Top 7 Reasons Why Your Dog’s Nose is Dry and Crusty

Your dog’s tiny and charming little nose functions more than just for sniffing.  Most of the time, it indicates the current state of the pup’s health. It also helps in cooling down your little dog during hot days. 

This is the reason why most dog owners get worried whenever they notice that their dog’s nose is dry and crusty. 

While it is not automatically an indication that your pup is sick, it is still great that you get this warning signal to look deeper and see if your dog needs immediate medical attention. 

Here, we will get into details about what causes a dog’s nose to dry and appear crusty, know the possible indications and their respective remedies.

Top Reasons your Dog’s Nose is Dry

Your Dog Is Dehydrated

Dehydration is usually the consequence of vigorous activity — particularly when it’s warm outside. Have cool water ready habitually. Bear in mind: dogs must take roughly 29 ML of water per pound regularly

Your Dog Is Excessively Near to the Flame

Like felines, canines like to rest adjacent to heating ducts and vents throughout the colder periods. They attain comfortable zones with the heated breeze rushing on their faces.

Though, being extremely near to heat sources can make your dog’s snout to get dry. It can likewise get the nose injured. Merely observe to ensure the nose regresses to its wet condition. In case it doesn’t, a pat of petroleum jelly might be effective.

Your Dog Has Difficulty Licking Its Snout

Dogs with small noses, such as Bulldogs and Pugs, usually have trouble licking their snout. You might need to use a balm to have it wet. Different varieties, for instance, Lhasa Apsos, are likely to congested tears ducts, which can likewise make the snout to become parch

dry dog nose bella

Your Dog Has Allergies

Similar to human beings, dogs can generate diseases to all kinds of stuff, inclusive of house cleaning merchandise, particular kinds of food, and synthetic water bowls or toys.

Your Dog Is Aging

Just like wrinkles and white hair in humans,a  dry nose for an aged dog is normal. As long as your dog looks happy and normal, he must be okay. If you want him to have wet or atleast moist noise, you can apply a dog-safe balm. 

Your Dog Is Excessively Active

Active dogs tend to get hydrated easily. Overexcited dogs often forget to lick their dogs or drink water. This leads to mild dehydration and causes the nose to dry and look crusty.

Diseases That Can Cause Dry Nose in Dogs

Auto-immune Diseases

A few conditions can induce a persistently dry snout. Auto-immune diseases, like pemphigus or lupus, can create distortions in the exterior of the nose that causes bleeding, injuring, and dryness.

Auto-immune diseases are determined with urine and blood examination, and an inspection of the nose. They are cured with immunosuppressive medications, like prednisone.

close photo of a dog's nose

Rigid sensitivity to food, pollen, mildew, and others can cause swelling and redness of the snout, in addition to extreme scratching and rubbing and of the nose. Hypersensitivities can be cured with anti-histamines, and in critical situations, steroids should likewise be recommended.

A few breeds, particularly those with light furs or pale or pink nose and eyelids, are particularly vulnerable to sunburn. Though even thick-furred breeds aren’t protected. This is exceptionally common during the summer season. Apply cream to shield your dog.


Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by parasites that are usually transmitted by sand flies. This leads to hyperkeratosis which is the thickening and hardening of keratin and tissues on the nose or paw pads. 

When dogs are suffering from Leishmaniasis, they usually have dry nose and paw pads accompanied by diarrhea, nose bleeds and soreness. 

Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction

If your dog’s dry nose condition is paired with eyes that are watering excessively, it is possible that it has blocked tear ducts. This condition can be easily diagnosed by your veterinarian by putting a fluorescent stain in the eyes. If it appears at the nostrils, the ducts are indeed occluded. 

Most of the time, gentle and circular massage under the dog’s eyes can remove mucous plug and clear the tear ducts easily. You can also ask your veterinarian for an antibiotic ophthalmic steroid drop to address the issue. 

Hard Pad Disease

Canine Distemper, also known as Hard Pad Disease, is a contagious illness of dogs that is mainly characterized by fever, nasal discharge, digestive signs and  inflammation of the lungs and the brain. It develops when your dog breathes in the virus from another infected animal and starts attacking the respiratory tract. 

dogs nose

The Hard Pad Disease, the old name of Canine Distemper, then produces calluses of the nose and foot pads. It then eventually attacks the central nervous system and causes seizures. While recovery is possible, most Hard Pad Disease cases lead to death or permanent seizures. 

Hereditary Nasal Parakeratosis

This is a genetic defect which is caused by gene mutation and regulates differentiation of nose skin cells. This mutation affects specialized  cells of the nose which results in the formation of crusty cracks in the dog’s nasal area. 

Idiopathic Nasodigital Hyperkeratosis

Idiopathic Nasodigital Hyperkeratosis is often characterized by an overproduction of keratin on your dog’s paws and nose. It affects a dog regardless of its age, sex and genetic condition. While there is no cure for this condition, it is not life-threatening and there are various ways for you to make your dog comfortable.

How To Treat and Prevent Dry and Crusty Nose in Dogs

“How can I help my dog’s dry and crusty nose?” or “Can dogs get dizzy?” are  the usual question asked by most fur parents. If serious illness is not in the picture, a dry and crusty nose usually just resolves on its own. These are a few of the things for you to keep your dog’s nose moist and healthy.

Ensure He Has Access To Clean and Fresh Water

This will encourage the dog to stay hydrated. He can always play outside and run as much as he wants but putting water somewhere he can easily see will remind him to drink water and freshen up himself. 

dog drinking water outdoor

Apply dog-safe sunscreen and nose balm

To protect him from sunburn and other harmful effects of the sun, you can always put sunscreen on his nose. Also, put a dog-safe nose balm to his nose to provide extra hydration and to keep his nose moist and healthy. 

You can find these products in pet supply stores, online stores and even to your local veterinarian offices. 

Natural Remedies for Dog’s Dry Nose

Your dog’s nose is one of the most essential parts of his body. Thus, it is best that you take the necessary measures to help your dog maintain and enjoy a moist and healthy nose. Apart from ensuring that your dog stays hydrated, there are also natural remedies you can try at home to address your dog’s dry nose. 

Olive Oil

Known for its health benefits to humans, olive oil is also an effective remedy to dogs. Put  a small amount of olive oil on your dog’s nose and paws to keep them healthy. Doing this will lessen the dryness on these parts. 

Additional tip, you can also add a teaspoon of olive oil to your doggo’s favorite meal to keep its hair shiny and healthy. 

Cocoa Seed Butter

Surprisingly, Cocoa seed butter is an effective and safe remedy for your puppy’s nose and paw needs.  Cocoa seed butter acts as softener and conditioner for dry, cracked, and sunburned noses. This is also a great moisturizer to smoothen rough paw pads and elbows. 

There are a lot of fur parents out there who are hesitant to use any chocolate-related products on their dogs. However, Cocoa seed does not have the dangerous ingredient of chocolate that makes it toxic to dogs. 


Cannabidiol is extracted from cannabis plants and is diluted by a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil.

giving CBD oil dropper

The many benefits of CBD oil has increased its popularity which resulted in it to be one of the known ingredients of products like dietary supplements, natural and herbal medicines and a lot more.

These great effects of CBD oil can also benefit our fur babies and help them recover from dry and crusty noses.

Your FAQS Answered

Can I Put Vaseline on My Dog’s Nose?

No. You cannot put Vaseline in your dog’s nose even in small amounts. While it is not necessarily dangerous to your dogs, it may cause diarrhea and vomiting to your dog. You can opt to use the natural remedies mentioned in this article instead. 

What Are Symptoms of Fungal Infection in Dogs’ Nose?

The most common symptoms of fungal infection in a dog’s nose include flaky, crusty appearance of the nose, inflammation and redness and excessive itching and licking on the affected area. 

Can I Put Coconut Oil on Dogs’ Noses?

Yes. Coconut oil can be used and put on a dog’s nose. There are also dog-intended products that are specially formulated for dogs and help in addressing issues such dry nose and hyperkeratosis.


Generally, a dry snout is merely a dry nose. In case, it’s persistent, and your doctor detects no symptoms of hypersensitivities or illness, you might have to apply a recommended cream or jelly to have his nose wet.

Since dogs lick their snouts all the time, anything you apply must be harmless to consume. The snout is a dog’s main sensory root of details, and you need to have it in the best functioning system.

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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