Dog Nose Peeling: Causes and What to Do

August 16, 2023
Dog nose peeling

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Learn how to care for your dog’s nose when it starts peeling. This guide covers causes, immediate actions, treatments, and preventative measures to keep your furry friend’s nose healthy.

Understanding the Causes

Peeling on a dog’s nose can be concerning, and understanding the root causes will help in providing the right care. Here are the common causes of peeling:

  1. Dryness and Dehydration - Just like human skin, a dog’s nose can become dry and start peeling due to lack of moisture. This can result from environmental factors like low humidity or dehydration. Make sure your pup has plenty of water!

  2. Sunburn - Dogs, especially ones with lighter pigmentation on their noses (pink noses), can suffer from sunburns. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can lead to redness followed by peeling.

  3. Infections or Allergies - Bacterial or fungal infections can lead to a dog’s nose becoming irritated, eventually causing peeling, and allergic reactions to certain substances, such as plastic bowls or specific foods, can have a similar effect.

  4. Underlying Health Conditions - Certain systemic diseases like lupus or pemphigus, though rare, can lead to skin issues, including peeling on the nose. These conditions will require veterinary diagnosis and treatment.

Regular monitoring and care, along with prompt attention to changes in your dog’s nose, can help prevent or address these issues.

Peeling of the nose can sometimes be caused by hyperkeratosis. To learn more read our article on hyperkeratosis in dogs.

Immediate Actions to Take

If you notice your dog’s nose starting to peel, here’s what you should do:

  1. Checking for Other Symptoms - Look for other signs that might indicate a more serious problem, such as lethargy, changes in eating habits, or additional skin issues.

  2. Basic Care and First Aid - Gently clean the affected area with a soft, damp cloth to remove any debris. Apply a pet-safe moisturizer or balm specifically designed for dogs’ noses to provide relief from dryness.

  3. When to Contact the Vet - If the peeling persists for more than a few days or seems to be getting worse, it’s time to consult your veterinarian. They can perform a proper examination and determine the underlying cause of the peeling.

  4. Avoiding Irritants - Identify and remove any potential allergens that might be contributing to the issue, such as plastic bowls or specific cleaning products.

  5. Use a Humidifier - If dry air seems to be a contributing factor, a humidifier in your home can help maintain optimal skin moisture.

Responding quickly can prevent the problem from escalating. Along with monitoring and professional guidance (if needed), these methods can ensure that your dog’s nose returns to its healthy state as quickly as possible.

Preventative Measures

Prevention care is a good way to ensure that your dog’s nose remains free from peeling. Here’s how you can proactively care for your dog’s nose:

  1. Proper Hydration - Dehydration can lead to dryness and peeling, so make sure your dog stays well-hydrated.

  2. Sun Protection - Protect your dog’s nose from excessive sun exposure by providing shade or using pet-safe sunscreen, especially if your dog has a lighter-colored nose that’s more susceptible to sunburn. You can also try keeping your dog out of the sun by going for walks before the sun has risen or after it has set.

  3. Nutritional Supplements - Providing a balanced diet that includes essential fatty acids can support overall skin health. Special supplements designed for skin and coat health might also be considered. Salmon oil is especially lauded for its nutritional content and skin-supporting capability.

  4. Use Appropriate Bowls - In some cases plastic bowls can sometimes cause allergic reactions in dogs. Using stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowls can prevent this.

  5. Regular Grooming with Suitable Products - Regular grooming using products specifically designed for dogs helps maintain skin moisture and prevent dryness.

  6. Avoiding Known Allergens - If you know that your dog is allergic to certain substances, ensure that they don’t come into contact with them.

  7. Environmental Control - If your dog’s nose tends to get dry in low humidity, using a humidifier can maintain the moisture levels in the skin.

  8. Routine Check-ups - Regular veterinary check-ups can catch potential problems early on, before they lead to peeling or other issues.

By implementing these preventative measures, minimize the risk of peeling. These strategies not only contribute to the overall well-being of your pet but can also reduce the likelihood of needing more extensive interventions later on.


Taking care of a dog’s nose might seem like a small thing, but it’s of significant importance to your dog’s overall health and comfort. Peeling is usually a sign of an underlying issue that requires attention. By understanding the common causes, taking immediate action, implementing preventative measures, and recognizing when professional veterinary intervention is needed, you can ensure that your dog’s nose stays healthy.

The strategies outlined in this article several insights to addressing and preventing peeling on your dog’s nose. Regular attention to your pet’s needs and proactive care can alleviate this issue effectively, fostering a happy and healthy life for your beloved companion. Whether it’s adjusting environmental factors, choosing the right products for care, or seeking professional guidance, your dedication to your dog’s well-being will keep your dog’s nose in top condition, so that it can nudge you towards the door to go on a walk!


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