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Is Your Dog’s Nose Dry & Crusty? It Might Be Nasal Hyperkeratosis. Here’s How To Help.

Written by: Justin Palmer
Justin Palmer is a Certified Pet Food Nutrition Specialist and co-founder of Inspired by his rescued husky, Splash, he dedicated himself to learning about extending both the length and quality of her life. Splash lived and thrived until 18 years old, and now Justin is on a mission to share what he learned with other dog owners.Read more
| Published on July 16, 2023
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dry dog nose hyperkeratosis

Most dogs can experience a mild dry nose, but nasal hyperkeratosis is a more intense form of nasal dryness experienced by some dogs. Nasal hyperkeratosis (also known as Nasodigitalis) is an idiopathic condition, meaning that its origin or cause is unknown. Nasal hyperkeratosis is the excessive formulation of nose crust called keratin, which is a type of protein overgrowth.

This condition isn’t life-threatening. In fact, most veterinarians consider nasal hyperkeratosis a cosmetic issue. Yet, a dry, crusty dog nose may be highly uncomfortable. Canines rely on a healthy and moist nose to interact with and smell the world around them.

Which Dog Breeds Are Prone to Nasal Hyperkeratosis?

  • Bulldogs
  • French Bulldogs
  • Pugs
  • Boxers
  • Mastiffs
  • Bullmastiffs
  • American Bulldogs
  • German Shepherds
  • Collies
  • Poodles
  • Japanese Chin
  • Pekingese
  • Pomeranians

What Causes Nasal Hyperkeratosis?

Nasal hyperkeratosis may be an expression of a depressed immune system. Below are some of the traits of dog breeds that seem to have dryer noses than most. These breeds often have extreme traits, which can also depress the immune system.

  • Flat-faced breeds
  • Extremely small breeds
  • Extremely large breeds
  • Heavy boned breeds
  • Heavy bodied breeds

How Can I Moisturize a Dog’s Nose That is Affected by Nasal Hyperkeratosis?

dry dog nose before and after

You can relieve nasal hyperkeratosis by applying certain oils to a dog’s dry nose (many great products available on Amazon) Over time, the keratin overgrowth on your dog’s crusty nose can become brittle and fall off.

One product on the market that we use and recommend is Natural Dog Company’s Snout Soother. This particular brand contains different oils and butters (such as Shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil) designed to absorb in layers on your dog’s nose. First, the lighter oils soak in and bring fast relief. Then the medium-weight oils absorb, adding a layer of deeper moisturizing. Finally, the heavy-duty butters melt into your dog’s dry nose, bringing extra relief.

Soothe your hound’s snout and get 15% off your first order when you shop from Natural Dog Company!

Once you’ve selected a nose balm product, apply the butter 2-3 times a day for 2-3 days. At the end of the third day, test and see if the crusty part of the dog’s nose is beginning to crumble. If it doesn’t, continue daily applications, but if it does crumble off, begin a maintenance schedule of 2-3 applications a week. Your dog may need more weekly applications depending on their age or the severity of the nasal hyperkeratosis.

Looking for other moisturizing products? Check out the 10 Best Snout Soothers for Dogs!

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