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Why is my dogs nose dry and crusty?

Posted By  
14:00 PM
  • Dehydration – If your dog is not a big drinker try giving them bone broth to encourage more intake
  • Too much sun exposure - Was your dog lounging in the sun or next to the heating vent? The warm air dried out their nose.
  • Winter: Notice your hands and lips cracking in the winter months? Cold, dry air plagues both our dogs and us. Consider getting a humidifier for your home (you and your dog will appreciate it).
  • Allergies
  • Brachycephalic breeds (our short snouted dogs) are notorious for dry noses. Those short snouts make it difficult for them to lick their noses. Since they can’t refresh their noses, they dry out. So, it isn’t uncommon to see these dogs with lumpy, crusted, cracked noses. Some of these breeds are also prone to blocked tear ducts. This same condition leads the nose to dry out, since the nasal passage is part of that anatomy
  • Nasal hyperkeratosisis a genetic condition resulting from excessive keratin in your dog’s body. Keratin is the protein that makes up the outer layer of the skin (like your fingernails). With hyperkeratosis, your dog produces an overgrowth on their nose (there’s also a version involving the paw pads). The keratin forms a hard, crusty shell on the nose. If that crust cracks, infection can infiltrate. Hyperkeratosis usually pops up by age one. Treatment? You guessed it – your vet. They soften and remove the hardened skin. (DON’T try to do this yourself! You can cause serious injury!) If there’s an infection, they prescribe antibiotics.

Wet or dry?

Your dog’s nose isn’t a barometer for health. A lot of the time, dog noses grow dry as they age – it’s a natural process. What that means is you need to look at your dog as a whole for their picture of health.

If you’re ever uncertain about your dog’s nose, make an appointment with your vet. They’ll let you know if that dry dog nose is worthy of concern