Dog Nose Peeling

icon September 22, 2023

Your dog's nose is a fascinating and essential part of their anatomy. It serves various functions, including sensing scents, regulating body temperature, and even communicating emotions. However, like any other part of their body, a dog's nose can experience health issues. One such issue is dog nose peeling, which can be concerning for pet owners. In this article, we will explore the causes, treatment, and prevention of dog nose peeling to help you keep your furry friend healthy and comfortable.

What to Do if Your Dogs Nose is Chapped

Is It Normal for A Dog's Nose to Peel?

It is not uncommon for a dog's nose to peel occasionally, and it can be caused by various factors. However, persistent or severe peeling may indicate an underlying issue that requires attention. 

Why is My Dogs Nose Peeling?

  • Sunburn: Dogs with light-colored or thinly-haired noses are more susceptible to sunburn. Prolonged exposure to the sun's harmful UV rays can cause the skin on their nose to peel. This is especially common in breeds like Bulldogs, Boxers, and Dalmatians, which have short snouts and pink noses.
  • Allergies: Allergic reactions to food, plants, or environmental factors can lead to skin problems, including peeling on the nose.
  • Dryness: Dry and chapped noses can peel due to harsh weather conditions, low humidity, or dehydration. This is more common in winter months.
  • Infections: Bacterial or fungal infections can affect a dog's nose, leading to peeling, flaking, or crusting.
  • Contact Dermatitis: Dogs can develop contact dermatitis when they come into contact with irritants or allergens, such as certain chemicals, cleaning products, or even some plants. This can cause their nose to peel.
  • Injury or Trauma: Any physical injury or trauma to the nose can result in peeling as the skin heals.
  • Autoimmune Diseases: Some autoimmune disorders can cause skin problems, including peeling on the nose. Here are a few autoimmune diseases that can manifest with skin problems, such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Sjögren's Syndrome, Dermatomyositis, Psoriasis, Scleroderma, Vasculitis.
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS): It is a common condition in dogs that can lead to dryness not only in the eyes but also in the nose. KCS occurs when a dog's tear glands do not produce enough tears to adequately lubricate the eyes. This lack of tear production can result in a range of eye-related symptoms, including redness, irritation, discharge, and, a dry or crusty nose.

What to do with dog nose peeling on top?

Home Remedy Dog's Nose Peeling

If the peeling is minor and you want to provide some relief, here are some home remedies that may help:

  • Moisturize the Nose: Apply a thin layer of pet-safe moisturizing products such as coconut oil or a commercial pet nose balm. Apply this balm 3 times a day.
  • Keep Your Dog Hydrated: Ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times. Hydration is crucial for overall skin health, including the nose.
  • Limit Sun Exposure: If your dog's nose is peeling due to sunburn, try to limit their exposure to direct sunlight, especially during peak hours. Consider using a dog-friendly sunscreen on their nose if they need to be outside.
  • Humidify the Environment: If your home is dry, consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Dry indoor air can contribute to dry skin issues.
  • Change Diet: Ensure your dog is on a balanced diet with adequate nutrients. Sometimes, skin issues can be related to diet. 
  • Avoid Irritants: Check if your dog is coming into contact with any potential irritants or allergens. This might include certain cleaning products, carpets, or other materials.
  • Regular Cleaning: Gently clean your dog's nose with a damp, soft cloth to remove any debris or crust. Be very gentle to avoid further irritation.

When Should You See the Vet?

If your dog's nose is peeling, and it is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it's important to consult a veterinarian for a thorough evaluation and proper diagnosis. Such as:

  • The dog's nose is not only peeling but also swollen.
  • Discharge from the nose, especially if it is discolored, can indicate an infection, such as bacterial or fungal rhinitis.
  • If your dog's nose changes color, becomes extremely pale or dark.
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Foul odor
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing

Treatment Options for Dog Nose Peeling

Before attempting any treatment, it's crucial to have a veterinarian examine your dog to diagnose the underlying cause of the peeling. They will recommend the appropriate course of action.

1. Allergen Management

If allergies are causing the peeling, identify and address the allergen source. This might involve changing your dog's diet, using hypoallergenic products, or making environmental changes. In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe medications like corticosteroids or antihistamines to manage allergies or inflammation contributing to the peeling.
Common allergy medications for dogs may contain various active ingredients to help alleviate allergy symptoms. Some of the active ingredients commonly found in these medications include:

  • Antihistamines: Antihistamines like diphenhydramine, cetirizine, chlorpheniramine, and loratadine are often used to relieve itching, sneezing, and other allergy symptoms in dogs. They work by blocking the effects of histamine, a chemical that triggers allergy symptoms.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids like prednisone or prednisolone are potent anti-inflammatory drugs used to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune response. They can be highly effective in treating severe allergic reactions but are usually reserved for short-term use due to potential side effects.
  • Cyclosporine: Cyclosporine (Atopica) is an immunosuppressant drug used to treat allergic skin conditions and other autoimmune disorders in dogs. It helps reduce the overactive immune response that causes allergies.
  • Immunotherapy: Allergen-specific immunotherapy (allergy shots) involves exposing the dog to small, controlled amounts of allergens to desensitize the immune system over time. This is a long-term treatment option for managing allergies in dogs.

Chlorpheniramine Dosage for Dogs/ Cats

4mg =1 tablet

  • For small dogs (under 20 pounds or approximately 9 kilograms): 2-4 mg every 8-12 hours.
  • For medium-sized dogs (20-50 pounds or approximately 9-23 kilograms): 4-8 mg every 8-12 hours.
  • For large dogs (over 50 pounds or approximately 23 kilograms): 8-12 mg every 8-12 hours.
  • For cats: 1-2mg(1/4-1/2 tablet) every 8-12 hours.

2. Dietary Supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E supplements can help improve skin health in dogs. Consult your vet before adding any supplements to your dog's diet.

3. Antibiotics or Topical Medications

If your pet has a bacterial or fungal infection, your veterinarian will provide you with a prescription for antibiotics and antimicrobial sprays or ointments. Be sure to carefully adhere to both your veterinarian's guidance and the instructions provided with the product.


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4. For Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)

If your dog's dry nose is due to dry keratoconjunctivitis, medication is important. Commonly used medications include:

  • Cyclosporine (Optimmune): This is a topical ophthalmic medication that helps increase tear production. It's often used long-term to manage KCS.
  • Artificial Tears: Lubricating eye drops or ointments (artificial tears) can provide temporary relief and help maintain eye moisture. Your veterinarian may recommend specific products suitable for dogs.
  • Anti-inflammatory Medications: In some cases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce inflammation in the eye.

5. Sunscreen

If your dog's nose peeling is due to sunburn, consider using pet-safe sunscreen on their nose when they are outdoors. Ensure the sunscreen is free of zinc oxide, as this ingredient can be toxic to dogs if ingested.

How to Prevent Your Dog's Nose from Peeling?

A dog's nose can peel or become dry for various reasons, including exposure to extreme weather, allergies, or underlying health issues. Preventing your dog's nose from peeling involves proper care and attention to their overall health. Here are some steps you can take to keep your dog's nose healthy:

Moisturize the Nose

Use a pet-safe, fragrance-free nose balm or moisturizer specifically designed for dogs. Apply it to your dog's nose regularly, especially during dry or cold weather.

Protect from Extreme Weather

During hot weather, avoid prolonged sun exposure. Dogs can get sunburned, especially on their nose and ears. Provide shade and limit outdoor activities during peak sun hours.
In cold weather, protect your dog's nose from harsh winds and cold temperatures. You can use a dog-specific snout warmer or even a scarf to cover their nose during walks in cold climates.

Proper Nutrition

Feed your dog a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients. Ensure that their food contains the necessary vitamins and fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.
Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, can help maintain skin health. You can consider adding a fish oil supplement to your dog's diet, but consult your vet for guidance on the proper dosage.


A peeling nose in dogs can be caused by various factors, from sunburn to allergies and infections. Understanding the underlying cause and seeking appropriate treatment is essential for your dog's comfort and well-being. By taking preventive measures and consulting with your veterinarian when needed, you can help keep your furry friend's nose healthy and happy. Remember, a healthy nose is not only crucial for their well-being but also plays a significant role in their ability to explore and experience the world around them.



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