Why is My Dog’s Nose Dry?


There is a myth when it comes to dog’s noses which says that, if a dogs nose is nice and moist, it’s a sign he’s in good health but if it’s dry – it may indicate illness. However, this isn’t strictly true as Holidays4Dogs found out. Read on to discover more about why a dog’s nose might be dry.

When a dog’s nose is dry it is usually a sign that something has changed in his body or, the environment. A dry nose can be due to any number of reasons and, while sometimes, it could mean something is wrong – in many cases, there is usually nothing to worry about.

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell.

Dogs have an extremely well developed sense of smell – far higher than humans. They depend much more on their sense of smell to extract information from the world around them.

Because scent particles stick to wet surfaces much better, a dog’s nose is generally lubricated with moisture. The moisture comes from mucous producing glands. A dog will also frequently lick his nose in order to ‘taste’ these scent particles, but also to keep the nose free of debris.

The environmental factor.

There are environmental conditions that can affect a dog’s nose – (as well as skin and fur). Extreme cold weather or a hot, stuffy environment in a centrally heated home, or lying close to an open fire, may all cause a dog’s nose and skin to dry out.

Elderly dogs often suffer from dry noses.  As a dog ages, many parts of their bodies may not work as well as they used to. Therefore, having a dry nose may just be part of getting older.

Sunburn can often cause a dog’s nose to become dry and even cracked. Light coloured dogs are often more susceptible to sun burnt noses. You can buy dog safe sun protection screen to combat this problem.

A dog that has been exercising hard or, running around with other dogs, may become dehydrated – especially in warmer weather. Your dog’s nose may indicate this, but it should become moist again once he has cooled down and had a drink.

Health conditions.

Moredog sitting, pet sitting serious reasons for a dry nose could be due to autoimmune disease. There are many different diseases on this spectrum but the two most common are Lupus and Pemphigus – both of which cause not only a dry nose, but one which becomes cracked and bleeding.

If your dog does have a dry nose, it doesn’t necessarily mean your dog is sick. However, it is always best to monitor the situation. Look out for accompanying symptoms that may indicate something else is going on.

If, for instance, your dog is producing a lot of mucous from his nostrils – especially if this of a green or yellow colour – then this may very well suggest he may be  ill. Also, check for sneezing, coughing, vomiting and swelling of the nose, face or mouth.


If your dog’s nose becomes dry – there is usually no need to panic immediately. Keep a close on the situation and always look for other indications and symptoms. If in doubt, always call your veterinarian for further advice.