Why Is My Dogs Nose Changing Color

Depending on the breed, a dog’s nose will look different from dog to dog. It can be the same shade as its coat, black, brown, liver, pink, or another color. A dog’s snout occasionally develops in one hue and then changes as it ages. Puppies frequently have pink noses at birth that eventually turn darker. What does it imply when a dog’s nose starts to turn pink or white or loses its pigment? The causes differ. While depigmentation of the nose can occasionally be unimportant, it can also be a sign that the dog requires medical attention. If you are unsure of the cause of your dog’s lost pigment in the nose, call your veterinarian.

The following causes of a dog’s depigmented nose:

  • Weather: Winter nose or snow nose is the most typical cause of a dog’s nose losing its color. In cold winter, some dogs’ noses turn pink; in warmer months, they revert to their original dark color. Normally, the nose only turns slightly pink when the weather affects its hue, like in the image above. Snow nose is innocuous to dogs and appears to be correlated with temperature. The cause is assumed to be a breakdown in the tyrosinase enzyme, which is responsible for producing melanin. (Melanin is the pigment that gives the hair, skin, and some portions of the eyes their color.) The enzyme weakens with aging and is temperature-sensitive.

Why is the color of my dog’s nose lightening?

The color of your dog’s nose could vary for a variety of reasons. Many dogs naturally have some of them, and they aren’t dangerous. However, some illnesses that can make your dog’s nose change colors may be harmful to your dog’s health. If this is the case, you should find out as soon as you can so you can take your dog to the doctor and keep any potential health issues from developing into serious medical emergency.

Old Age

Aging is among the most frequent causes of color changes in a dog’s snout. As your dog ages, the pigment in their nose is likely to alter, which could result in a black nose becoming lighter or vice versa.


Although the natural color should return once the damage is fully healed, scratches and abrasions to the exterior of the nose might cause it to turn pink while it heals.

Weather (Snow Nose)

It’s called snow nose if you observe that as the temperature drops, your dog’s nose goes from being a dark color to a lighter one. Since many dogs experience it spontaneously, it isn’t actually a condition. Snow nose is more common in some breeds, such as Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Huskies, and Shepherds.

Contact Dermatitis

A dog’s nose may change color if it comes into contact with anything the dog is allergic to. This is typically accompanied by additional signs, like a swollen or crusty nose. Some dogs are allergic to particular types of plastic, so sometimes even your dog’s food bowl can contribute to this.

Nasal De-pigmentation (Dudley Nose)

There are occasions when a dog’s nose changes color for no apparent reason. Although nasal de-pigmentation is the medical word for this illness, it is sometimes referred to as a Dudley nose. Even while this is nothing to be concerned about, dog owners may find it unsettling. It’s possible for the nose to turn pink, white, or both. The nose color of certain dogs may only temporarily change, whereas it may never do so for other dogs. Breeds like Irish Setters, Pointers, Poodles, Doberman Pinschers, Afghan Hounds, Golden Retrievers, Samoyeds, and White German Shepherds are especially susceptible to Dudley nose.

Bacterial Infection

There may typically be additional symptoms as well when a bacterial infection is the reason for your dog’s change in nose color. Your dog’s nose may likely appear bloated, crusty, painful, and in general poor condition. For further information, speak with your veterinarian if you see these symptoms and suspect a bacterial infection may be to cause.


Your dog’s nose will develop ulcers and crust due to this immune-related skin condition. If you observe sores and crust, call your veterinarian right away because this ailment is curable.


In people, vitiligo can also occur. Not just the nose, but the entire body, can be affected in dogs. Vitiligo normally gets worse over time if a dog starts to turn white as a result of it. Vitiligo just affects a dog’s appearance; otherwise, it does not harm its health. It happens when healthy, pigment-containing cells start to be attacked by the immune system. The breeds most prone to vitiligo are Dachshunds, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds.

Discoid Lupus

Discoid lupus is an immune-related skin condition that manifests as lesions on and around your dog’s nose, much like pemphigus. The discoid lupus usually gets worse in the sun.

Skin Cancer

The nose’s color may change due to skin cancer. Pink or white dogs with light noses are more prone to skin cancer and sunburn. To avoid these problems, be sure on apply sunscreen to light-colored noses.

Why did the black nose on my dog turn brown?

In animal tissue, tyrosinase is an enzyme. It accelerates the synthesis of pigments like melanin. It is located in your dog’s nose, as you might have guessed, and is thought to be temperature-sensitive.

Tyrosinase degrades in the cold, which explains why your dog’s nose is turning brown. Depending on the breed you have, it can also turn pink, so it’s not simply brown. Winter nose or snow nose are two names for this phenomena. When the temperature gets warmer, your dog’s nose should return to its original hue. Again, it’s a regular process, so there’s no need to be concerned.

Is a dog’s pink nose undesirable?

Pink-nosed dogs are quite normal and frequently meet breed standards. Pink noses may not always indicate a health issue with your dog. Depigmentation simply refers to the absence of pigment on the dog’s snout.

Dogs with pink noses are typically equally as healthy as those with deeper coloration. The largest impact of the lack of pigment is purely aesthetic, and it only affects how the nose looks.

A pink nose can happen to any dog, regardless of color. Although it rarely occurs in black dogs, when it does, most of the time, everything is OK.

A pink nose, however, occasionally necessitates additional medical care. In the event that a quick change in hue is accompanied by other symptoms like sneezing, labored breathing, flaky skin, or a runny nose, you should take action.

Take your dog to the vet as soon as you can if this occurs. The most common causes of a changing nose color are allergies or bacterial infections, but you should still screen out more serious medical disorders.

A pink nose can occasionally be a symptom of a genetic disorder such albinism, the merle gene, or vitiligo.

Dogs with pink noses shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunshine, but aside from possibly switching their plastic food bowls, they don’t need any extra care.

Why is the black nose on my dog fading?

Hello AKC! Normally, the nose of my two-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever is black, but this winter it changed to a very pale pink color. While not dry, his nose appears to have lost some of its color. Why does this happen? Can I do anything to make things better? Using Pink

Love, Pink Take note if your dog’s nose changes from the typical cold, wet nose and decide whether a trip to the vet is necessary. If a dog’s nose starts to look dry, cracked, or changes color, it should be looked into further. It can be a sign of a more serious issue.

Your dog most likely has “winter nose” or “snow nose,” which can affect several breeds, including Labradors, some northern breeds, and even smaller dogs like terriers. The shorter, colder winter days will cause a naturally black nose to lose some of its color. When the days become longer and the temperature rises, the dark pigment will come back. It is well knowledge that dogs repeat this cycle every year.

There are a few observations that have been made and a few theories that have been put out, but there is no one single explanation for why this occurs. One interesting finding is that since this illness affects dogs in warmer environments, the cold temperature is probably not a major component in initiating it. Maybe the lengthier days that come with cooler weather have an impact. Additionally, some scientists and breeders think this illness might have a genetic component. There is no “cure or fix for it, other than coloring it with makeup, which I don’t advise. The temporary loss of pigment is nothing harmful to the dog. However, you can check to see if your dog’s nose has lost color permanently.

A yellow Labrador with chocolate pigmentation is sometimes referred as as having a “Dudley Nose.” It is extremely uncommon and most likely a genetic anomaly when a Lab has no pigmentation at all on the nose or eye rims, with all areas being pink in color.

To distinguish between a “Dudley” and a plain faded nose, look at the color of the gum tissue and eye rims. The other dogs have black pigment in certain regions, however a Dudley will only have pale pink or tan skin. While winter nose is not a show ring disqualifier in certain dogs, this chronic absence of color in the nose and eye rims is. Another name for the pink nose is “Liver Nose in some breeds, and is acceptable in some liver-colored breeds but not in others.” The fact that Liver Nose has been connected to a chromosome supports the idea that winter or snow nose may have a genetic foundation. Winter or snow nose is not hazardous in any way, but dogs should always wear sunscreen while they are outside for an extended period of time to protect their delicate pink skin from sunburn.

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Is a dog’s snow nose harmful?

Your dog won’t get sick from snow nose. However, you should pay attention if their nose is dry, cracked, or scaly. Salves are readily available to treat dry nose. You may want to speak with your veterinarian if your nose is dry as this could be a sign of other health issues.

Do dogs’ noses age-relatedly turn brown?

A dog’s nose may change color as they age or because of the cold weather. Due to the lack of sunlight throughout the winter, a dog’s nose will sometimes get paler. However, you are right that there might be a medical reason for it, and you can take your dog to the vet to rule it out.

What is a “kennel nose”?

The term “kennel nose” refers to tiny scrapes on a dog’s snout caused by rubbing it against anything.

Due to the fact that many dogs suffer from this injury when they are away from home, frequently in a kennel or boarding facility, it is known as kennel nose.

Kennel nose is a condition when dogs scratch their faces on the bedding or other items around them, which causes abrasions on the nose.

Frequently, their nose and the tissue around it may appear red and inflamed; in some cases, a small wound may even form on the surface of the nose.

As they continue to rub, their injured skin may even bleed, leaving small smears of blood all over their kennel.

This conduct can happen in any setting because it is mostly anxiety-driven.

Kennel nose happens frequently, whether it’s in a posh daycare center or a straightforward kennel.

A liver nose dog is what?

While several other dog colors can resemble brown, liver is not one of them. When a dog is particularly dark red, as an Irish Setter, it might occasionally look brown. It can also appear that dogs with a mix of black and red-orange fur have brown patches. Looking at a dog’s nose will quickly reveal whether or not it is a Liver. A dog’s nose is colored by the eumelanin (black) pigment, hence a Liver dog will have a Liver-hued nose. The dog is not a liver if the nose is black. A dog’s pink nose has nothing to do with liver dilution and cannot be used to detect whether or not the dog is liver. Additionally, liver will turn a dog’s brown eyes amber or yellow.

Additionally, a dog could be a Liver and not seem brown. Recessive red dogs are unable to create the black pigment (eumelanin) for their fur. A recessive red liver dog will appear to be a shade of Red, Yellow, or Cream depending on the degree of the dog’s phaeomelanin (red) pigment since liver is a dilution of black pigment. The amber/yellow eyes and Liver nose of a recessive red Liver will still be present at birth. Any red dog with a recessive gene will eventually get a pink nose as they age. Similar to any dog, the color of the fur can be hidden by covering the liver with varied amounts of white.

What shade ought a dog’s nose to be?

However, did you also notice that they have a variety of colored noses? Some dogs have brown or liver-colored noses, but the majority have black or pink ones.

Dogs’ exposed skin, including the skin beneath their fur, can actually vary in color. What gives, though?


A dog’s age and breed play a big role in determining the color of his nose. While some breeds are more likely to have pink noses than others, some breeds have black noses. Some animals even have noses that match their hair in hue.

Many puppies have pink noses at birth, which darken with time. On the other hand, some dogs with dark or black noses may age with lighter noses. Some have flecks.

The term “winter nose” or “snow nose” refers to a condition where a dark nose turns pink in the winter but returns to being black in the summer. Sometimes the pinking of the nose is limited to a small area. Tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for producing melanin (pigment), is temperature-sensitive, which could be one explanation for this. It’s not dangerous to have snow nose.

However, there may be many causes for a dog’s nose to change color. Take your dog to the vet if his nose is crusty, has one or more elevated patches, is running, or if he starts digging or clawing at it. It could be a symptom of an infection, an allergic reaction, an injury, or other conditions that need medical attention.

In the winter or all year long, if your dog has a pink or light colored nose, it may be more susceptible to sunburn. Dog-safe sunscreen applied to your dog’s nose can help shield it from sunburn and skin cancer.


Pink tongues are present at birth in all puppies, and they are typically present throughout the lifespan of most dogs. Even Chow and Shar Pei puppy tongues start out pink before changing to the dark color typical of the breeds between the ages of 8 and 10 weeks.

On their skin and tongues, however, dark patches or marks are rather frequent among dogs. At least 30 additional dog breeds have a high prevalence of spots. Collies, Cocker Spaniels, German Shepherds, and Labrador Retrievers are a few of the more popular breeds.

As long as the spots are smooth and inside the skin rather than on the surface, a speckled tongue or palate is nothing to be concerned about. Similar to a freckle or liver spot on a body, a speckled tongue is just an increase in pigment.

But have the vet look at it if the spot is raised, leaking, or disturbing your dog. It should be treated right away because it might be a sign of something more dangerous, like cancer.

Toe Pads and Nails

Toe pads can be speckled, pink, or black, just like noses and tongues. Again, pigmentation is the only factor. Even dog nails might be white, tan, brown, black, or another color. Even one nail on some canines may have many colors.

Your dog is uniquely yours thanks to the black spots on his tongue, the pink and black toe pads, and the patches you can see on his tummy under the thin fur. Pay close attention to how his skin and fur are all colored. In the event that you become separated, you might use these areas to locate him. Additionally, keeping an eye out for changes in his skin can provide you and the veterinarian precious time to cure any potentially dangerous conditions.