Is Your Dog’s Nose Too Dry?


Dry and crusty doggy nose info

If your dog’s nose is dry, crusty and cracked, apart from the fact that it does not look very appealing, does it mean he or she is sick?

There are two issues at hand here.  One is the dryness and the next is the crustiness.  We will discuss each of these issues separately.

Dry Nose

A dry, warm nose does not necessarily mean that your dog is ill or that there is something wrong with your dog.  How warm and wet the nose is can vary over the course of the day.  As long as there are no runny discharge and your dog breathes normal and do not seem distress or uncomfortable, there is most likely nothing wrong.  Keep an eye on them just to make sure and if you have any concerns at all, do take a trip to your veterinary care giver, but if a dry nose is the only symptom, rushing off to the emergency department is not necessary.

  • Heating

During the cold winter times, we have our heating and fires constantly on to keep warm.  And of course our pets are indoors with us and are exposed to the same lovely warm environment.  However, if your canine companion comes too close to the heating sources, it will cause their noses to become dry. It can also make the nose crack eventually. Keep a watchful eye and use fire guards for dogs that try to get warm by just about getting into the fire. Poor air circulation will also help to create a very dried out nose.

  • Allergies

Dogs like people also suffer with allergies.  Some allergies will cause dry nose symptoms.  Speak to your vet about this.

  • Reaction to plastic

Some dogs have shown an allergic reaction to plastic. As much as half of all dogs have been positively diagnosed with this allergy.  The problem is easy fixed though by making sure any dishes and bowls you serve your dog in is either ceramic or stainless steel.

  • Sunburn

During an extremely hot spell of weather dogs can get sunburn on their noses very easily.  Even prolonged exposure or the lack of sufficient cover to hide under during the sunniest part of the day can result in severe sunburn.  If you go on a daytrip you may use special sunscreen on your dog.  Be especially vigilant towards light haired dogs as they tend to burn even faster.  Sun causes cancer, don’t take the chance!

  • Dehydration

Not having free access to water or drinking inadequate amounts due to illness or stress will cause your dog to become dehydrated.  As the body dries up the nose will also dry out as a consequence.  Make sure your dog always has loads of clean fresh water freely available.

  • Diet

If all of the above is ruled out as possibilities, have a look at your dog’s diet.  Some foods are packed with fillers and sugars that offer none of the nutrients that an animal needs to keep its body nice and shiny.  This can go for the nose too, as the whole body can become dull and dried out. Change your dog’s diet – you will be amazed at the difference after two months.

Crusty nose

  • Hyperkeratosis

The cause for this condition is unknown but it is marked by disproportionate formulation of keratin.  It is not something that will kill your dog or make him have a less happy life and is considered more of a cosmetic problem.  Any approved Vaseline based ointment can be used to alleviate this condition.  Some Vaseline ointments have anything from tea tree to shea butter, avocado oil and other plant extracts with soothing, healing and conditioning powers.  This crusty nose problem is more commonly found in older dogs and dogs with big flat noses. It can also be inherited so if your dog’s parents had it, chances are good your dog will also suffer from this.

  • Canine Pemphigus Foliaceus

Pemphigus foliaceus, also known in short as PF, is an autoimmune skin disorder that dogs share with humans.  An autoimmune disease means that the dog’s immune system reacts against its own tissues.  The skin disorder causes the loss of adhesion of keratin and blisters form as a result.  What we see are blisters that have busted and crusted over. The condition is fairly straightforward to treat and keep under control with antibiotics and steroids but will need a vet visit.

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