Pet owners can often be excessively fussy about the health and well-being of their dogs.
Many people worry that their dog’s nose is too wet, or too dry, or too warm, or too cool. Let’s face it: We worry when something is different about our pet. The one thing that never seems to change in our lives is our faithful companion.
There are times when you will need to worry about your doggy’s dry nose — and times when you don’t need to be too concerned about it.
1. Dry Nose Upon Waking
A lot of people worry that their dog’s nasal membrane is dry when the pet wakes up from a nap. But this is normal.
When your dog sleeps, he stops licking at his nose. This stops the constant flow of moisture to the nasal area. Within 10 minutes after your dog wakes up, that nose should be right back to its usual wet self.
2. Havoc Over Heating
During the colder months, dogs (like cats) love to sleep close to heating vents and ducts. They find comfy spots with the warm air blowing on their faces. However, being too close to heating sources can cause your puppy’s nose to become dry. It can also make the nose cracked.
Just watch to be sure that the snout goes back to its moist state. If it doesn’t, a dab of petroleum jelly may do the trick.
3. Ailing From Allergies
Dogs with allergies tend to have very dry noses. Humans experience the same kind of problems.
Your veterinarian can help you gain control of the allergies. There are quite a few prescription medications that can relieve the dryness. Once again, you can consider using a dab of petroleum jelly to keep the dog nose moist and prevent cracking.
Barbara Royal, DVM, suggests that rubbing on shea butter or coconut oil might work too. I have also heard that good ol’ Chapstick can suffice, or even a little olive oil.
4. Protect Your Pooch From Plastic
One of the biggest causes of dry nose in dogs is a problem with plastic, such as in food and water bowls. Nearly half of dogs have some form of allergic reaction to plastic.
Most pet owners who are dealing with this problem simply eliminate plastics from the pup’s environment. Your dog should eat out of stainless steel or ceramic bowls; these eliminate potential allergy problems and are a cinch to clean and keep sterile.
You can opt for toys that are made of rubber as opposed to plastic, which will help. (KONG dog toys are excellent.)
5. Stop Sunburn With Sunblock
All too many dog owners have no idea that their canine companions can get sunburn on their noses. Think about it; if you were out in the sun a lot, you would be burned up too. You need to protect your pet from UV damage as well as potentially getting skin cancer.
Sunblock is the key to keeping your little doggy’s nose moist and sniffling as it should. It is essential that you use a sunblock designed for pets or for human infants. These will be nontoxic. You’ll no longer have to worry about the dog being uncomfortable with a dried out, sunburned nose.
- Don’t Miss: Doggie Sunglasses: Does Your Dog Need ‘Em?
6. Water, Water, Water
One simple reason that a dog’s nose is dry is dehydration. When a dog doesn’t have enough fluids taken into his body, he becomes dehydrated.
This could be a real issue as the dry nose can crack — but also the kidneys and other body systems could become compromised, shut down and cause your pet to go into shock. It is incredibly important that every pet have a fresh supply of clean water available at all times.
Chronic dry nose, or a nose that has scabbing or sores, should be brought to your veterinarian’s attention.
Did you find this article because your dog might have a dry or cracked nose? Tell me about it in the comments section below. You might also want to check out my previous post on why dog feet sometimes smell like… Fritos! If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love Pets Adviser’s popular email newsletter. It’s free to sign up, and you’ll also be among the first to get alerts about major dog food recalls: Learn more here.
- Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM: Protect your pets from getting sunburned
- Cary Nulton, DVM: The myth of a dog’s nose as a warning that he’s sick
- Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook: All about dog noses
Photo: MacKinnon Photography/Flickr