Why Is My Dog’s Nose Dry & Cracked?

February 24, 2023
Amber LaRock - LVT & Vetted Vet Pro

Many of us have been told that a wet nose is a sign of health in our beloved dogs. While this may be true for some dogs, it’s important to realize that every dog's nose is different! While some pups have moist noses that are nice and smooth, other pups have a nose that is a bit more rough. However, a nose that is dry and cracked should never be ignored!

Vetted wants to empower you through education on your pets health, so let’s introduce you to all the details surrounding dry and cracked noses in dogs. We’ll help you better understand how to spot a dangerously dry nose in your pup, as well as the potential factors leading to your dog’s dry nose!

Before we get started, you can always download the Vetted app or email our team directly at love@getvetted.io so you can reach out to us with any further questions about your dog’s dry and cracked nose!

How Do I Know If My Dog Has A Healthy Nose?

As we mentioned above, all dog noses may vary in appearance and moisture. There is no set definition of a healthy nose in dogs, but there are certain signs that can point to excessive dryness or underlying complications. 

Since the average canine nose can vary in appearance from pup to pup, it’s easier to list a few signs of an unhealthy dog nose that you can be on the lookout for! These signs include:

  • Cracking of the tissue on the nose
  • Sores on the surface of the nose
  • Hair loss around the nose
  • Discharge or crusting on the nose
  • Thickening of the tissue on the nose, or excessive rough tissue
  • Change in nose color

If you notice any above the signs when looking at your dog’s nose, then there may be an underlying complication to blame. To help you get to the bottom of your dog’s dry nose, let’s discuss some of the potential causes of their nose changes below. 

Why Is My Dog’s Nose Dry & Cracked?

We want to help you understand your dog’s dry nose, so let’s discuss a few potential causes! A veterinary assessment is the only way to get to the bottom of your dog’s sudden nose dryness, but we can offer a bit of additional insight. 

They are just waking up: Similar to how people lick their lips throughout the day to prevent them from drying out, our dogs do the same for their noses. If your pup’s nose seems much more dry than usual after a nap, they may just need to catch up on their nose licking. 

The weather is dry: Our dogs can be impacted by dry weather as well. Dry weather can lead to everything from skin dandruff to a bit of nose dryness, so this is always something to keep in mind if your dog’s nose is more dry than usual. 

They just exercised: Is your dog’s nose always a bit dry after going on a walk or playing a game of fetch? If so, this is completely normal. Exercise can lead to temporary nose dryness in our pups, and their standard nose moisture should be restored quickly. 

They have nasal hyperkeratosis: If you’ve noticed tissue growth on the surface of your dog’s nose that is crusty, then they could be experiencing a condition known as hyperkeratosis. This is not a major health emergency, but it is something you should have assessed by your vet, as this can increase their risk of skin infection and discomfort down the line. 

They are dehydrated: If your dog has a dry nose along with lethargy, decreased appetite, decreased thirst, and any other concerning symptoms, then they could be dehydrated. Dehydration can occur for a variety of reasons, so we always suggest taking your little one to the vet in these cases. 

They have an underlying health condition: While the causes we mentioned above are the most common factors behind a dry and cracked nose, there are underlying health conditions that can lead to nose changes in dogs. This can include everything from autoimmune diseases to fungal infections, so we always suggest reaching out to your veterinary team if you are concerned.

If you are ever unsure about your dog’s dry nose symptoms, you can always download the Vetted app or email our team directly at love@getvetted.io

What Should I Do About My Dog’s Dry Nose?

We know how concerned you are about your dog’s dry and cracked nose, so we hope the information we discussed above can offer you some clarity! There are canine nose balms that you can use to heal minor nose dryness, but we only suggest this approach if their nose is free of any cracks or sores. 

If your dog’s nose has any deep cracks or sores, or they are experiencing a change in behavior, then we always suggest reaching out to your veterinary care team for further guidance. These symptoms can point to an underlying health condition in some cases, so it’s always best to be safe!

As always, our Vet Pros are here to answer any questions you have about your dog’s nose appearance. Feel free to download the Vetted app and send us a message!