You look around the dog park and notice the OTHER dogs all have black, shiny, moist noses. Your dog smiles up at you and there it is...as plain as the nose on his face (sorry, could not help it) is an ugly dry layer of crusty crud. You've used random moisturizers you have on it, but nothing lasts for long. It's frustrating and embarrassing! What's a wanna-be blissful dog parent to do?
First, take a deep breath, you're at the right place! No dry dog nose shaming allowed. We are going to get your dog';s nose taken care of, but first, let's learn a bit more about what the heck this dryness may be.
Many dogs have a temporary dry nose. Sometimes it is easily explained; exercise, the house is dry, generally arid climate, temporary medication or it is just how their nose is. It may go away as quickly as it appeared.
Then there are THOSE dog noses. The noses that look like barnacles are growing on it like shelves of crust. There may be layers of crust that can even crack open and bleed. This is so frustrating for you and you KNOW it has to be uncomfortable for you dog.
This more intense form of nose dryness may be a condition called Nasal Hyperkeratosis. Nasodigital or Nasal Hyperkeratosis is an idiopathic, which mean unknown ¯\(°_o)/¯ , condition that is marked by the excessive formulation of nose crust that vets call keratin, which means protein. Literally a protein overgrowth on your dog's nose.
It actually IS layers of skin tissue that has grown wild over on the nose. For whatever reason, this crust forms on the nose (paw pads also) and grows and grows. So don't pick at it, as it will bleed and hurts your dog. I know it's tempting, just don't!
This condition isn't life-threatening and most veterinarians consider Nasal Hyperkeratosis cosmetic. But there are several medical, cosmetic and mental health reasons that this dry nose condition can affect your dog's well being.
Breeds such as Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers, Mastiffs, Bullmastiffs, American Bulldogs, German Shepherds, Collies, Poodles, Japanese Chin, Pekingese, Pomeranians and many, many more are more susceptible than others to nose dryness.
First, it has to be uncomfortable. Your dog can feel that dry gob of crust sitting on his nose, but is helpless to do much about it. (That whole no thumbs thing). Rubbing their face on the carpet or ground just makes it worse. Licking their nose to moisten it also just creates that circle of dry nose frustration. Have you ever licked chapped lips? Did it help? Nope, and it won't help your dog's dry nose either, but what the heck else can they do?
Next, as we will cover in other articles, your dog gets much of his info from his sense of smell. Think about exactly how you dog gets those smells...Yep, an A+ to you, dog parent, via a moist nose!
A healthy moist nose snags good smells that float by and your dog stores them for scent ID later. Kinda like smell bookmarking. A dry nose is not going to capture the heavenly smells your dog depends on for info. This can lead to frustration and a lack of self confidence. Your dog would know there is info out there, but he just cannot get it.
Think of your dog having a dry nose as being like this…you are driving along an unfamiliar, dark stretch of deserted road and feel that awful lurch of a flat tire. After pulling over, heart pounding, you open your phone and NO BARS. You walk around, holding the phone in every imaginable position - lifting it to the sky in a vain attempt to capture the elusive bars. I am stressed just typing this. This is how your dog feels when he is unable to sniff properly.
I also believe Nasal Hyperkeratosis is an expression of a slightly depressed immune system. Think about it…many of the breeds prone to this are extreme in some way or several ways. Below are some of the traits of breeds that seem to have dryer noses and/or Nasal Hyperkeratosis.
Also, maybe I am a vain dog parent, but, I want my dogs to not only feel good, but LOOK good. And a shiny, healthy nose just looks good. How many times has someone asked, “What’s wrong with your dog’s nose?” Ugh, I know.
Now, I am not in any way, shape. form or fashion telling you not to see your veterinarian. I will suggest that if your dog has a dry nose and seems otherwise healthy to try NOSE BUTTER® first for a week or so. Then, if you see no improvement, make a vet appointment, of course. I have had so many calls and emails from customers who tell me they wish they had discovered NOSE BUTTER® first, before subjecting their dog to tests and unnecessary and costly medicines and procedures.
Of course, my business is all about helping your dog be healthier and happier and have a moist, info gathering nose. If you are ready to shop jump over to the NOSE BUTTER® Shop, CLICK HERE.
By the way, 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.