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Why Is My Dog's Nose Dry? Should I Be Worried?

Updated by Amy Granger on Nov 29, 2021

Dogs happen to be the best friends mother nature has given us from the wild to love us unconditionally. It is not shocking if we also want to reciprocate the love and care they have toward us. One way to do that is to look after their health, especially when they cannot. When your dog's nose is dry, it simply means something is changing in its system. It could be a cause for dehydration, allergies or otherwise. Read on to find out why your dog's nose is dry.

  • Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses?
  • What Does It Mean When Your Dog's Nose is Dry?
  • How Can You Treat a Dry Dog Nose?
  • FAQs
why dog's nose dry

If you have ever come close to seeing what the condition of dogs' noses is at any point, you would agree that their noses are wet 99% of the time. Why is this so? First, it is not a thing to worry about. Now let's see why your dog's nose is wet.

Your dog, like every other dog, is fond of licking its nose. Dogs have long tongues that freely extend from their mouth to cover the nose with saliva. There are many reasons behind this seamless and repetitive move, ranging from keeping their nose moisturized, clean and fresh, to gathering scent particles from their mouth. Another reason your dog's nose is always wet is that their nose constantly secretes mucus to moisturize their nasal canals. Finally, your dog sniffs a lot to catch scents and make sense of its environment.

1. Your Dog Is Reacting to Seasonal Changes

Every animal on the planet reacts accordingly to changes throughout the year. On a hot, sunny, and windy day, your dog's nose will lose most of its moisture, especially if your dog had spent a lot of time outside. Just think of it as yourself experiencing a dry throat during this time of the year. This is very prevalent during the winter as it is very common to find dogs with dry noses.

2. Your Dog Was Sleeping

Remember that one of the ways dog's nose get wet is as a result of them constantly licking their noses. When they are sleeping, apparently, they would pause licking their noses (probably to enjoy their dreams better).

3. Your Dog Got Dehydrated from Working Out

When you take your dog out for a long walk or when it gets involved in strenuous activities that cause it to sweat, it is going to lose a lot of water in the form of sweat. One of the parts of a dog that tells that it is dehydrated is the nose. When it regains its strengths and drinks water, everything will be back to normal.

4. Your Dog Is Old

As dogs become older, they tend to keep less water in their body systems, consequently making their noses dryer than usual. In other words, a dry nose could equally be a sign of old age in dogs, just as wrinkles and gray hair are in humans. While it is nothing to worry about, you can help keep their noses wet by applying safe balms on their noses. It would be much better if you ask for your vet's help before walking down this path.

5. Your Dog Is a Certain Breed

Naturally, some breeds of dogs find it challenging to lick their noses either because their tongue is too short for that kind of move or their snout is too short to reach. Some breeds' tear ducts are permanently blocked, thus preventing the passage of the necessary fluid. All these have a "dry" impact on their nose. These breeds will do well with balms too.

6. Your Dog Has Allergies

Your dog might just be battling some allergies causing their nose to constantly drying out. To solve this, especially when it worsens with time, you may need to administer some allergy medications to your canine friend under your vet's supervision.

7. Sunburn

We frequently overlook the fact that most hairy animals, including our furry friends, have skin. Sunburn is more common in dog breeds with thin, light coats and pale or pink noses, ears, eyelids, and paw pads. Sunburn will cause your dog's nose to dry up and perhaps crack, depending on the degree. If you have one of these thin-skinned breeds, invest in some dog-safe sunscreen for those long days of outdoor play.

The wetness and dryness of your dog's nose is not a reliable indicator of their general health. A dog might have a wet nose and might be seriously sick. So can a dog have a dry nice and yet, be perfectly fine and vice versa. It is usually advisable to look out for other symptoms plus the condition of their nose to better judge their health condition.

To prevent dry noses requires that you know the cause of the dry nose. If it is due to the atmospheric condition, you should limit the time your dog spends in harsh conditions. If your dog has allergies, say environmental or food allergies, you should administer some medications to it. In the case that your dog is among those breeds with a naturally dry nose, you should invest in balms that are safe for dogs to use. It goes without saying that you should give your dog more water and wet food if the nose dryness is due to dehydration.

However, if after trying all the steps above, your dog's nose still doesn't get or wet, or the condition keeps getting worse, the best thing you want to do is taking a trip to your veterinarian. Only your vet can tell for sure what to do next.

moisture dog nose
How do I know if my dog is dehydrated?
To know if your is dehydrated, check for the following signs:
  • Dry eyes and nose.
  • No skin elasticity.
  • Reduced appetite.
  • Low energy levels and lethargy.
  • Dry and sticky gums.
  • Excessive panting.
  • Vomiting accompanied by diarrhea.
How do you moisturize a dog's nose?
To moisturize your dog's nose, give it more water and make sure to complement it with some wet food. Also, you can apply dog-safe balms on their snouts. During winter or other harsh weather conditions, keep your doors indoors to prevent sunburn.
Can I apply Vaseline on my dog's nose?
Vaseline should not be used on your dog's nose since it is harmful. Vaseline isn't necessarily fatal in tiny amounts, but ingesting too much petroleum jelly might induce stomach discomfort and diarrhea in dogs. Putting petroleum jelly on your dog's nose increases the likelihood of it ending up in his stomach. Also, Vaseline can cause lipoid pneumonia.


There's really no cause for alarm should your dog have a dry nose. Dry nose for dogs is a thing that happens to them frequently depending on various conditions and reasons, ranging from seasonal changes, their age and breed, sunburn, to their activity level. Nevertheless, it won't cause any harm to visit your vet if you are suspicious of the dryness.

Amy Granger
Amy is an editor from iPetor, owns a 4-year experience in writing tips and tutorial for users. As a pet owner, she will share more pets care methods and recommend more useful products for all pet owners.
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