Facts about a Dog's Dry Nose: When should I be concerned?
Dog parents frequently ask if a dry, warm nose means their dog is sick. The short answer is no, but there are a few things to look out for. Knowing what is normal and what isn’t is an important part of being in tune with your dog and his needs.
A healthy dog's nose can fluctuate between wet and dry several times over the course of a day. Just like we experience dry noses with our allergies or variability in temperature or weather, dogs can experience similar dry noses. And there are many reasons your dog can have a dry, warm nose that have nothing to do with their health. Here are a few:
- Lying in the sun
- Spending time near a source of heat, like a radiator
- Dwelling in a room with poor air circulation
- Dehydration - not enough water.
More severe symptoms may be cause for greater concern. You’ll want to consult your veterinarian if you notice these with your loved one.
- If your dog has a dry, red nose or the nasal skin is flaking, sunburn may be to blame. Talk to your veterinarian about special lotion for protecting your dog from the sun. Dogs with pale or pink noses are susceptible to sunburn so protecting them from sunburn is important because repeated sunburn can lead to skin cancer.
- When examining your dog's nose, look for any nasal discharge. If your dog's nose runs, the mucus should be clear. If your dog’s nose has bubbly, thick, yellow, green or even black mucus, see your veterinarian.
- If your dog's nose is cracked, has scabs or sores, he may have a skin disorder. Ask your veterinarian to check him out to ensure everything is okay.
Your dog’s nose can provide hints that can help you understand his needs better. For the most part, you can rule out any major concerns. Don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian for additional information and to ease your mind that your dog’s nose is normal.
Kara Murphy is a freelance writer and pet parent who lives in Erie, Pa. She has a goldendoodle named Maddie.