Why Does My Dog’s Nose Change Color In Winter?

Winter nose, snowy nose, depigmentation: These terms all describe the phenomenon when a dog’s nose changes color – especially in winter. The reasons for this may be different.

Nose color can tell a lot about the health of not only humans but also dogs: loss of color or depigmentation is said when a dog’s nose, which is actually black or brown, turns lighter – pink or light brown. … Most often, this change occurs in the middle of the nose.

If this color change occurs in winter, it is often referred to as a “snow nose” or “winter nose”. But do not worry: this condition does not always indicate an illness – often external circumstances are the cause of the discoloration of the nose.

“We don’t know the reasons yet. But since this happens especially often in winter and in cold temperature zones, we assume that it may have something to do with temperature or possibly certain enzymes, ”explains veterinarian Dr. Sandra Koch. Others speculate that lack of sunlight can cause discoloration.

Why Does the Color of a Dog’s Nose Change?

Veterinarian Dr. Christine Kane. “Usually the color comes back.” However, in some cases, a dog’s lighter nose may remain permanently. Because the color of the muzzle can also be genetically determined: some dog breeds have a pink nose from birth. For example, Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, or American Pit Bulls. Light-colored dog noses are also common in light-colored dog breeds that are accustomed to cold climates, such as the Siberian Husky.

Sometimes the dog’s muzzle also fades with age. Excessive sun exposure and consequent sunburn or irritation can lead to depigmentation. This is why many street dogs in warmer countries have noticed dog faces. By the way, in some dogs, the color of the nose changes when they eat or drink from a plastic bowl. Does your four-legged friend have such a bowl? Then replace it with a stainless steel bowl and wait to see if the color of the nose changes again.

Should My Dog Go to the Vet If Its Nose Changes Color?

If none of these reasons apply to your four-legged friend, you should take him to the vet as a precaution. Even if the moisture or structure of the nose suddenly changes, for example, if it becomes softer or has a rougher surface, specialists should take a close look.

Then it could be due to vitamin deficiency, cancer, lupus, or another autoimmune disease. A bacterial infection or trauma to the nose can also cause freezing.

By the way, it will not work to prevent the appearance of a “snowy nose” in a dog – the necessary research in this area is simply lacking. Since changing colors in winter is not dangerous in most cases anyway, you don’t need to worry too much about it.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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