A dog’s nose is one of their most important body parts. Not only is a dog’s sense of smell very strong, but its nose also plays a big role in regulating body temperature and protecting the respiratory system from germs and dirt.
That’s why it’s so important to pay attention if your dog’s nose becomes dry, cracked, or flaky. A healthy dog nose should be cool and moist – not crusty or dry.
Here are the top 10 ways to treat and cure dry nose in dogs:
- 1 1. Add moisture to the air
- 2 2. Apply a hydrating balm
- 3 3. Try a hydrating spray
- 4 4. Use a humidifying rinse
- 5 5. Protect their nose outdoors
- 6 6. Add fatty acids to their diet
- 7 7. Rule out medical causes
- 8 8. Avoid irritants
- 9 9. Try a nose butter or wax
- 10 10. Maintain proper hydration
- 10.1 What causes my dog’s nose to become dry and cracked?
- 10.2 How can I tell if my dog’s dry nose is normal or problematic?
- 10.3 Should I use human moisturizing creams on my dog’s nose?
- 10.4 How often should I apply nose balm to my dog?
- 10.5 What ingredients should I look for in a dog nose balm?
- 10.6 Can I use coconut or olive oil on my dog’s nose?
- 10.7 When should I take my dog to the vet for dry nose treatment?
- 10.8 What can I do to prevent my dog’s nose from getting dry in the future?
- 10.9 Is a dry dog nose something to be concerned about?
- 11 Final Thoughts
1. Add moisture to the air
Dry air is a common cause of dry dog noses. Using a humidifier or vaporizer in your home can add moisture back into the air and help hydrate your dog’s nose. Make sure to clean humidifiers regularly to prevent mold. You can also place bowls of water around the house so the ambient moisture can evaporate into the air.
2. Apply a hydrating balm
There are several vet-recommended hydrating balms and gels made specifically for dry dog noses. These provide immediate soothing relief while also moisturizing the skin. Some popular options are Snout Soother, Musher’s Secret, and Natural Dog Company’s Snout Lube. Apply a small amount to your dog’s nose 2-3 times per day.
3. Try a hydrating spray
Spritzing your dog’s nose with a hydrating spray is an easy way to frequently moisturize their snout throughout the day. These sprays often contain soothing ingredients like aloe, vitamin E, and essential oils. Spray a few pumps onto your fingers and gently massage into your dog’s nose as needed.
4. Use a humidifying rinse
For very dry and cracked noses, a humidifying rinse can help. Mix a saline solution of 1 tsp sea salt with 1 cup of warm water. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and gently wipe on your dog’s nose. The salt helps draw moisture out of deeper skin layers to hydrate the nasal planum.
5. Protect their nose outdoors
When going for walks outside, help protect your dog’s nose from dryness by applying balm before leaving the house. You can also have them wear a canine nose and paw balm like Musher’s Secret. The wax creates a breathable barrier against dirt, wind, and cold air.
6. Add fatty acids to their diet
Dry noses can sometimes signal a lack of fatty acids in your dog’s diet. Ask your vet about supplementing with omega-3s, omega-6s, and vitamin E. Salmon oil and coconut oil are great natural sources rich in skin-nourishing fats. Adding a fish oil capsule to meals is an easy way to boost fatty acid intake.
7. Rule out medical causes
Persistent dry nose may indicate underlying health issues like allergies, autoimmune disease, endocrine disorder, or dehydration. Schedule a check-up to identify and treat any condition causing dryness. Your vet may prescribe medication if necessary.
8. Avoid irritants
Exposure to irritants like pollution, cigarette smoke, dust, lawn chemicals, salt, snow, and sun can exacerbate dry dog noses. Limit time outdoors in very cold or dry air. Rinse their nose after going outside to remove pollen and irritants. Keeping air filters running at home can also help.
9. Try a nose butter or wax
Thicker nose balms and butter create a protective layer over cracks and dry spots to help retain moisture. These are especially helpful in cold or windy weather. Apply a small amount to just the leather-like area of your dog’s nose 30 minutes before going outside.
10. Maintain proper hydration
Dehydration is a common cause of dry nose. Make sure your dog always has access to fresh, clean drinking water. Feed wet food or add water to the kibble to increase fluid intake. Check for leaky water bowls and change water daily. Watch for signs of dehydration like lethargy, sunken eyes, dry gums, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dry Dog Noses
Caring for your dog’s dry nose can be confusing. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions to help you provide the best treatment.
What causes my dog’s nose to become dry and cracked?
The main causes are dry air, cold weather, excessive sun exposure, underlying health issues, and irritants like dust or chemicals. The delicate skin on a dog’s nose is prone to drying out.
How can I tell if my dog’s dry nose is normal or problematic?
Light flaking and dryness, especially in winter, are normal. However deep cracks, bleeding, nasal discharge, or crusting could signify a more serious issue needing veterinary attention. Also, watch for persistence beyond 2 weeks.
Should I use human moisturizing creams on my dog’s nose?
No, human products are not formulated for a dog’s sensitive nose. They may contain irritants. Only use balms, gels, and sprays made specifically for dog noses. Avoid petrolatum-based products.
How often should I apply nose balm to my dog?
In general, apply balm or hydrating sprays 2-3 times per day. You can use it more frequently if your dog will be exposed to outdoor elements for extended periods. Always reapply after returning indoors.
What ingredients should I look for in a dog nose balm?
Seeking all-natural ingredients like vitamin E, plant oils, beeswax, shea butter, aloe vera, and essential oils. Avoid parabens, artificial fragrances, and mineral oil. Vet-approved brands are best.
Can I use coconut or olive oil on my dog’s nose?
Yes, applying a thin layer of food-grade coconut or olive oil can help moisturize dry areas. But these oils lack the protective barrier that a thicker nose balm provides. Use sparingly and rub gently.
When should I take my dog to the vet for dry nose treatment?
See your vet promptly if you notice nasal discharge, blood, pus, a very dried out or thickened nose, or if dryness persists beyond 2 weeks. The vet can prescribe medication to heal infections or allergy issues.
What can I do to prevent my dog’s nose from getting dry in the future?
Use humidifiers at home, avoid irritants, supplement your diet with omega fatty acids, rinse your nose after going outside, keep your dog well-hydrated, and limit time outdoors in extreme cold or wind.
Is a dry dog nose something to be concerned about?
Mild flaking isn’t too worrisome on its own. But cracked, bleeding noses can be painful and prone to infection. Pay attention to any noticeable changes in your dog’s nose for early intervention. Don’t hesitate to call your vet with concerns.
In summary, a dog’s nose needs moisture to stay healthy. Try adding humidity to your home, frequently applying hydrating balms and sprays, protecting your nose outdoors, supplementing your diet with fatty acids, ruling out underlying medical issues, and avoiding irritants and dehydration.
If your dog’s nose doesn’t improve within 2 weeks, take them to the vet for diagnosis and prescription treatment options. With diligent care, your dog’s dry nose can return to being fully moist and healthy.