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Why Do Dogs Noses Turn Brown?

February 5, 2021

Have you ever noticed and wondered why do dogs noses turn brown?

There are many reasons behind the change in a dog’s nose color. But the key idea is to know the most common reason behind why do dogs noses turn brown and when the change in color might be a cause of concern.

So, if you are a proud pet parent and you are wondering why your pooch’s nose is turning brown, then this article is for you. Read on to find out more. 

Why Dog Nose Color Changes?

Several signs showcase the difference in their health or physical appearance. Changing nose color is one among them. Have you ever noticed that your dog’s nose color has been changing in certain instances? Does it change to its natural color to brown or pink?

There can be many reasons for this color changing. Most of the dog owners have been struggling to find the answer to the question, why do dogs noses turn brown? Well, there are several prominent reasons behind this changing of color. 

The dog’s nose color differs according to the breeds like it can be brown, black, pink, etc. Some dog’s nose color changes with their growing age. For instance, puppies are generally born with pink noses which turn into darker shades as he or she grows older.

There are many reasons for this pigmentation that needs to be understood to determine the well being of your dog. As a responsible dog owner, you must always keep a close eye on your dog’s mental behavior and physical attributes. 

The change in pigmentation of dog nose can indicate many things. Hence, it is crucial to understand why it happens and what possible reasons are causing it so that you can take necessary actions at the right time.

Some reasons also require medical attention, as well. If you are not able to determine what makes your dog’s nose color change, it is advised to contact your nearest vet as soon as possible. 

Let’s delve deep into the reasons why do dogs noses turn brown or change color.

Weather is the most common reason behind losing the pigmentation of the nose in winters, and this phenomenon is also named as a winter nose or snow nose.

There are some breeds whose nose color changes from a darker shade to lighter shade in cold weather. This pigmentation of the nose is entirely harmless.

As mentioned earlier, dogs’ nose color changes with their growing age. This process of color change is entirely genetic and harmless.

Dog’s age directly and their maturing tissue causes the change in the nose color. If your dog did not have the same nose color he had when he was a puppy, then you don’t need to worry because it’s just your canine companion growing.

Injuries can also result in the change of nose color. Yes, if your dog has experienced any injury, there are chances their nose color will change.

Suffering from the trauma such as scrape or abrasion can also cause a change in color. It usually turns back into its original form once your dog is healed. It is essential to pay attention to such color change that is caused by injury or trauma.

Dogs are prone to bacterial infection. If your dog has caught any bacterial infection, then it might change his/her nose color as well.

Bacterial infection does not only lighten your dog’s nose, but it also may look sore, crusty, or inflamed. If you have been witnessing such changes in your dog’s nose color, then it is advised to take your dog to a vet.

Popularly known as Dudley Nose, nasal de-pigmentation is a situation when a dog’s nose color changes for unknown reasons. In some cases, the changed nose color never turns back into its original state. Breeds like Afghan Hound, Doberman Pinscher, Golden Retriever, Irish setter, Poodle, and White German Shepherd are prone to Dudley Nose. 

If your dog is allergic to certain things, it’s the nose that gets instantly affected. Along with lips, the nose also gets affected by the allergies.

It is essential first to figure out what your dog is allergic to find its cure. During allergies, the area around the nose starts to get inflamed and sore.

Dogs are also prone to sunburns, and it can change the color of their nose. The UV rays of the sun react with the dog’s tissues and result in pigmentation.

Hence, you must properly care for your dog when taking him/her out in the sun to avoid such color change.

Watch this important video about dog noses.

Are Certain Dog Breeds Susceptible to Change in Nose Color?

As mentioned earlier, the change in pigmentation differs from breeds to breeds. Different dog breeds are affected by pigmentation differently.

Dog breeds such as the Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, And Bernese Mountain dogs are some of the breeds that are primarily affected by snow nose, a condition of change in nose color due to winters.

Dudley nose or nasal de-pigmentation, which turns the nose color due to some unknown reasons, mostly affects the breeds like Doberman, Irish Setter, Poodle, Afghan Hound, and White German Shepherd. There are certain skin disease and autoimmune disorder in dogs that affects certain breeds.

For instance, Vitiligo is generally found in breeds like the German shepherd, Labrador retriever, Rottweiler, and Dachshund. Hence, if you own any of the breeds that are prone to certain pigmentation conditions, you can easily detect the reason behind the change in your dog’s nose color. 

How a Dog’s Nose Turns Brown Due to Weather?

Weather is one of the common reasons behind the common nose color change in dogs. If you have been asking yourself why dogs noses turn brown, then there are chances that weather might be the culprit.

For instance, if your dog has a black nose, the chilly winds and frigid winters can turn it into pink. Eventually, when the weather gets warmer, it will turn back into its original color.

Usually, the pigmentation that happens due to the winter only changes the color of the nose partially. That means, your dog’s nose won’t turn pink completely, there will be slight hues of pink among the original black nose.

In other cases, it can turn your dog’s nose into a brown tint. Snow nose and winter nose depend on the temperature, and it is entirely harmless to the dogs.

This pigmentation is usually caused due to the breakdown of an enzyme called tyrosinase that creates melanin in dogs. Melanin is responsible for the pigmentation of hair, skin, and other parts of the body.

This enzyme is sensitive to temperature, and it generally gets weaker with age, and maybe that’s why the dog’s nose color changes with age. 

How a Dog’s Nose Turns Brown Due to Aging?

Just like winter, age is one of the common reasons behind the nose color that is neither replaceable nor harmful. Generally, puppies are born with lighter shades of nose color such as white, and pink, and it turns typically into darker tints like brown or black.

As mentioned above, the breakdown of the tyrosinase enzyme is responsible for the loss of pigmentation in dogs. This loss of pigmentation happens due to the growing age. 

If your dog has been showcasing the change in nose color over a period that is not due to any medical reason, then you don’t worry much. This change may be due to the growing age. The loss of pigmentation due to age is entirely harmless.

Your dog won’t be physically or mentally affected by such change. Just keep a close eye on your dog’s nose color to detect any unexplained changes so that you can get your dog medical attention at the earliest.

How a Dog’s Nose Turns Brown Due to Medical Reasons?

The loss of pigmentation in a dog’s nose can also be related to medical issues. As mentioned earlier, there are several allergies, bacterial infections, and diseases that directly affect the nose color of your dog.

You need to be aware of such medical conditions and detect whether your dog has been losing the nose pigmentation due to any of such conditions.

Let us discuss the medical reasons as to why do dogs noses turn brown. 

Allergies can contribute to the change in your dog’s nose color. Just like humans, dogs are allergic to certain objects, eatables, weather, etc. Dermatitis is one of the skin allergies that can cause a change in nose color. It will not only change the nose color, but it can also create painful sores and crust on your dog’s nose.

To safeguard your dog’s health from such allergies, you need to determine what your dog is allergic to. For instance, some dogs are allergic to plastic, so serving them food in plastic bowls will only worsen the condition; try switching it with a steel bowl to tame the plastic allergy.

Just like allergies, dogs are also vulnerable to bacterial infections that can cause a change in nose color. There are plenty of bacterial infections that affect the health of your dog. Noses are one of the common areas in a dog’s body that are primarily affected.

Hence, when a dog catches any bacterial infection, it directly affects the nose color. In a bacterial infection, a dog’s nose also starts developing sores, inflammation, and crusty substance that can make your dog irritated and frustrated. The inflammation can be painful sometimes.

Therefore, it is crucial to get a vet’s assistance when your dog is suffering from any bacterial infection. 

Just like humans, dogs also have an immune system and prone to diseases related to it. Pemphigus is an autoimmune skin disorder found in dogs.

It not only causes a change in color, but it also creates cores and crust on the dog’s nose. Pemphigus can be treated with medications and treatments, and it is advised to see a vet as soon as possible. 

Discoid Lupus is also a skin disorder that is found in a dog. Just like pemphigus, it also changes the nose color and makes it look sore and crust. 

The condition of discoid Lupus gets worse when the dog comes in contact with the sun. You must not ignore such symptoms in your dog and immediately take him/her to a credible vet to treat the condition. 

It is an autoimmune disease in dogs that primarily affects the skin by blocking the healthy and pigment cells by attacking it with antibodies. Vitiligo not only turns the dog’s nose pink, but it can also make the dog pigmentation in other body areas as well.

This condition can take a severe turn by changing the entire body color of the dog. Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, and Dachshund are some breeds that are most affected by Vitiligo. 

It is unknown skin conditions that make your dog lose pigmentation of his or her nose, lips, and eyelids. The cause of Idiopathic is still unknown, and medical officials have been continuously conducting studies to determine the potential causes.

If you witness any such unexplained pigmentation in your dog, you must immediately contact your vet for assistance.

VKH-like syndrome or Uveodermatological syndrome (UDS) is an autoimmune disease in dogs wherein the T-cells start attacking melanin forming cells. Melanin is responsible for the pigmentation of the nose, hair, skin, and other body parts.

This condition is also called skin cancer in dogs. It is essential to get medical attention as soon as possible before the situation gets worse, and disease starts to take a toll on your dog’s health. 

What Can You Do When Your Dog’s Nose Changes Color Frequently?

So far, you must have learned that there are pretty good and extensive reasons for the loss of pigmentation in your dog’s nose. It is crucial to remain acquainted with all such reasons that can cause a change in nose color.

From chilly weather to severe skin diseases, your dog can be suffering from any issue that might result in a change in nose color.

As a responsible owner, you must first detect the possible causes of such change. If the change is caused due to winters or age, you don’t have to worry much as it is entirely harmless.

Snow nose generally turns back into its original color once your dog gets the required warmth. You can make sure to keep your dog warm to prevent a snow nose.

If your dog’s nose color has been changing due to any allergies, you would need to be smart enough first to detect the allergy and do the necessary to keep your dog away from it.

In case you are not able to detect what your dog might be allergic to, you can visit a vet to make a complete diagnosis of your dog. There are several skin diseases as well that causes loss of pigmentation.

As a responsible pet parent, you must be attentive to such ailments in your dog and detect whether it is causing significant changes in nose color or not. It is advised not to waste time procrastinating and visit a vet at the earliest.

Theses autoimmune disease that directly affects your dog’s skin can take severe turns if neglected. Hence, you must not ignore even the slightest change in your dog’s changing nose color.


Dogs are the most adorable pets you can bring into your life. From their unconditional love to their naughty instances, they tend to create a larger space in our lives. When you welcome a canine companion into your life, it is essential to understand their physical and mental behavior to ascertain their well being.

When you bring a dog into your life, it is not just the happiness that he or she brings into your life, it is also the load of responsibility they tend to give you. Their physical and mental well being becomes a part of your utmost duty.

Paying close attention to their changing body attributes and making sure that your dog’s health condition is safe and sound is extremely important.

Changing of nose color is one of the natural processes that have been found in the dog. While weather and age are considered as the most common reasons, there are some other prominent reasons as well that you should not neglect at all.

Snow nose and loss of pigmentation due to age are entirely harmless, which means your dog health won’t be affected by it. But, cases like Vitiligo, Discoid Lupus, and other immunity diseases can be a severe threat to your dog’s health.

Hence, it is vital to pay close attention to the changing nose color of your dog and ensure that it not harmful. If you have been witnessing any unexplained changes in your dog’s nose color, you must visit a vet without wasting any time. Seek guidance from a professional vet and ascertain what might be causing such loss of pigmentation in your dog’s nose.

The above mentioned were some specific causes and possible reasons why do dogs noses turn brownYou must be acquainted with all the reasons so that you can detect what might be possibly causing such nose color change in your dog.

Never ignore the changes in your dog’s health. Stay vigilant and give the right care to your dog to safeguard his or her health.