“Your dog’s nose is dry, he must be sick.” As kids we all had some well-meaning relative who took it upon themselves to be the dog know-it-all in the family. They would make statements about your dog, the neighbors dog, heck, about all dogs in such a manner that you did not dare to disagree. They were usually so sure of themselves that you believed every word they said! If your dog had a warm nose, he must be sick. Uncle Know-it-all had spoken.
Does a warm or dry dog nose automatically mean a dog is sick and conversely, that all healthy dogs have moist, wet noses?
Actually, nope, like many other absolute statements we have heard over and over, there is some basis for truth, but not entirely. Your dog’s noses can be a bit warm and the dog is healthy, happy and fine. Your dog may have been chasing that pesky squirrel that torments him for 30 minutes or been napping in a bright sunny spot. Just like we can feel a bit warm or flushed and be perfectly well, so can your dog. A warm nose, with no other signs of being sick does not equal a sick dog. Obviously, a fever, stiffness or other symptoms may require a trip to the vet.
A dry, cracked crusty nose is unsightly and must be uncomfortable for your dog! Think how you feel when your nose is raw and sore from the effects of a bad cold – OUCH! Plus, no one wants to be asked “What’s wrong with your dog’s nose?” over and over again.
Nasodigital Hyperkeratosis or Nasal Hyperkeratosis is a condition of idiopathic or unknown causes. It presents, as they say in medical language, as excessive formulation of nose crust that vets call keratin or protein. In essence, a protein overgrowth.
This condition is common in older dogs and certain breeds seem to have a genetic predisposition to the condition. I have a theory, which I developed after 30+ years of seeing the various issues that seem to plague the bully breeds and other dogs with heavier, chunkier builds. I think a slightly compromised immune system is the cause of Nasal Hyperkeratosis and a host of other issues. Those of you who know me or have read the info here on this website, are aware that I bred and showed French Bulldogs for 25+ years (I just showed my age). In that time I have seen many issues that seem to plague the bully breeds – digestive sensitivities, gassiness, fungal skin issues and Nasal Hyperkeratosis, to name a few. How did these side effects happen from breeding for an undershot jaw or chunky legs?
Let’s take a very simplistic look at how dog breeders set “breed type.” To set the breed type of dog breeds that are more extreme, like French Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Dogue de Bordeauxs and many more, a certain almost of line breeding is often employed. This is not a post on the ethics of line breeding, it is mentioned merely to explain how the genes can line up generations later. Cousins or loosely related relatives that have a similar look are bred to each other and those offspring are then bred to other dogs with the desired characteristics, often with mutual ancestors 2-3 generations back in the pedigree. Line breeding is often done for 3-4 generations and then a dog with an unrelated pedigree is added to the gene pool. This process will set a certain look or ability in that line of dogs. In plain language, you will bring out the best and unfortunately, the worst in the bloodline more quickly this way.
When you start with a breed that is already a genetic anomaly, which to a degree all bully breeds are, the chances of having issues is increased exponentially. Of course, other factors can cause a dog to have a dry or crusty nose. During cold weather the dry heat in our homes may dry out the nose leather. Conversely, hot summer time is also drying, especially in areas that lack humidity. Some dogs lick their noses more than others, which creates the self-perpetuating chapped lip syndrome that we create by licking already chapped lips in an attempt to moisturize them. Other dogs like to play piggy and root in the dirt and others literally lead with their noses!
While a dry nose or Nasal Hyperkeratosis is not life-threatening, it is not something you and your dog have to live with. NOSE BUTTER® is the key line of defense…not getting all infomercial on you. But that is why I created this line of products…it all started with Frenchie noses that had some pretty amazing crust! Used as directed, NOSE BUTTER® will get and keep that crusty crud under control. The Blissful Dog has literally hundreds of testimonials and reviews from happy dog lovers sharing how well NOSE BUTTER® worked for their dogs.