clear, watery fluid that also regulates your dog’s body temperature.
So, a dry, chapped nose cannot only inhibit your dog’s ability to “see” the world through scent but also negatively impact their built-in body cooling system.
Why Is My Dog’s Nose Dry?
When a dog’s nose is dry it can often indicate something’s wrong with your dog’s health. But while a dog dry nose can be interpreted as a prelude to a potential problem; there are several other common, non-health related reasons for it–
9 Common Causes for Dog Dry Nose
1. Exposure to The Elements
If you’ve ever been in windy, cold weather, you know your face can get chapped. The same cold, blustery conditions can similarly affect your dog’s nose. When the seasons change and cooler weather sets in you may notice your dog’s nose has dried out from them lying next to a heat source like and air vent or fireplace. In the same way that heat and hot sunshine in the summer months can affect the moisture in your dog’s nose.
2. Exercise Induced Dehydration
A dog’s nose can become dry due to dehydration from strenuous exercise. If you run your dog or they play all day, they can lose moisture and their skin becomes dehydrated. Once your pup drinks and rehydrates, his nose will return to its normal, moistened state. Be aware of the signs of dehydration (lethargy, thick saliva, sunken eyes, dry nose) & make sure your dog as access to plenty of clean, fresh water after physical exercise.
3. Age Related Dry Dog Nose
Like gray hair and wrinkles in humans, older dogs tend to develop drier noses. The concern is if the sustained dryness evolves to impact your dog’s sense of smell (and taste). Application of a ‘dog-friendly’ moisturizer or Paw Balm with natural oils can correct this for your senior pup.
4. Breed Related Dry Dog Nose
Certain dog breeds like Bulldogs and Pugs that have shorter snouts have trouble licking their noses. Other breeds like Lhasa Apsos and Spaniels often suffer from blocked tear ducts. Both of these genetic conditions leave them with noses on the drier side.
5. Sleep Response Dry Dog Nose
While your dog is asleep, he’s not routinely licking his nose; so, it’s common for your dog’s nose to dry-out while they nap & slumber throughout the day. Once awake, they will be licking again and naturally rehydrating their nose.
Just like overexposure to the cold weather elements, our furry friends can be susceptible to sunburn in warmer climates. Depending on the severity & duration of exposure, a sunburn on your dog’s nose or snout can leave their nose dry, cracked and painful to touch. Dog breeds with light-colored coats or pink & pale noses are more sensitive to sunlight. If you own one of these ‘thin-skinned’ dog breeds it’s important to invest in a dog-safe sunscreen to protect against sunburn.
Dogs can suffer from allergies related to environmental exposure (chemical cleaners & solvents, air fresheners, laundry detergents, etc.) as well as skin allergies such as Atopic Dermatitis. Allergic reactions can also be due to ‘food-related sensitivities’ which cause their nose to dry out. If your dog has severe allergies, you might look into natural ANTI-allergy, plant-based solutions like CBD from hemp oil.
8. Nutritional Deficiency
Nutritional deficiencies can also cause dry nose and skin in dogs. Your dog’s diet may not be providing enough of the fatty acids that help to keep the skin healthy. For many cases of dry nose, supplementing with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids does wonders for your dog’s skin and coat health.
9. Autoimmune Disease
In a worst-case scenario, a dog with symptoms of persistent dry nose should be checked for the common canine autoimmune diseases Lupus and Pemphigus.
Pemphigus is an autoimmune skin disease that usually occurs later in a dog’s life–the severity and frequency of symptoms can vary wildly, but the one commonality is that dog’s often experience blisters and scabs on the face, nose, and paw pads. These diseases tend to change the surface of your dog’s nose, resulting in dryness, cracking, and bleeding. In advanced cases, immunosuppressive drugs may be prescribed by your veterinarian.
Dry Dog Nose Basics
Just as a cool, wet nose isn’t always a sign of perfect K9 health, a dry nose doesn’t always indicate the presence of pending DIS-ease. Remember, if your dog’s nose is dry, don’t panic—but don’t write it off either!
Taking all of the above into consideration, what you really want to look for are other symptoms accompanying dog dry nose. For example, if there’s excessive mucus coming from your dog’s nose—especially if it’s yellow, green, or black—it’s a sign that your dog is sick!
Other things to look for are:
- Excessive nose licking
- Discolored gums
- Excessive coughing or sneezing
- And all-over increased body temperature
In addition, if your dog is experiencing a severe allergic reaction, their nose will become swollen and red. They will also most likely be scratching and rubbing their eyes, face and paws non-stop.
If you don’t see any of the above symptoms, you’ll want to just keep an eye on him until his nose goes back to normal. If it doesn’t and he’s showing other symptoms, it’s best to take him to the vet.
Most of the time, a dry nose is just a dry nose. But if it’s chronic without any signs of allergies or disease, you may simply need to use a lotion or balm to keep his nose moist and protected from the elements.
Benefits Of Using Paw Balm for Crusty Dog Nose
Your dog’s nose is his chief sensory organ & primary source of information about his surroundings, so you’ll want to keep it in top working order. Paw Balms offer a simple way to keep your pup’s nose in tip-top-shape.
5 Benefits of Using Balm on Your Furry Friend’s Nose:
✅ Balms protect your dog’s nose against daily wear ‘n tear. In addition to smell, dogs frequently use their nose as a means to move or carry objects both indoors and outside. If you have a curious pup or an active outdoor lifestyle, regular use of balm can help keep your dog’s nose healthy and strong.
✅ Balms protect against weather conditions (cold & hot). Nothing dries out skin faster than cold weather. Balms provide a moisture ‘barrier’ to keep your dog’s nose moist during seasonal temperature changes.
✅ Balms protect against chemical irritants. Household chemicals can pose a problem for a dog’s nose. Plus, industrial chemicals used to de-ice roads and sidewalks can irritate your dog’s sensitive nose, but a good natural oil-based balm can create a barrier to keep moisture IN and keep chemicals OUT.
✅ Balms aren’t just for noses. Balms can be used all over your dog’s body. Just because it says, ‘paw balm’ on the label doesn’t mean you can’t use it on your dog’s nose, snout, paws and localized “hot spots”. A good Paw Balm will have all-natural ingredients that are safe and can be used anywhere on your dog–except the eyes, of course!
✅ Balms soothe irritated, damaged skin. Thanks to all-natural ingredients, dog paw balms are perfect for treating chapped dog nose, healing minor cuts & abrasions & irritation from allergic dermatitis.
The Nose Knows!
A dog’s nose is important for their sense of smell & to regulate critical body temperature. Most of the time when your dog’s nose is dry it will resolve quickly on its own.
But if your dog has a chronically dry nose, using a moisturizing balm can help keep his sniffer moist and always ready for proper, up-close pupper nuzzle.
Keeping Your Dog’s Nose Moist
5 FAQ’s About What to Do if Your Dog’s Nose is Consistently Dry
1. Why is it important to keep a dog’s nose moist?
A dog’s nose is its chief sensory source of information and keeping it moist is essential for optimal functioning. Moisture helps dogs in capturing scents and detecting various environmental cues. Therefore, maintaining a moist nose is important to ensure their sensory capabilities are in top working order.
2. Are there any particular considerations when using a moisturizing balm for a dog’s nose?
Since dogs frequently lick their noses, it is essential to use a moisturizing balm or lotion that is safe for them to eat. Choosing a product that is non-toxic and specifically formulated for canine use is crucial to maintain the dog’s overall health and well-being.
3. What should be done if a dog’s dry nose is chronic and there are no signs of allergies or disease?
If a dog’s dry nose persists chronically and there are no signs of allergies or disease, it may be necessary to use a prescription lotion or balm to keep the nose moist. Consulting with a veterinarian is recommended to determine the appropriate course of action and ensure the selected product is safe for the dog to consume.
4. When should a veterinarian be contacted regarding a dog’s dry nose?
It is advisable to contact a veterinarian if a dog’s dry nose is accompanied by other symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting or diarrhea, and changes in activity or appetite. These additional symptoms may indicate an underlying health issue that requires professional evaluation and advice.
5. What are the possible reasons for a dog’s nose to be warm or dry?
A dog’s nose can be warm or dry due to several normal reasons. These include fever, dehydration, and conditions like dry eye. It is important to note that a hot, dry nose doesn’t always indicate trouble, but it can be a sign of these factors.
Curtis has been passionate about the health and welfare of animals since his first dog rescue.
After studying Sports Medicine & Biology at the University of Oregon, Curtis went on to excel in a career of Clinical Nutrition, later owning a health care supplement company serving private-practice physicians.
Known for his expansive knowledge of natural health and alternative medicine, Curtis believes that natural plant-based therapies can be applied to veterinary animal care which led him to study the science of Cannabinoid Medicine. His expertise in Functional Medicine led him to formulate a unique hemp-based canine care product, Canine Support Formula, fulfilling a dream to combine natural pet-care strategies with the new therapeutic potential of medical cannabis.
In reverence for his own dog, Parker, Curtis has dedicated his company–K9 Medibles–to improving the health and longevity of all dogs.
To learn more about Curtis and how K9 Medibles can help your dog, click HERE.