Do All Dogs Have Black Noses?

Do All Dogs Have Black Noses?
June 20, 2019

The short answer to the question “do all dogs have black noses?” is definitely not. It may be one of the most common colours which you will notice as you spot dogs of the street, but dogs’ noses actually come in a variety of different colours.

This article will let you know all of the interesting facts about why dogs have different coloured noses and much, much more.

Different Dog Nose Colours and Why they Have Them

As we have already covered, not all dogs have black noses, different breeds have a myriad off different traits and characteristics. These have evolved over time, and the colour of their noses is just one thing that you’ll notice can be different about dogs.

Generally, dogs will either have black or pink noses, but certain breed also have liver and noses which are a varying shade of brown. This usually correlates to the colour of a dog’s skin in general, while some have pinkish coloured skin, others have black or dark brown.

The nose colour will either correlate with the dog’s overall skin colour, or it will be largely dependent on the breed and the age. It isn’t just a puppy’s eye colour which will change and darken as they age, this can also happen with their noses. On the flip side, a dog’s nose may even get lighter as they age. Speckled or spotted noses are a possibility too, however, this is much more uncommon.

Health Reasons for Changes in Colour of a Dog’s Nose

While there are plenty of reasons why your dog’s nose can change colour and it will be nothing to worry about, changes to the colour of the nose can also indicate potential health problems in your dog.

Snow Nose 

Furthermore, some of the conditions which will affect your dog’s nose are completely harmless such as Snow Nose, which is also referred to as Winter Nose. This is where dogs with darker coloured noses will start to develop a pink nose in the winter or in colder months. Then, in the summer, your dog’s nose will go darker as usual. With Snow Nose, the whole nose may change in colour, or you will notice that only a small portion of your dog’s nose has turned pink. While vets are still a little confused as to why this happens, one possible explanation is that one of the enzymes (tyrosinase) which is responsible for creating melanin is affected by colder temperatures. Melanin is directly responsible for the pigment in a dog’s nose, as it is their nose which will get the coldest in the winter, this is why the nose will be directly impacted by the harmless condition. So, if you’ve noticed this happening from season to season it is no cause for concern. Yet, if you have noticed any changes in your dog’s health, a trip to the vets is always advisable.

Snow Nose is more common in some breeds than with others. The breeds most prone to Snow Nose include German Shepherd, Siberian Huskies, Labrador, Golden Retrievers, and Bernese Mountain Dogs.

 Injury, Allergy & Infection 

A dog’s nose is incredibly sensitive, not just in terms of what it can smell, but if your dog takes a knock on their nose, it is likely that it is going to be felt by your pet! A dog can suffer an injury to their nose through fighting or even play fighting with other animals, road traffic accidents, and generally being a bit dozy – yes, dogs bump into walls too. Inflammation of the nose can sometimes lead to a change in colour such as noticeable redness, but if your dog is in distress, they will certainly tell you about it by scratching and digging at their noses.

If you have noticed that your dog’s nose is running or it has become crusty, your dog may be suffering from a bacterial infection such a cold, or they could be suffering from allergies. Dogs can be allergic to all the things that people can develop an allergy with including food, dust and pollen. Dogs may even be allergic to their food bowls. It is generally plastic food containers which can be of irritation to a dog’s nose and lips, which is why metal bowls generally come more highly recommended than plastic ones.

If your dog’s nose has changed colour and you’ve noticed any of the above symptoms, it is important that you seek treatment for your pet. Even though the health conditions aren’t necessarily all that serious, if you want your dog to live a long happy life, it is in their best interest for you to make sure that they are in the best health.

Sunburn 

When you’re heading out for a day in the park or at the beach when the UV rays are beaming, you’ll probably remember to apply some suntan lotion on yourself, but many owners forget that their dog’s nose is just as sensitive as their own skin! Dogs are also at the risk of developing sun cancer if they are in the sun too much without adequate protection.

Vitiligo 

Vitiligo is a skin disease which occurs due to problems with a dog’s immune system. A simple biopsy is all it takes to get an accurate diagnosis of the disease which may leave white patches on your dog’s skin. Of course, changes in colour under the fur are incredibly hard to spot – especially if your dog has longer and thicker fur. Vitiligo may seem like an incredibly serious condition, but in most cases, it can be remedied by taking the necessary health supplements. Needless to say, you should always check in with your vet if you suspect that your dog is suffering from Vitiligo.

But remember, most case of a dog’s nose changing colour is nothing to worry about!