Your Dog's Nose - Wet or Dry?
Many people wonder if their pet is sick because their nose is dry or warm. The short answer is no, but you need to be aware of things to look for, just in case it's something more serious.
Dog's noses can fluctuate between dry and wet throughout the course of the day. Just like humans, they can experience dryness due to allergies or weather changes. Other reasons could cause a warm/dry nose, such as:
- Lack of Water/Dehydration
- Poor air circulation
- Lying by a heat source (e.g. heater)
- Sleeping (when a pet is sleeping the nose area becomes dry. This should clear up within 10-15 minutes after waking)
One of the most common causes of a dry nose is caused by plastic water or food bowls. Dogs are very susceptible to suffering from an allergic reaction due to the plastic. Your dog should eat only from ceramic or stainless steel bowls to avoid these issues. Make sure to keep them clean, too.
These are some reasons that would cause a dry/warm nose, but if these symptoms persist for more than a few days and/or include excessive mucus drainage, bleeding, open sores, listlessness, diarrhea or vomiting, there could a more severe condition that should cause you worry. Please check with your veterinarian immediately. If you notice that your dog's nose is sunburn (especially dogs that have different pigmentation coloring, pale or pinkish color), treat the area with sunscreen. Just like humans, repeated sun burning with no protection, could lead to skin cancer.
Cracked, scabbed or nose sores could mean your dog has some type of skin disorder or suffers from Hyperkeratosis. Hyperkeratosis is also known as 'nasal callus'. A disease that causes the skin to become callused and dried out. This can cause your dog's nose to crack, appear to be hornlike or cause an infection. Hyperkeratosis is usually seen in senior dogs, but can affect younger dogs. The cause of Hyperkeratosis is unknown, but has been linked to a mineral deficiency or other skin conditions. Hyperkeratosis is treatable with a salve, but if left unattended can cause your dog some discomfort. Please do not try to remove the scabs, they nose area is very sensitive.
Brachycephalic breeds tend to also have more nose issues. These breeds have short, round heads and tend to be flat faced. Some of these breeds include: Pug, Cavalier King Charles, Boston Terrier, Japanese Chin, Affenpinscher and Bulldogs, to name a few. Brachycephalic breeds need extra care due to their flat faces. They are unable to cool themselves and can have difficulty breathing, especially when they've exercised too much, are obese, or become overheated. Pay extra attention to these breeds and what is happening around their tiny faces.
Protecting your dog's nose is key to keeping his/her nose leather shiny and healthy. It is essential to use a product that is non-toxic, made for animals and contains natural sunscreen properties. You will find that using this type of protection can save you and your pup unnecessary office visits and discomfort. Try using a balm or salve like 'On the Nose' by Eye Envy. 'On the Nose' was specifically designed to protect your dog/cat from sunburn, dryness or simply subtle and moist. Having lived with a Cavalier that suffered for years with a crusty/cracked nose, I can tell you first hand that a few applications will keep his nose moist and avoid further issues down the road. You shouldn't have to worry about your pet being uncomfortable with a dry, chapped, sunburned or dry nose.
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