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Dog Breeds Prone to Dry Noses or Nasal Hyperkeratosis

Small-XSmall Body Types

• Affenpinschers (SM & FF)
• Boston Terriers (SM & FF)
• Brussels Griffons (SM & FF)
• Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
• Chihuahua
• Chinese Crested
• English Toy Spaniels (SM & FF)
• French Bulldogs (SM, FF & BB)
• Japanese Chin (SM & FF)
• Lhasa Apso (SM & FF)
• Pekingese(SM, FF & BB)
• Pomeranian
• Poodle
• Pug (SM, FF & BB)
• Puggle (SM & FF)
• Shih Tzu (SM & FF)
• Yorkshire Terrier (SM & FF)

Flat to Very Flat Faces

• Affenpinscher (SM & FF)
• Boston Terrier (SM & FF)
• Brussels Griffon (SM & FF)
• Bulldog (FF, BB)
• Dogue de Bordeaux (BB & LGE)
• French Bulldog (SM, BB & FF)
• English Toy Spaniel (SM & FF)
• Japanese Chin (SM & FF)
• Lhasa Apso (SM & FF)
• Pekingese (SM, BB & FF)
• Pug (SM & FF)
• Puggle (SM & FF)
• Shih Tzu (SM & FF)
• Yorkshire Terrier (SM & FF)

Heavy-Boned to Bully Body

• American Bulldog
• American Staffordshire Terrier
• Bulldog
• Bullmastiffs
• Cane Corso
• Dogue de Bordeaux
• French Bulldog
• Olde English Bulldoggee
• Pekingese
• Pug
• Saint Bernard
• Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Large to XLarge Body

• American Bulldogs
• American Staffordshire Terrier
• Bernese Mountain Dog
• Boxer
• Bullmastiff
• Cane Corso
• Dogo de Argentino
• Dogue de Bordeaux
• Fila Brasileiro
• Great Dane
• Great Pyrenees
• Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
• Leonberger
• Mastiff
• Neapolitan Mastiff
• Newfoundlands
• Olde English Bulldoggees
• Saint Bernard
• Tibetan Mastiff

Extremely Dry Dog Nose | Nasal Hyperkeratosis

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 plain as the nose on his face (sorry) is an ugly dry layer of crusty crud.

You've used coconut oil or petroleum jelly 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 here.

Many dogs have a temporary dry nose. Sometimes it is easily explained; exercise, the house is dry, you live in an arid climate, medication or their nose is just a bit dry. remedies that level of dryness.

Then there are THOSE dog noses, noses that look like barnacles are growing on them in crusty layers. The rough dry tissue often cracks open and bleeds. Uncomfortable for your dog and frustrating for you!

This more intense form of nose dryness is 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 tissue into crust that vets call keratin aka protein. It is literally a protein overgrowth on your dog's nose. 

The crust actually IS layers of skin tissue that has grown wild over on your dog's nose. For whatever reason, this crust forms on the nose (paw pads also) and grows uncontrollably. It's tempting to try and pick it off, but don't pick, as it will bleed and hurt your dog. This condition isn't life-threatening, but there are several medical, cosmetic and mental health reasons this dry nose condition can affect your dog's well being. 

Remember, this is a condition, which means there is no CURE for Nasal Hyperkeratosis. You cannot use Nose Butter® a few days, have the dryness go away and never have to apply it again. Think of it like moisturizing your own skin (or using sunscreen). You can't moisturize (or slather on SPF30) once and be set for life. Just as we have to keep using moisturizer to keep our skin in shape, so do we have to apply Nose Butter to those dogs with this condition. Like cutting's part of doing the best we can for our dogs.

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 creates a 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, your dog gets much of their info from their superpower 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. This can then cause your dog to be tense, stressed, on-edge and generally unsettled. Your dog knows info is out there, but can't get it.

Imagine you are driving along an unfamiliar, dark stretch of road in a bit of a sketchy area and feel that awful lurch of a flat tire. You pull over, heart pounding, and open your phone…NO BARS. You walk around, lifting your phone to the sky in a vain attempt to capture the elusive bars. This is how your dog feels when he is unable to sniff properly. Stressed, frustrated, possibly afraid.

Dog Breeds Prone To Extreme Nasal Dryness

Our research has led us to believe Nasal Hyperkeratosis is an expression of a slightly depressed immune system.

Think about it…many of the breeds prone to this condition are extreme in type...extremely big, little, flat-faced, bully or heavy-bodied. 

Flat-faced or Brachycephalic breeds, Bully Breeds, Toy Breeds and Giant Breeds often struggle with Nasal Hyperkeratosis.

You'll notice many of the breeds below have more than one predisposing characteristic; for example French Bulldogs are flat-faced aka Brachycephalic, bully in type and heavy-bodied.

Bully Breeds
American Bulldogs
Boston Terriers
French Bulldogs
Olde English Bulldoggee

Cane Corso
Dogue de Bordeaux
Great Danes

Cocker Spaniels (American & English)
Springer Spaniels

Herding/Working/Hunting Breeds

Bernese Mountain Dogs
German Shepherds
Golden Retrievers
Labrador Retrievers

Toy Breeds
Brussels Griffons
English Toy Spaniels
Japanese Chin

Of course, any dog or mixed breed can develop Nasal Hyperkeratosis, this list is merely the ones we see the most.

There is a serious condition, Pemphigus foliates, which needs veterinarian intervention.

It is characterized by blisters on the dog's nose that burst and form crust that can cover the nostrils and make breathing difficult. This is an autoimmune skin disease that is very common amongst our modern dogs and cats.

Your dog’s nose that has actual blisters would need a veterinarian’s attention.

Also, dogs suffering from Collie Nose or Husky Nose should seek veterinarian care for diagnosis, meds, etc.

Nose Butter is an excellent product for soothing and supporting Collie Nose and Husky Nose and helping your dog be much more comfortable. We've had good feedback from clients over the years on this issue.