Have you ever been greeted by your pooch in the morning, to find that their nose isn’t as moist as usual? Have you panicked, thinking that your dog’s dry nose is a sign that something might be wrong? Well, it’s easy to worry about your pup's nose, but before you do, there could be a few surprising reasons why it's so dry! Chances are, your dog absolutely fine... But it's true, they do say that a wet nose means a healthy dog. So, what can it mean when it's not?
Your dog’s nose will change from wet to dry and cold to warm all throughout the day, so noticing a change in their nose isn’t too strange, but there are some cases where you should be concerned.
You only need to worry if you notice it start to bleed, crack or leak, other than that, your pooch’s dry nose is nothing to worry about.
Why do dog’s have wet noses? Well, the main reason your pup’s nose is wet, cold and moist is because of a thin layer of mucus that helps them smell. Their amazing sense of smell is 10,000 – 100,000 times more powerful than our human noses! This thin layer of mucus draws-in tiny particles to be assessed by your dog’s olfactory glands, absorbing the scents. So, when your dog is licking its nose, it is collecting all that sensory information to process its environment… clever, huh? So, a dog’s cold, wet nose is actually desirable!
But, if a dog’s cold, wet nose is so important to their sense of smell, does it so often get so dry? Take a look at some of the most common reasons your dog’s nose might be on the dry side… They may surprise you!
Lots of dogs will wake up with a dry nose. Either from a nap or from a deep sleep, your dog’s nose will be dry when they wake. While your pooch is sleeping, they won’t lick their nose, which in turn will decrease the moisture on the surface of the nasal area. This will happen to pretty much every dog, so if that’s when you notice their dry nose, don’t worry about it at all. Give it 10 minutes after they have woken up, and your pup's nose should be back to normal. If it doesn't, try to encourage your dog to drink some water, as he might be dehydrated from his slumber!
The changes of the season can be quite unkind to your dog. From cold winters to scorching summers, both kinds of weather can cause your pup’s nose to become a bit warm and dry. A lot of exposure to the sun can cause some real problems for the sensitive skin around your dog’s nose, including sunburn! Certain breeds, particularly ones with thin coats or pink skin on their nose, are a lot more prone to getting a little burnt in the sunshine. Although, that doesn’t rule out all other dogs, too! Be mindful and make sure your dog’s nose doesn’t get burnt in the summer months.
During the winter months, you’ll no doubt turn your heating vents up higher. Your dog will most probably snuggle up by the hot air for warmth, which will warm and dry out their nose. Just like when your dog wakes from a nap, give them 10 minutes away from the stream of hot air and their nose will be back to normal.
The older your pooch gets, the drier their nose will become, it’s just a fact of life. Senior dogs produce less mucus, which dries out their nasal passages.
If you notice your dog’s nose getting a bit more on the dry side as they age, it could be a good idea to invest in a nose balm. This will help keep their nose moist and crack-free!
The temperature and moistness of your dog’s nose could all be down to their breed. Some dog breeds are a lot more prone to a dry nose. Pugs and Bulldogs have different shaped heads to other dogs, and this can make licking their nose a little more difficult due to the shorter snout. So, it may be a case that as their owner, you may have to moisten it for them once in a while.
A warm, dry dog nose shouldn’t cause too much trouble, but if it starts to crack and become sore, that is when you will need to intervene and apply a nose balm. Some breeds like, Lhasa Apsos, are prone to suffering from blocked tear ducts, which can, in turn, cause a dry nose.
A dry nose doesn’t always mean something bad is going on, but sometimes it could be due to an illness. It could be a sign of an auto-immune disease. Discoid Lupus Erythematosus or Lupus Erythematosus is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin – your pooch will develop crusty, cracked, scabby skin around the nose, which can become quite painful. As said before, illness isn’t normally the cause of a dry nose, but it is good to be aware of the different conditions that could cause a dog’s dry nose…
If you suspect an illness is causing your dog’s dry nose, check in with your vet.
This is quite common in dogs, particularly in the hotter seasons. When your dog has had a bout of the zoomies at the park or around the garden, it can dehydrate them quite quickly if they don’t drink something soon after.
Make sure that your dog has plenty of fresh, cool water available to them. It is good to make yourself aware of the symptoms of dehydration as a puppy parent. It all makes sense, if your dog is a little dehydrated, they won’t spend as much time licking their nose either resulting in a dry nose.
That’s right, dogs can have allergies too, just like us humans! If you suffer from allergies, particularly in the summer months, you may notice that your own nose can get a little dry, crusty and sore…which is the same for your dog. If you’re a bit worried that their dry nose is due to allergies, speak to your vet. They will be able to determine the cause of the dryness and may prescribe some doggy allergy medication to relieve your dog’s dry nose.
A runny dog nose can also be put down to a probable allergy. Read our blog on the 6 Ways To Help Your Dog Avoid Springtime Allergies here!
So, if your dog’s nose is changing from dry to wet and cold to warm throughout the day, it is nothing to worry about. Your dog is still a healthy pooch - great news! It can be worrying when you see your dog with a dry nose, but it is completely normal. You can ignore the rule - "a dry nose means your dog is sick". Just keep an eye on their overall health and keep them hydrated in the summer months. Other than that, a dry nose isn’t the end of the world, so don’t worry too much about it.