Why is my dog’s nose dry ?
This is a question you might be asking yourself when you look down at your hairy wee companion only to see that they that they have developed a dose of ‘ crusty dog nose ‘ (definitely not a medical term.) If you’re reading this post then the chances are that you want to know why your dog’s nose is dry. Not only that, you probably want to know what you can do to fix it. It’s always good if we can avoid an expensive and unnecessary trip to the Vet. Near the bottom of the page you’ll find our own ‘ crusty dog nose home remedy .’ You’ll also find our recommendation for a ready made product if you’d like to go with something else.
So, without further ado, let’s get to explaining the reasons as to ‘ why is my dog’s nose dry. ‘
1: They can’t lick it!
This explanation tends to apply mostly to the short snout breeds such as the French Bulldog, other variations of the Bulldog and Pugs. Dogs tend to lick their nose regularly and unfortunately, due to the squashed face nature of these dogs they often simply can’t reach the top of their nose with their tongue. It’s important that a dog’s nose is kept moist and spongy. Therefore, it’s crucial that we helps these guys out when they can’t manage to do it themselves. If you’re wondering why a dog’s nose needs to be kept moist and spongy, this short TED Talk video explains it well.
2: A change in the weather can dry your dog’s nose.
Just like us, the skin on a dog’s nose can be sensitive to harsh weather conditions. The same way like our lips can get chapped and raw with cold winter winds or extreme summer sunshine, the same can happen to your pooch’s little food finding device. Has your dog’s dry and crusty nose suddenly appeared and you’ve gone through a spell of severe cold weather? Has the sun been blazing for the past week? This could be your answer and it could simply be a case of a weather beaten or sunburnt nose. There are lots of dog sunscreens on the market, we quite like My Dog Nose It which has a all natural ingredients.
3: He/She is just getting on a bit.
As we (humans) age out skin tends to lose a lot of it’s more youthful properties, the same thing can be said for your canine family member. As the years tick on it’s not uncommon for the skin on your dog’s nose to start drying out a little. This is usually nothing to worry about but you should still treat it to avoid any unnecessary discomfort for them. Keep reading to get our crusty dog nose home remedy at the bottom of the page or try a little Snout Soother (US link, UK link here) from the Natural Dog Company.
4: Dehydration (a moist nose is a happy nose.)
Have you been out for an extended period of exercise on a warm day? Letting your dog become dehydrated can lead to a whole host of problems, most of which are much more serious than a dried up nose. A wet nose is a happy nose and always make sure your dog has access to drinking water. This is especially important in the warmer weather as it’s really easy for them to overheat.
Dogs will run themselves into the ground when playing regardless of the scorching sunshine. The result of this is that they can find it difficult to regulate their own body temperature. Having constant access to water is essential. If your dog is too hot, cold wet towels can also help to cool him/her down. We always take a small container with us when we go for an extended walk that we can fill up with water. It doesn’t have to be big, just something you can keep refilling.
5: They’ve just had a looooong nap.
Since dogs keep their noses wet by licking them all the time, it stands to reason that if they go to sleep for an extended period they may well wake up with a dry nose. If you happen to notice that your dog’s nose is dry first thing in the morning, it’s probably nothing to worry about. Keep an eye on it as the day goes on and see if it improves.
6: Hyperkeratosis on your dog’s nose.
Hyperkera-what? Hyperkeratosis is the medical term given to a skin condition which can develop due to keratin protein production which can happen to both humans and dogs. Not only can this affect your dog’s nose, it can also be an issue for their paws. The treatment for this can vary depending on the extent of the condition and various other factors. If you suspect that your dog’s dry nose is due to hyperkeratosis your best bet would be to at least call your vet and explain the symptoms. That way they can decide if you need to go in for a visit. The earlier you do this, the better. If you’d like to know more about hyperkeratosis in dogs you can read about it here on the Ponderosa Vet Clinic.
What can I do about it?
So, at this point you might have come to a conclusion as to why your canine friend has a dried up nose. You might now be wondering if there’s a simple way that you can treat this. The good news is that there is. You can often do something about it with a handful of ingredients that you have lying around the house. Below, I’ve outlined our own ‘ crusty dog nose home remedy ‘ which we use on our own French Bulldog Kikka. This remedy uses just two ingredients which you can either use on their own or combined. We’ve generally found that to combine the two gives longer lasting results and offers deeper moisturisation. If you only have one that’s fine, it will still give good results. So here it is….
Crusty dog nose home remedy :
Before I get started on this I should probably say, your dog may not enjoy this. The taste of the coconut oil? Yes. If your dog is anything like our’s they’ll probably love the coconut oil that drips down from their nose. The application of the oil, not so much.
So as you’ve probably guessed, the first ingredient is coconut oil. We always use organic, cold pressed coconut oil and only use products on our dog that we’d be happy using on ourselves. There are lots of options online.
If you take a scoop on your fingers (you need to be quick as it melts super fast) and apply it to the top of the nose in a gentle, dabbing motion. If you rub it instead of dabbing this can pull at the cracked skin and cause your pooch unnecessary discomfort. You’ll probably find that the oil soon starts to melt in your fingers. We apply a little clump to the top of the nose which gradually soaks in after a couple of minutes. Since this is an unpleasant experience for the dog it’s a good idea to have a few treats at hand to reward them. This way they learn that they’ll get something in return for their patience.
The second ingredient is Shea Butter. As before, try to find organic. The butter is much thicker than the coconut oil and sits on the skin for longer before it’s fully absorbed. Take a small scoop and warm it a little by rubbing between your fingers before dabbing on to the nose. As mentioned earlier, you can get great results by combining the two products. We usually apply a blob of coconut oil and then some Shea Butter on top after the oil has melted. It’s a good idea to apply the treatment at least once a day and monitor the condition of your dog’s nose. If you haven’t seen any improvement after 4-5 days then it might be a good idea to call your Vet for further advice.
Another home product which is credited with offering some moisture to a dry dog’s nose is olive oil. Although we have this in the house, we haven’t actually tried it and so can’t comment on how effective it is.
If you’d prefer to buy a product that’s ready made but also want to stay in the realm of natural, organic products then we recommend Snout Soother (US link, UK link here) from the Natural Dog Company. We use this as well as our own remedies and have found it to work really well. There are different sized tins available and we have a small one which is great for travel.
So that’s it! Hopefully on this page you’ve discovered the potential cause for your dog’s dry nose and how treat it. When it comes to your dog’s health, if you are either unsure or not one hundred percent confident in your own judgement, it’s always advisable to seek professional medical advice from your own vet.
Thanks for reading.
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