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FAQs Crusty Dry Dog Nose Info

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Q: My dog has a dry nose – it is crusty, cracked and looks awful, is he sick?

First, let’s address the dry nose issue before we jump into the crustiness issue. We have all heard the old “My dog’s nose is dry and warm, is he sick?” myth. In actuality, a dog’s nose can be a bit warm and be perfectly healthy. Just as we may feel a little hot or flushed and then fine in a few minutes, so can our dogs. (No hot flash jokes, I hear you out there!) So, a bit of a warm nose, with no other symptoms of illness is usually no cause for concern. Disclaimer: Of course, lethargy, fever or other symptoms may necessitate a trip to the vet. You knew I had to have a disclaimer.

If your dog has a dry nose or a heinous crusty one, it CAN be cause for attention. Of course, (blatant plug), we want you to get NOSE BUTTER® and take care of any dryness…but first, let’s look at the WHY of the crusties.

Nasodigital Hyperkeratosis – Intense Name for an Ugly Condition

Nasodigital Hyperkeratosis is an idiopathic (unknown cause) condition that is marked by the excessive formulation of nose or footpad crusts that vets call keratin.

Nasodigital Hyperkeratosis is common in older dogs and in many flat faced breeds. Thick, crusty, hard, dry crud accumulates on the top of the nose, paw pads, or both. The accumulated crusty, dry keratin is usually most visible on the top of the nose and at the edges of the paw pads. This is not life-threatening and is considered cosmetic, but we want to eradicate this condition! NOSE BUTTER and PAW BUTTER are the go-to products to get rid of the crusty overgrowth…not getting all infomercial on you. This condition is why I created this line of products…it all started with Frenchie crusties that did not want to go away!

Q: My dog has little rough points of skin sticking up from his paw pads. The vet said it may be Hyperkatosis. What can I do about this?

The paw pad variety of this is called Footpad Hyperkeratosis. Hyperkeratosis may run in bloodlines and can result in severe digital hyperkeratosis (overgrowth of crusts and crud) by 5-6 months of age. Once again, not life threatening, but needs to be addressed for their comfort and your peace of mind. As in so many things in life (darn it), it can worse as your dog ages also.

Sensitivities to plastic bowls can cause some nose issues. Switch to stainless shell or a well-made ceramic pronto. All those bad chemicals that we now know were in water bottles have often been used in pet food bowls! Plus, aren’t ceramic or stainless bowls better looking?

There is another, serious condition, called Pemphigus foliates, which DOES need veterinarian intervention. It is characterized by blisters on the dry nose of a dog. They can burst and form crust that can covers the nostrils and makes breathing difficult. This is an autoimmune skin disease that is so very common amongst our modern dogs and cats. I repeat, in this case your dog’s nose would certainly need a vet’s attention.

Q: My dog has a pinkish colored nose and needs sunscreen. Is there sunscreen in NOSE BUTTER®?

Yes, some dogs may even be sensitive to the sun and need a bit of sunscreen…shea butter actually has natural sunscreens. Though I am an intrepid Googler, I have not been able to get concrete facts on the exact SPF numbers for shea butter. Some sources make exorbitant claims of incredibly high SPF levels, but more common sense research shows shea butter to be in the SPF 7-15 range. In answer to this, we have created NOSE BUTTER® SUMMERTIME – check it out!


This is intended to give you a bit of info on the various conditions that can cause your best friend to have a dry, crusty dog nose. If you need more info, visit the Merck Vet manual site, email us or Google it!

Official The Blissful Dog Disclaimer: This article is not intended as a substitute for veterinarian care. Please consult your veterinarian if your dog needs medical care. I only want the very best for you and your dog. Any info you find here is shared as information about The Blissful Dog products. If your dog has any other symptoms that suggest a vet check-up, or your guts says you should, please take your dog to the vet. 

‡ NOSE BUTTER® and The Blissful Dog® are trademarks registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office. PAW BUTTER™, ELBOW BUTTER™, BOO BOO BUTTER™ and RELAX ROLL-ON, SHINE ON NOSE POLISH™ and trademarks of The Blissful Dog® Inc.