Tips for Diagnosing and Soothing Your Dog's Dry Nose
Although it’s widely believed that a cold, wet nose is a sign of a healthy dog, you may notice that your pup’s nose is warm and dry. If your natural reaction is to panic, try not to – usually, a dry nose is nothing to worry about. After all, it could just be that your dog hasn’t licked their nose in a while.
However, if your dog is showing other symptoms alongside their dry nose, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem — for example, if their nose is rough and flaky.
So how do you know what to do next? Here are four tips for soothing your dog’s dry nose and working out when to seek professional advice.
- Be aware of changes in your dogs nose
The first step is understanding the changes to your dog’s nose and when they happen. Start by keeping a detailed log of when your dog has a dry nose, how frequently it happens and how long it is dry for. If your dog follows you around like a shadow, this shouldn’t be too hard to do!
Once you have enough information to identify a trend in your dog’s nasal dryness, you may be able to work out a potential cause. Common causes include:
- The weather: on sunny days, your dog’s nose may become sunburnt. Likewise, colder air in the winter and dry air from a heating system can dry out a dog’s nose.
- Allergies: your dog may be allergic to something, such as their food, toys or maybe some cleaning products you use at home. Ask yourself if you have changed anything recently that could have lead to your dog’s dry nose.
- A breed-specific problem: As we’ve mentioned, a dog’s nose may become dry if they aren’t licking it often enough. This is a common problem with Brachycephalic breeds like pugs and bulldogs, who are unable to lick their nose due to their short snout. Poodles and Lhasa Apsos commonly suffer from blocked tear ducts, which can dry out the nose.
- Sleeping: If your dog has just woke up, they’ll likely have a dry nose as they don’t lick it in their sleep. In this case, it’s usually nothing to worry about.
- Dehydration: Dehydration could cause serious problems for your dog and a dry nose can be a symptom that your dog is dehydrated. Always provide fresh water for your dog, especially on hot days and after strenuous exercise.
If you do think your dog could be dehydrated, check their gums. If their gums are light pink and moist to the touch, your dog is well hydrated. Dry, tacky and pale gums are signs of dehydration.
The gums can also indicate signs of other medical conditions, such as anemia and low blood pressure. Speak to your vet if your dog’s gums are red or dark purple.
- Address the Allergens
Identifying allergies in dogs can be as tricky as identifying allergies in humans – perhaps even more so! Dogs can be allergic to a host of things and these allergies will vary from dog to dog.
Common allergies include plastic. Using a plastic bowl for food or water can dry out your dog’s nose if they are allergic; to test, swap the bowl for a stainless steel alternative and see if the condition improves.
Treats and household products can also trigger an allergic reaction. If you’ve made a recent change that you think has had an impact on your dog’s nose, stop using the items to see if there is any change.
8 year old Rufus the Labrador before and after nose transformation.
- Apply a soothing balm
A balm can help soothe even the driest of noses, regardless of whether you think it’s a temporary problem or a wider breed-specific condition. Natural Dog Company’s Snout Soother is a great option as it’s formulated from vegan, all-natural products so it’s safe for the most sensitive noses. You’ll find it in tin, stick and travel sizes in our nose care section.
Kya a 5 year old Boxer before (left) and after (right) using Snout Soother for 7 days.
- Monitor their symptoms
As we mentioned, a dry nose is in most cases nothing to worry about. However, if the problem is persistent even with a balm and removing allergens, it’s wise to pay a visit to the vets.
Keep a close eye on your dog’s other symptoms. Fever, dry eye, lethargy, vomiting or diarrhea, or changes in appetite, when found alongside a dry nose, can all be symptoms of a more serious medical condition.