Dog noses come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. A white spot on your dog’s nose is uncommon, but don’t be alarmed; a simple white spot is usually harmless.
Here is a list of eight reasons your dog has white spots on its nose:
- Snow nose
- Kennel nose
- Nasal Hyperkeratosis
- Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE)
- Pemphigus Foliaceous (PF)
- Bacterial or fungal infection
Discoloration of the nose is commonly a cosmetic issue. Visit a veterinarian if your dog’s nose discoloration accompanies symptoms like nasal discharge, blood, pus, or flakey skin.
A dog’s nose is a thousand times stronger than a person’s. That strong nose has a soft outer layer that sometimes requires extra care.
Common Causes of White Spots on a Dogs Nose
White spots on your dog’s nose have eight main causes.
1. Snow Nose
Snow Nose is the discoloration of a dog’s nose. It is common in winter or during temperature changes. The cause of Snow Nose is unknown. Snow Nose has no other symptoms. Your dog’s nose will go back to normal on its own. It is common in Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
2. Kennel Nose
Kennel Nose is common on dogs placed in a kennel for an extended period. Dogs rub their nose against the kennel from boredom or anxiety, which causes their nose to become raw and turn pink or white.
Dogs can get pimples just like people. Pimples can appear on their lips, nose, and genitals. Pimples on the mouth and nose happen because of dirty bowls. Plastic holds dirt and oil. Switch your dogs to metal bowls and keep them clean.
Popping a pimple on your dog’s face can cause it to become infected.
4. Nasal Hyperkeratosis
Nasal hyperkeratosis is a common problem in senior dogs and causes a buildup of dry, cracked skin on the nose. Apply balm to your dog’s nose to help soften dry, dead skin.
5. Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE)
Speculation is that DLE springs from genetic or environmental factors, but as of now, there is no known cause for DLE. Symptoms include sores and inflammation around the face, ears, and scalp. The sores will have a crusty white appearance.
6. Pemphigus Foliaceous (PF)
PF is an autoimmune disease that affects middle-aged dogs. The cause is unknown; however, suspects include UV light, a viral infection, or genetics. Symptoms of PF include superficial blisters on or around the nose. Corticosteroid cream is a popular treatment for PF.
Vitiligo is a rare skin condition that causes a loss in pigmentation on certain parts of a dog’s skin and fur. The cause of this condition is unknown. Vitiligo can affect any part of your dog’s body, and there is no known treatment. The condition is harmless and doesn’t cause your dog any pain.
8. Fungal or Bacterial Infection
A fungal or bacterial infection will cause a dog’s nose to discharge pus. The nose can also become dry and flakey. If your dog has an area of its nose that is losing color with symptoms of infection, it is best to consult your veterinarian.
How to Care for My Dogs Nose
A dog’s nose can become dry and cracked. It can also burn in the sun. Each dog needs slightly different nose care. Depending on the cause of the white spots on your dog’s nose, you may not need to do anything. Snow Nose and vitiligo are the most common nose issues. They are cosmetic and have no known cure.
How to Treat White Spots on a Dogs Nose
Treatment will depend on the condition affecting your dog’s nose.
Wash the nose with soap and water in the morning and at night. Place a small amount of dog-safe ointment on the affected area to keep it from cracking. Rub the ointment in well to keep your dog from trying to eat or lick the ointment off.
Ointments containing bacitracin, neomycin, and Polymyxin B are safe for dogs. Avoid using corticosteroids on your dog’s nose unless prescribed by a vet.
The best way to treat acne on your dog’s face is to clean it once a day and keep it dry. Do not pop the pimples. They can easily become infected. Pimples come from dirty water or food bowls. Keep stainless steel bowls clean and dry.
For extreme cases of acne, you can use topical benzoyl peroxide on your dog’s nose.
Nasal hyperkeratosis is a hardened dry spot on your dog’s nose. Use a dog nose balm once daily to moisten and soften the skin.
Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE) and Pemphigus Foliaceous (PF)
DLE requires antibiotics and, in rare cases, immunosuppressants. If you think your dog has DLE visit your vet for treatment options.
Fungal or Bacterial Infection
A fungal and bacterial infection requires antibiotics. The vet will need to do a swab to determine the cause of the infection.
How to Spot a Bacterial or Fungal Nose Infection
A dry and flaky nose can be a sign of infection. The infection will always come with nasal discharge. Look out for a colored discharge coming from its nose. Other symptoms include a stuffy nose, sneezing, and loss of appetite. Common infections are rhinitis and sinusitis.
Your dog can also have Nasal Dermatosis, commonly caused by sun or genetics.
Can I Use Neosporin on My Dog’s Nose?
Neosporin is safe to use on a simple cut on your dog, but don’t use Neosporin on your dog’s nose where they can lick it off. One of the active ingredients, neomycin, is safe to use on dog skin but has been linked to hearing loss when ingested. It can also cause vomiting and diarrhea.
There are other safe and effective options made for dogs.
How to Make a Nose Balm For Your Dog At Home
You can use a few different ingredients to moisten and soften the skin on your dog’s nose. The best mixture is a simple one.
- Cocoa butter
- Almond oil
- Coconut oil
- Castor oil
- Olive oil
- Shea butter
Anything you use on your dog’s nose should be safe for your dog to eat. It is very likely (especially if your dog is not used to it) that it will lick off whatever is on its nose.
Nose balm is good for your dog and can be applied daily. Apply it once a week at a minimum.
It is common for the skin of the nose to dry and crack in older dogs.
Does My Dog’s Nose Need Sunscreen?
A sunburnt nose can get dry and start cracking. Apply dog-safe sunscreen to your dog’s nose if it will be in the sun for an extended period. Sunscreen is very important on light-colored noses. It should still be applied if your dog has a darker or black nose.
Frequently Asked Questions About White Spots on a Dog’s Nose
Is White Crust on My Dog’s Nose Common?
Nasal hyperkeratosis causes a dry crust to form on your dog’s nose. Overgrown skin cells harden, leaving a dry, cracked nose, and there is no cure for keratin overgrowth. The best way to help your pup is to use a balm to keep moisture on the nose.
A dry crusty nose can also be a sign of allergies. Allergies symptoms commonly include itching of the body, coughing, sneezing, and eye or nose discharge.
What Does a Dry Line Mean on a Dog’s Nose?
Allergies, nasal hyperkeratosis, and age can cause a dry line on your dog’s nose. A dog’s nose is wet to help them smell and cool themselves off. Some dogs lose their mucus creation as they age, causing their nose to become dry and cracked.
What do Bumps on a Dog’s Nose Mean?
Bumps on a dog’s nose that are similar in color to the nose are uncommon. If your dog has spots, it is best to see a vet for a proper diagnosis.
How Do You Treat Nasal Dermatosis in Dogs?
A topical corticosteroid for dogs helps combat Nasal Dermatosis caused by sun damage. The lotion helps reduce inflammation.
What Causes Pink Spots on a Dog’s Nose?
Pink spots on a dog’s nose do not have a clear cause. A dog’s nose that starts to get pink spots is called a Dudley nose, snow nose, or winter nose. Believed to be genetic, Winter Nose affects some breeds more than others.