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My Dog Has A Dry Nose: What Does It Mean?

My Dog Has A Dry Nose: What Does It Mean?
dog dry nose

Contrary to popular belief a dry nose doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with your dog. However, a dry nose can also signal some serious health issues. A dry nose in dogs usually signals that there is some change occurring in the body or that the body has already changed. Now, this change can be either good or bad. In this article, we will go through all the most common causes of the dry nose in dogs, so keep reading.

Dogs primarily rely on their noses to interact with the world. Their superb sense of smell helps them read signals of other dogs, distinguish edible from non-edible food, etc. In order to function properly, a dog’s nose needs to be constantly lubricated. 

Moist and lubrication is needed because it traps the scent particles more efficiently allowing the dog to more accurately read the data. You will also often notice your dog licking his nose. There are two reasons for this behavior, firstly, the dog is clearing debris and dirt from his nose, and secondly, he is trying to interpret the scent particles through taste.

My Dog Has A Dry Nose: What Does It Mean?

There are several factors that can cause dry noses in dogs. Some of these factors are completely benign, while others are serious health issues. These are the most common ones:


This is often the case with dogs after physical activity or strenuous exercise. Dogs lose water when engaged in physical activity in a similar way to humans. Therefore, their noses may become dry due to the lack of water in the body. However, as soon as your dog rehydrates, the nose should return to its normal state.

Breed Issues

Some dog breeds such as Pugs, Pekingese, Pit Bull Terriers, Bulldogs, boxers, etc, have short snouts which prevent them from moistening their noses via licking. Other dog breeds can suffer from conditions that block their tear ducts, which will leave them with a dry nose.

The Dog Was Sleeping

You will often notice that your dog has a dry nose while he is sleeping. This is because the dog doesn’t lick his nose during nap time. However, as soon as the dog wakes up, he will start licking his nose thus rehydrating it again.


Allergies can also cause dry noses in dogs. Any type of allergies, be it environmental, skin or food-related allergies can cause your dog’s nose to dry out.

Autoimmune Disease

This is probably the most serious factor that can cause a dry nose in dogs. There are several types of autoimmune diseases that a dog can develop. However, the most nose-related autoimmune diseases in dogs are Pemphigus and Lupus.

An autoimmune disease will usually change the surface of your dog’s nose which will result in dryness, bleeding, and cracking. 


As the dogs grow older, their body changes and many of their body functions are gradually weakening. A dog’s nose and sense of smell are no exception. You will notice that the older the dog the drier his nose gets.


Just because you notice your dog has a dry nose, it doesn’t mean you should automatically take him to the vet. If your dog has a dry nose, you should also check if there are any accompanying symptoms. In case you don’t see any other symptoms and your dog’s nose is returning to its original state, then just keep an eye on him. However, if the symptoms get progressively worse, it’s time for a visit to the vet.