If you’ve noticed that your dog’s nose is dry, you might be concerned. Urban legend tells us that a dry, warm nose means something is off with your dog. And since a moist nose helps your dog’s 220 million scent receptors do their job, a dry nose in the long term could be cause for concern.
The Likely Causes of a Dry Dog’s Nose
The good news? A dry nose doesn’t necessarily mean your pet is unhealthy. But there are several reasons why your dog’s nose could lack moisture.
1. Your Dog Has Been Sleeping
While dreaming about running through fields or their favorite dog treat, your dog isn’t licking their nose as frequently. If your dog just woke up, it’s normal for their nose to be dry. That dryness should go away about 10 minutes after waking.
2. Dog Allergies
Just like humans, dogs can have allergies. Allergic reactions may cause doggie a dry nose; and while the specific sensitivity depends on the dog, some allergens are more common than others. A major culprit is plastic—something that can be avoided by switching out plastic water or food bowls with stainless steel. If you suspect your dog has an allergy but you don’t know exactly what it is, contact your veterinarian for allergy testing.
3. Weather and Sunburn
If you stay out too long on a hot summer’s day, you might come home with a sunburn. The same goes for your dog! Dog noses are prone to burning, something that can be prevented with a little non-toxic doggie sunscreen. Similarly, exposure to hot sun or a toasty heating vent can remove the moisture from your dog’s nose. This brings no major cause for concern, but a sunburned nose should be avoided when possible. UV damage affects dogs as well as people!
Pay attention to your dog: Are they drinking enough water? If not, your dog’s dry nose could be the result of dehydration. Be sure to supply your dog with plenty of fresh water. If they’re still not drinking, take them to the vet.
5. Something Else
If your dog’s dry nose is coupled with vomiting, diarrhea, or signs of discomfort, take them to the vet. While a dry nose by itself is unlikely to cause harm, a dry nose with other negative symptoms could be more serious.
Loving our dogs is what we do best. After checking these causes, you can get back to what your dog does best: playing fetch or chowing down on a treat.