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A wet, cold nose is often associated with a healthy dog, while a dry nose can raise concerns for pet owners. But what does a dry nose on a dog mean, and should you be worried? In this blog post, we’ll look at the possible causes of a dry nose in dogs and offer some suggestions to remedy it.

Dog Nose

A dog’s nose naturally fluctuates between wet and dry throughout the day, and occasional dryness is usually not a cause for concern. However, a persistently dry or cracked nose can indicate an underlying issue that requires attention. Here are some common reasons for a dry nose in dogs:

Environmental Factors

Low Humidity

Dry air can lead to dehydration, including drying out your dog’s nose. This is more common in arid climates or during the winter months when central heating reduces humidity levels in your home.

Sun Exposure

Just like our skin, a dog’s nose can become dry and sunburned when exposed to prolonged sunlight, especially in breeds with light-coloured or pink noses.


If your dog is not drinking enough water, it can lead to overall dehydration, which may cause a dry nose.

Illness or Medications

Certain illnesses or medications may lead to a dry nose. Illnesses, such as fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, or reduced appetite, can lead to dehydration in dogs.

Some medications, especially those that affect a dog’s fluid balance or have side effects like a dry mouth, can indirectly lead to a dry nose. When a dog’s mouth becomes dry, they may lick their nose more frequently in an attempt to alleviate the dryness, which can, paradoxically, lead to further dryness of the nose


Allergies to environmental factors like pollen, dust, or certain foods can cause skin dryness, including the nose.

Medical Conditions

Nasal conditions, such as nasal hyperkeratosis, can lead to excessive dryness and crustiness on a dog’s nose. This condition is characterized by the excessive and abnormal growth of keratin, a tough protein that makes up the outer layer of the skin and is also found in hair and nails. In dogs with nasal hyperkeratosis, this keratin overgrowth results in the hardening, thickening, and sometimes cracking of the skin on the nose.


As dogs age, their noses may naturally become drier.

How to Remedy a Dry Nose in Dogs

Ensure Proper Hydration

Ensure your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times. Encourage them to drink regularly, especially during hot weather or after physical activity.

Humidify the Environment

If you live in a dry climate or use indoor heating during the winter, consider using a humidifier to increase the humidity levels in your home. This can help prevent dryness in your dog’s nose.

Provide Shade

When spending time outdoors, provide shade for your dog, especially during the hottest parts of the day. Use dog-friendly sunscreen on their nose if they have light or pink skin.

What to Put on a Dry Dog Nose

There are specially formulated dog nose balms and moisturizers available that can help soothe and hydrate dry noses. Look for products made with natural, non-toxic ingredients.

Consult a Vet

If your dog’s dry nose persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as nasal discharge, sneezing, or changes in behaviour, it’s best to get your dog checked out at the vet. They can diagnose and treat any underlying medical conditions contributing to the dry nose.

A dry nose in dogs can result from various factors, including environmental conditions, dehydration, allergies, or underlying medical problems. While occasional dryness is normal, persistent dryness should be looked at. By taking steps to ensure your dog stays hydrated, providing environmental comfort, and using safe moisturizing products, you can help keep their nose healthy. Always contact your vet if you have concerns about your dog’s health, as they can provide the best guidance and treatment options tailored to your pet’s specific needs.

Read about what causes a dry nose in dogs and learn how to remedy it. Explore environmental factors, dehydration, allergies, and more.
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