If your dog’s nose is dry and cracked, he’s probably quite uncomfortable. A dog’s nose is highly sensitive, and very important to his functioning (he has 300 million scent receptors, compared to our mere 6 million!). And in terms of performance, a dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times as acute as ours, scientists say.
So if something’s off, like your dog’s nose is dry and cracked, then it’s a big deal.
What does it mean when your dog’s nose is dry?
Some people think that when a dog’s nose is dry, he is getting sick; or a wet nose means he’s getting sick! Actually, your Morkie’s nose is wet, then dry, then wet, many, many times a day. It’s all normal.
But when your dog’s nose is dry and cracked for even a few days, it could be a sign of:
- severe allergy to pollen or mold
- another type of irritant such as food
- excessively licking his nose, from stress
- auto immune disease
Most often, the problem is Nasal Hyperkeratosis. This is a condition where excess nose skin grows, then crusts, over the nose. It’s tempting to pick off the cracked, loosening bits of skin, but don’t. Your Morkie’s nose can start to bleed.
Hot dry nose?
Typically, when a dog is sick, he will have a raised temperature, along with a hot, dry nose.
Moist noses are also one of the ways that canines can regulate body temperature and cool down.
Wet nose, dry nose – neither is a reliable indicator of your Morkie’s heath on its own.
But a dry, cracked nose needs attention!
Causes range from protein overgrowth, called Nasal Hyperkeratosis, to simply a very dry nose.
If it IS Hyperkeratosis, you can treat your Morkie with special nose balm, such as Snout Soother, or Burts Bees Paw and Nose Lotion with Rosemary. Use it twice a day until the hard, brittle skin on your Morkie’s nose begins to come off, replaced by soft new skin. Then use twice a week to keep his nose supple.
Hyperkeratosis = skin condition where keratin (skin) becomes thicker than usual in certain places.
Other examples of hyperkeratosis include:
- plantar warts
Although Nasal Hyperkeratosis can’t be comfortable for a dog, it’s not especially serious. However, if special balm or lotion doesn’t clear it up, see your Veterinarian.
Here’s what it looks like.
Breeds who typically suffer from dry nose, according to iHeartDogs.com:
- French Bulldogs
- American Bulldogs
- German Shepherds
- Japanese Chin
No Yorkies or Maltese on the list… phew!