Most dog owners have heard that healthy dogs will have a wet and cold nose. But, what if your dog’s nose is dry? Does this mean that he’s sick, and do you need to take your dog to the vet for a dry nose?
Luckily, a dry nose does not automatically mean that a dog is sick. For instance, dogs will usually develop a dry nose when they are sleeping. However, dogs can sometimes get a dry nose when they are sick, dehydrated, or have a sunburn as well. Taking a look at context clues is important when determining the cause of your dog’s dry nose.
In this article, we will be describing the five most common reasons for dry noses in dogs. In addition to this, we will also be answering some commonly asked questions about dry noses in dogs, how they are treated, and when you should see a vet about your dog’s dry nose. Let’s dive right into it.
No, a dry nose does not always mean that a dog is sick. For example, dogs will commonly develop dry noses after sleeping. This is completely normal, and it is nothing that dog owners need to worry about.
Additionally, dry noses in dogs can also mean that a dog is a bit dehydrated. Giving them some water will help fix the issue. Unless your dog is showing signs of severe dehydration, this is also nothing of huge concern as long as your dog has drank some water and has a way to cool down.
There are five main causes of a dry nose in dogs. These include sleeping, illness, dehydration, heat stroke, and sunburn. Here are the five reasons that dogs get a dry nose and how you can tell the difference between them.
1. Your Dog was Just Sleeping
It is very common for dogs to develop a dry nose when sleeping. This is because dogs do not lick their noses when they are asleep, which is the main cause of their wet nose in the first place. So, if your dog has a dry nose after waking up from a nap, don’t worry! Not only is this normal, but it is actually a good thing because it means that your dog does not have a runny nose.
2. Your Dog is Sick
Of course, dogs can get a dry nose when they are sick. However, dogs will almost always be exhibiting symptoms of illness alongside their dry nose. So, you should definitely take your dog to the vet if they have a dry nose and are exhibiting some other worrying symptoms as well.
3. Your Dog is Dehydrated
Dehydration is yet another very common cause of dry noses in dogs. This is because the dog will be producing less saliva than usual due to their dehydration. As a result, their noses are not getting wet when the dog licks it, if they are licking it at all.
Seeing a dry nose on your dog on a hot day is an indication that they need to drink some water and cool off. If they are showing no other signs of dehydration or heat stroke, you do not need to call your vet as long as your dog has drunk some water and is resting in a cool place.
However, you should definitely take your dog to the vet immediately if they are showing signs of severe dehydration. Some signs of severe dehydration in dogs include but may not be limited to
- A loss of skin elasticity
- A reduced appetite
- Excessive panting
- Sunken looking eyes
- Dry eyes
- Dry sticky gums
- Thick and goopy saliva
4. Your Dog is Experiencing Heat Stroke
Heat stroke on the other hand, is very serious. This occurs when the dog’s body temperature rises dangerously high due to sun and heat exposure. Some other symptoms of heat stroke in dogs to look out for include but may not be limited to:
- Excessive panting
- Signs of severe dehydration
- Vomiting and diarrhea (may or may not contain blood)
- Bright red gums
- Increased heart and breathing rates
- Having difficulty walking
- Signs of shock
Due to the life threatening nature of this situation, you should call your vet immediately if you believe that they may be suffering from heat stroke for further instruction.
5. Your Dog has a Sunburn
It is also possible for dogs to get a sunburn on their nose, and this will cause the nose to be dry and irritated. To make your dog more comfortable and prevent them from getting a complication from the sunburn, it is a good idea to contact your vet for further advice.
Any sickness or medical condition must be formally diagnosed by a vet. Most of the time this is done through a medical history and physical exam of your dog. However, they may also perform further tests as well. Some examples of diagnostic tests frequently performed by the vet include:
- Blood tests
- Fecal and urine samples
In order to treat a dry nose, you will need to accurately determine it’s cause. For instance, most dogs with minor dehydration and a dry nose will have a wet nose again after drinking some water. In the case of dogs having a dry nose after being asleep for some time, their wet will naturally become wet again after being awake for a while.
You should see a vet for your dog’s dry nose if
- You believe that they may be sick (urgent)
- They are showing signs of severe dehydration (emergency)
- They are showing signs of heat stroke (emergency)
- They have a sunburn on their nose
If you are dealing with a dry dog nose in Berthoud, CO, contact Berthoud Animal Hospital. Our veterinarians will look at the root cause of your dog’s dry nose and make sure they are healthy. Call us today at (970) 532-2726, or request an appointment online.