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Why does my dog have a red nose? (Or a Red Spot or Bump)

To say that a dog’s sense of smell is incredible would be an understatement. Dogs can do so much just using their sense of smell.

Dogs are capable of separating the odors of different objects from each other even as they float around in the same environment. A dog’s nose is also remarkably sensitive. Scientists have found that dogs are over 100,000 times better at detecting odors compared to us.

Your dog relies heavily on their nose. If you notice something off with their nose, don’t just ignore it. There may be an issue there you need to address.

In this article, we’re focusing on changes that could affect your dog’s nose. We’ll be focusing specifically on changes in color and what they mean. Stay tuned so you can better understand what’s going on with your dog’s nose.

Why Does My Dog Have a Red Nose?

A dog’s nose is almost always colored black. It should remain that color all the time, but there are times when it may change.

Sometimes, a dog’s nose may turn pink. That’s a condition known as snow nose. Although we don’t know exactly why snow nose occurs, it’s not that big of a deal since it tends to disappear on its own.

You’re dealing with something different if your dog’s nose suddenly turned red.

The sudden appearance of your dog’s red nose is not an indicator that Santa Claus is calling them for sleigh duty. Instead, what you’re seeing there is a condition known as kennel nose.

Kennel nose is a pretty common condition among our canine friends. Appropriately enough, dogs tend to develop it whenever they have to stay at a boarding kennel. Of course, they can also get kennel nose from staying at a pet hotel or any other establishment where you won’t be present.

The redness that is emblematic of kennel nose is caused by frequent irritation.

Your dog may be pawing or scratching their nose constantly and that is leading to the change in its appearance. Kennel nose can also occur if your dog is always rubbing their nose against something.

Why Has My Dog’s Nose Suddenly Become Red?

Now that we know that kennel nose is the result of your dog’s nose being irritated, it’s time to answer another important question. The question is, why exactly is your dog doing that to their nose?

You would assume that their nose has to hurt at least a little because it’s irritated. The sensation of irritation cannot be comfortable so seeing them willingly hurt their nose is strange.

To understand why dogs do that to themselves, you must read up on their potential motivations. We already have them detailed below so go ahead and check them out.

Your Dog Is Following Their Instincts

Out in the wild, dogs are very protective of their food. They will guard their stash of food with their life. Wild dogs will even hide their food to keep it safe from potential enemies and scavengers.

At home, your pet doesn’t need to do that. They know that there are no enemies nearby so they don’t feel the urge to hide their leftovers.

Your dog may feel differently in a boarding kennel. Even if the boarding kennel is a safe place for them, they may not necessarily feel that way.

Because of that, they may decide that they need to hide their food. They will try to lift their bowl or their bedding and use their nose to push their remaining food under those objects. After doing that repeatedly, your dog’s nose will turn red.

Your Dog Is Feeling Anxious

Dogs are not immune from feeling anxious. They get anxious when they sense danger and they can also feel anxious when they have to stay in an unfamiliar environment. After growing comfortable in your home, they may have trouble staying elsewhere.

Your dog rubbing their nose frequently could be a manifestation of the anxiety they’re feeling. Until they’re able to return home, they may just continue rubbing their nose.

Your Dog Is Injured

The constant pawing or scratching at their nose could be your dog’s way of trying to alleviate the pain they’re experiencing. Because the pain isn’t going away, their nose has now turned red from the constant irritation.

Your dog will not stop pawing or scratching their nose until the underlying issue is resolved. Check out what their injury is as soon as possible so you can do something about it.

Your Dog Doesn’t Like Their New Food

The boarding kennel your dog is staying in may serve food that your pet doesn’t know. Your dog may not like that new food so they will try to hide it instead of eating it. Their nose may get irritated as they keep trying to hide their new food under their bowl.

Why Does My Dog Have a Red Spot on the Nose?

A dog’s nose turning red is likely a case of kennel nose. But what if the redness is not widespread? What if only one spot on the nose has turned red and the rest is still colored black?

It’s important to note that kennel nose can vary in terms of severity. The redness could spread out over your dog’s nose entirely, but it’s also possible that only a few spots will be affected.

The red spot in question is still a manifestation of kennel nose. It’s just a less severe form of it.

Why Does My Dog Have a Red Bump on the Nose?

A red bump on your dog’s nose is not the same thing as a red spot. What that means is that you’re probably not dealing with kennel nose if you’re seeing something bumpy.

There are different potential explanations for that red bump.

First off, the red bump could be the manifestation of an allergic reaction. It may be a small breakout that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

The bump could also be caused by a skin infection. If a wound on your dog’s nose got infected, it may start to swell and turn red.

Lastly, the bump could also be the remnant of a scab. In this case, the bump will be quite small and you may have a tough time even seeing it.

What to Do about My Dog’s Red Nose?

Whether or not you will be able to treat your dog’s kennel nose will depend on the nature of the issue. Check out the different treatment methods for them.

Treating Kennel Nose Caused by Scratching, Pawing, or Rubbing

Kennel nose brought about by frequent scratching, pawing, or rubbing can be treated at home.

Treat your dog’s kennel nose by using a washcloth soaked in some anti-bacterial soap. Rub the washcloth gently on your dog’s nose. After that, you should wipe your dog’s nose clean with a separate piece of cloth.

You can also apply some ointment prescribed by a veterinarian to treat kennel nose. Just make sure your dog doesn’t lick off the ointment.

Putting an Elizabethan collar on your dog can also prevent their kennel nose from getting any worse.

Treating Kennel Nose Caused by an Injury

A case of kennel nose caused in part by an injury is harder to treat. You should let the veterinarian examine your dog so they can ascertain the extent of your pet’s injury. Once the injury has been treated, your dog’s nose should return to its normal color.