Why is My Dogs Nose Dry and Cracked? Explained

Why is my dog's nose dry and cracked? It's a frequently asked question that often troubles dog owners.

A dog’s dry nose can be the result of various factors, ranging from environmental conditions to underlying health issues. This blog post will delve into the causes behind your pup’s dry and cracked nose.

We'll explore how you can diagnose the cause of your pet's dry and cracked nose, including when to seek professional help.

We also discuss treatment options for a dry dog nose, which could involve using a dog-safe nose balm or addressing underlying medical conditions.

Finally, we'll guide you on when it would be best to consult with your vet about your dog’s dry and cracked nose. Why is my dog's nose dry and cracked? Let us help you answer this query comprehensively through this informative post.

Table of Contents:


Causes of a Dry and Cracked Dog Nose

A wet nose is often considered a sign of good health in dogs. However, a dry nose alone does not necessarily indicate illness, as there are many reasons for nose dryness.

  • Dry Air: When the humidity is low, dry air can strip the moisture from your dog's nose, leading to dryness and cracking.
  • Sunburn: If your pup spends too much time basking in the sun without protection, their nose might end up dry and sunburnt. You may need to invest in some dog-safe sunscreen.
  • Nasal hyperkeratosis: Nasal hyperkeratosis is a condition characterized by thickening, excessive dryness, and cracking of the nose. Dog breeds with shorter snouts like Bulldogs, Boxers, or Pugs may have other factors like skin fold dermatitis or brachycephalic airway syndrome that can contribute to the development of nasal hyperkeratosis.
  • Allergies: Allergic reactions, whether from environmental allergens or food, can affect a dog's nose. Allergies may lead to inflammation, itching, and dryness of the nose, causing it to crack.
  • Dehydration: Severe dehydration in dogs can result in the development of a dry and cracked nose, as the lack of adequate hydration affects the skin's moisture levels. To prevent this, it is crucial to provide extra hydration for your dog, ensuring they have access to clean and fresh water at all times.
  • Excessive Nose Licking: Excessive nose licking in dogs can contribute to a dry and cracked nose. The constant moisture and friction from the tongue can strip away natural oils, leading to dryness, nose bleeds, irritation, and potential cracking of the nose. Dogs may engage in excessive nose licking for various reasons, including allergies, irritations, anxiety, or boredom.

Diagnosing the Cause of a Dry and Cracked Dog Nose

If your dog's nose is constantly dry and cracked, it may be a sign of more than just environmental factors. It is best to consult with a vet to rule out any underlying medical conditions. 

The vet will give your furry friend a thorough examination, focusing on their nose. They may need to do certain tests to rule out conditions like autoimmune diseases or infections. 

  • Blood Tests: These check for signs of systemic illnesses like hypothyroidism or lupus, which can affect the skin, including the nose.
  • Skin Scrapings: This involves taking a small sample of skin cells from their nose to look for mites or other parasites.

With all this information, the vet will diagnose why your dog's snout is dry and cracking up.

Fixing a Dry and Cracked Dog Nose

Fixing your dog's dry nose could be as easy as making a few lifestyle changes or may require medication, depending on the root cause. If the environment is to blame, you might need to tweak your dog's surroundings or daily routine.

Lifestyle Tweaks

Extreme temperatures can also lead to a parched nose in dogs. During hot summers, make sure they have access to plenty of shade outdoors and provide plenty of water for extra hydration.

In winter months when heaters are cranked up indoors, ensure there's enough moisture in the air by placing bowls of water near heat sources.

Nose Balms for Dogs

In some cases where lifestyle tweaks aren't enough, specially formulated nose balms for dogs could provide relief by moisturizing their snouts effectively.

These products contain natural ingredients that soothe and repair damaged skin without causing any harm if your dog licks it.

Zach's Pet Shop offer a selection of dog-safe nose balms. These include:

  • DoggieBalm Paw & Nose Balm. Made from 100% natural ingredients, the DoggieBalm Paw & Nose Balm is a nourishing and protective balm specifically designed to moisturise and soothe your dog's paws and nose.
  • Natural Dog Company Snout Soother. Alleviates pain, protects the nose and helps your dog feel better fast. Available as a stick or tin formulation, improvement is often seen within the first 24 hours.

Before applying these balms, it is a good idea to clean the area first. DoggieBalm doggie wipes are a good option as they are hypo-allergenic and made from all-natural ingredients. 

Veterinary Treatment Options

If an underlying medical condition is responsible for your pet's dry nose symptoms, such as autoimmune diseases or infections, then veterinary treatment may be necessary.

Your vet could offer topical creams or ointments with anti-inflammatory effects, which can assist in diminishing inflammation while promoting healing.

Ian's Tip: 

Prioritise moisturisation with a pet-safe moisturiser available from Zach's Pet Shop and seek veterinary guidance for persistent dryness and cracking. Your veterinarian can evaluate any underlying health concerns and provide tailored treatment options for your dog's comfort.

Preventing a Dry and Cracked Dog Nose

Keep your dog's snout in tip-top shape with these tips:

Provide Plenty of Fresh Water

Making sure your furry companion has access to plenty of clean water can contribute to keeping your dog hydrated, preventing a cracked and dry nose.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures or Low Humidity Levels

The Australian weather can be dry and damaging. Protect your pup's nose from drying out by keeping them cool and shady.

Use Sunscreen When Outdoors

Slip, slop, slap. Don't forget to protect your dog's nose from the harsh UV rays. Many pet supply stores now stock a range of dog-safe sunscreens.

Maintain Skin Moisture with Pet-Safe Products

Pamper your pooch with gentle grooming supplies that keep their nose moist and help prevent dryness and cracking.

When to See Your Vet About Your Dog's Dry and Cracked Nose

If your pup's nose is dry and cracked, it may be a cause for worry - particularly if it doesn't improve with lifestyle changes or if your dog shows other symptoms of illness like skin conditions, watery eyes, or coughing.

If your dog's nose stays dry despite the use of dog-safe nose balms, it's time to seek professional help. Loss of appetite, lethargy, or behavioural changes could indicate a more serious health issue.How do I treat my dog's dry, cracked nose

FAQs in Relation to Why is My Dogs Nose Dry and Cracked

How do I treat my dog's dry, cracked nose?

You can use dog-specific moisturising products, like nose balms, to help soothe your dog's cracked, dry nose

Why is my dog's nose dry and cracked?

A dog's nose may become dry due to severe dehydration, sunburn, allergies, or underlying health conditions such as autoimmune diseases.

Does a dry, cracked nose hurt a dog?

Yes, a severely dried-out and cracking nose can cause discomfort for your pooch. 

Can I put Vaseline on my dog's nose?

No, it's not recommended because Vaseline as it is not safe if your dog licks it. Use vet-approved products.

Ian's Wrap

As a pet owner who has dealt with many dog-related issues, I understand how important it is to find the reasons behind the question, "Why is my dog's nose dry and cracked?" It is essential to understand the underlying causes in order to provide effective treatment. 

Through consultation with a veterinarian, I discovered that allergies and environmental factors played a significant role in my dog's condition.

By following the recommended prevention methods, such as providing proper hydration, using moisturising balms, and seeking veterinary advice when needed, I witnessed a remarkable improvement in my dog's nose health. 

Consider exploring balms specifically designed to moisturize and protect your furry friend's nose, such as those available at Zach's Pet Shop. Taking proactive measures can help keep your dog's nose healthy and comfortable.



Pet Expert - Ian Hamblin

About Ian

Ian Hamblin is a renowned pet enthusiast and the driving force behind Zach's Pet Shop, a trusted name in the Australian pet industry.


With an impressive track record of nearly 15 years, Ian has been supplying high-quality pet products to Australians, earning their trust and loyalty.


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