Boxer dogs are one of the cutest dog breeds out there. With their athletic build, pointy ears, and squishy faces, it’s impossible not to love them.
While you may think your boxer is perfect (and you’re not wrong), knowing what your boxer should be and feel like at all times is essential. You may find your boxer’s nose cute and petite, but you could ignore signs of trouble if you don’t pay enough attention.
Boxer dogs can get sick for several reasons, but quite a few could be related to their noses.
We know what you’re thinking; how could a boxer’s nose be that important?
You see, your boxer’s nose can tell you a lot about the health of your boxer dog, and if you’re not paying attention, your boxer could get sick.
And this doesn’t just go for boxer dogs only. Even if you have a dog that’s not a boxer, something as small as a nose can guide you about your dog’s health.
Why Your Boxer’s Nose Health Matters?
But why does a boxer’s nose health matter so much?
Boxer dogs are brachycephalic (a breed with a shorter skull than other dog breeds.) Because of their short skulls, the nose of brachycephalic breed dogs is much higher than that of other breed dogs.
If you’re an experienced pawrent, you know that dogs love to lick up their noses. The constant licking keeps the noses of most dogs moist, but when you have a boxer dog, that may not be the case.
A boxer’s nose is too high for its tongue to reach, so it won’t be able to keep it moist. While keeping a dog’s nose moist isn’t too important, if your dog’s nose is constantly dry, it can cause issues. Common issues associated with a dry dog nose include scaling, peeling, discoloring, bleeding, and blisters.
If your boxer’s nose is dry, it may not indicate something terrible. However, a dry boxer’s nose also doesn’t mean it’s good. Since boxer dogs cannot keep their noses moist, they are prone to much more damage due to their already dry noses.
Some signs to identify that there is something wrong with your boxer’s nose are mentioned below.
- Cracking, peeling, or scaling of the nose
- Blisters or ulcers forming on or right next to the nose
- The color of the nose fades from black to brown or even lighter
- Swelling of the nose
- Nasal discharge
- Nose bleeds
- Constant sneezing
- Difficulty in breathing (dog constantly pacing, trying to keep its mouth open)
- Pawing or scratching the nose
When is a Runny Nose Snot Okay?
Are you noticing a runny nose in your boxer? If your boxer has suddenly started to experience nasal discharge or if you see its nose a lot runnier than usual, it may be a sign of trouble.
Knowing when a runny nose is okay and when it’s a sign of trouble lies in the color and frequency of the discharge. All dogs, at some point, will have a runny nose, but if your dog’s nasal discharge is happening way too frequently, there may be an underlying issue.
If your boxer’s nasal discharge is yellowish, greenish, or even red, it’s a sign that something is wrong.
Common Problems in a Boxer’s Nose
There are a lot of issues that can happen with your boxer’s nose. Some of them aren’t that dangerous, but others can be a sign of something being wrong.
One of the most common issues with a boxer’s nose is cracking. If you notice that the smooth black portion of your boxer’s nose is cracking, it’s a sign of a dry boxer’s nose.
If the dryness lasts long enough, it can make your boxer’s nose look crusty. A crusty nose differs from a dry nose by appearance and intensity; crusty noses are much more dried and can be painful.
Usually, as a boxer ages, its nose may fade in color. However, it could be sick if your boxer’s nose color is suddenly fading from that dark black to a light brown.
Discoloration of a boxer’s nose could mean that there’s something wrong. Commonly, a light fade isn’t threatening unless it happens suddenly or at a very young age. However, if your boxer’s nose turns reddish, light brown with a tinge of orange or pales in color, there may be something wrong.
Depigmentation is the reversal/ loss of color from the current form to the original.
If your boxer’s nose color pales to a white or pink color, it may not be a sign of trouble. Some boxer puppies start with pink and whitish noses and may return to the color when they age.
However, this doesn’t mean that when your boxer’s nose experiences depigmentation, you ignore it. Not all depigmentation is safe, so you should always visit the vet.
6. Scaled Boxer’s Nose
Scaling of a boxer’s nose mostly happens because of dryness. Scaling is when the upper and outermost layer of your boxer’s nose begins to dry and hang loose.
7. Thickened Boxer’s Nose
The nose of a brachycephalic dog is as thick as the nose of other dog breeds.
This doesn’t mean that your boxer’s nose may not thicken more. Specific problems with the nose, like deficiencies, can cause them to thicken more, which is a concern.
8. Peeling of a Boxer’s Nose
If your boxer’s nose is not moistened and is kept dry, it can begin peeling. Peeling is when the outermost layer of the dog’s nose begins to peel off. The peeling of a boxer’s nose can be treated easily and is generally not a cause of concern.
9. Flaking on a Boxer’s Nose
When a boxer’s nose gets too dry, it can become flaky. Flakes (small, flat blisters) can form on your boxer’s nose and can be painful.
10. A Bleeding Boxer’s Nose
Nose bleeds in dogs are a sign of trauma or respiratory infections. If your boxer’s nose is bleeding, you should visit the vet to ensure it is not something serious.
11. Ulcers/Blisters on a Boxers Nose
Ulcers are sores that can form either due to dryness or other issues. Blisters are little pockets of skin that may have air or fluid in them.
You must visit the vet if your boxer’s nose has ulcers or blisters. Blisters/ulcers can form due to dryness and are not that serious, but you still have to view them as a concern because they are painful.
Occasionally, ulcers/blisters signify more severe and painful health issues.
12. Scabs on a Boxer’s Nose
Peeling and scaling of the nose can lead to the formation of scabs, which can leave a mark on your boxer’s nose. Scabs must be treated regularly and properly to ensure your dog is healed and relieved from the pain.
As a dog parent to a boxer, you might already know how dry the nose gets. But, if you’re noticing your boxer’s nose getting drier than usual, or if you’re noticing one of the few signs previously discussed, you need to treat your dog immediately.
While a dry nose is not necessarily alarming, leaving it untreated can be dangerous. A dry nose for a boxer dog invites other health problems.
Is It Normal For A Boxer To Have A Dry Nose?
Yes, it’s normal for a boxer’s nose to dry. Boxer dogs cannot moisten their nose, so they’re bound to be drier.
However, don’t take this as a cue to leave the boxer’s nose dry. Letting your boxer’s nose dry out is placing your dog in harm’s way. Most owners of boxers try home remedies or proper medication to keep their boxer’s nose health in check.
There are many causes of dryness in a boxer’s nose:
As we’ve discussed earlier, your boxer’s facial structure (skull) is set differently from other dogs. This puts the boxer’s dog at an awkward tendency toward dry noses.
When we say dehydration, we don’t necessarily mean that your boxer isn’t getting enough water. While dehydration can happen because of a lack of fluid intake, in boxers, dehydration can be linked to their inability to keep their noses moist.
Think of it this way; a dog licks its nose to keep it moist. Licking provides the nose with some form of hydration. Since boxers can’t lick their noses, they risk dehydration.
When your boxer cannot get a healthy fluid intake, it will experience dehydration, which can further dry its nose.
If your boxer’s nose is drying unusually, you might have to look into what you’re feeding your dog. Yes, we know you wouldn’t ever put your fur baby in harm’s way. But sometimes, dog parents can’t immediately tell when something is harming their dog.
Take kibble, for example. Kibble is a highly-processed diet, which is generally recommended for dogs to keep them in tip-top shape. But, the same highly-processed diet provides your dogs with an excess of some nutrients, which can cause health problems.
A highly-processed diet is also drier than a regular diet, so your boxer isn’t hydrated as it should.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid is very beneficial for puppies and adult dogs. Omega-3 Fatty Acid supports stiff joints and is suitable for your dog’s skin and coat.
If your dog is eating a diet that lacks Omega-3 fatty acids, it might not get its share of nutritional benefits. Without Omega-3 fatty acid, a dog’s skin can get dry, and in boxer dogs, the nose.
You know how your nose itches if you breathe in dry, cold air? If you live in cold areas, you already know the drill of dry air and dry nose. Your boxers experience the same problem.
Usually, even if a dog has a dry nose, breathing in humid or moist air can soothe it. However, if the air is dry and cold, as expected in winters, there is no humidity in the air to soothe the dog’s nose. Breathing in dry air irritates the nose, causing it to dry.
But that’s not the worst thing that can happen; constantly breathing in dry air through a dry nose can cause the dog’s nostrils to bleed or hurt.
If your boxer experiences a dry and hot environment, the chances of its nose drying out are high. Direct exposure to the sun, rising temperature, and hot, dry wind can dry the nose of a boxer.
Your dog may not tan, but it can get sunburns very quickly. You must apply sunscreen to sensitive areas like the nose whenever you’re out, even for a little while.
A dog’s nose is susceptible to heat and can get sunburnt very quickly. Sunburns are a very painful cause of dry noses.
Contact dermatitis is a skin condition where a rash or itch can develop as a reaction to direct contact with a specific substance. Contact dermatitis can also happen due to an allergic reaction.
Everyday dog items triggering contact dermatitis include chew toys and food bowls. If your dog is mildly allergic to the materials from which its utensils or chew toys are made, it can get contact dermatitis.
Low-quality plastic, certain fibers, and similar substances cause contact dermatitis.
However, your dog can also experience contact dermatitis from something it has been using for a long time. In simpler words, your dog can develop an allergy to something it wasn’t previously allergic to. While rare, it can happen.
Such reactions are unpredictable, so it’s better to consult the vet.
If your boxer has recently been prescribed medicine, its dry nose may symbolize a reaction against the drug. Drug reactions don’t have to be from new medicines; your boxer can develop a reaction to medicine it has been taking for a very long time.
Drugs like Prednisone can cause your dog’s nose to dry out as a side-effect, but if your boxer isn’t taking any medicine with Prednisone, it is better to evaluate its prescription.
A dry nose isn’t a sign of sudden concern, but you shouldn’t take it lightly. There are a lot of health issues that may not be directly related to a dry nose but can get worse.
On the other hand, health problems can also start from a dry nose. So, the dry nose you think would go away on its own may not be so innocent.
Let’s talk about when a dog’s nose is too dry. As we’ve mentioned, leaving your dog’s nose dry for too long and not treating it can become painful. A dry boxer’s nose is generally harmless until it begins peeling, flaking, or blistering.
Unfortunately, not all dog parents understand how hurtful an untreated dry nose can be. Most doggie parents will think that a dry nose is typical, and it is often too late when they realize how serious it is.
A dry nose left untreated can become crusty, which is when the nose begins to harden. Crusty noses can be very uncomfortable, if not painful. Most often than not, crusty boxer noses go unnoticed for treatment.
If your boxer’s nose is getting crusty, it’s ordinary but not normal. Yes, most boxer noses can get crusty far more than other dogs. This does not mean that a crusty dog nose is not harmful.
If your boxer’s nose is crusty, you should visit the vet to ensure your dog is not in pain. The vet will tell you how to treat the crusty nose until it gets better, so at least your dog won’t have to live in discomfort.
Thankfully, yes! You can quickly treat your boxer’s dry nose; you usually won’t even head to the vet. Of course, we still recommend visiting the vet so you can treat your dog correctly.
Sometimes, if a boxer’s nose is left untreated for a long time, it can trigger serious health issues. If these health issues are diagnosed timely, you’ll have to spend a few dollars on the treatment, but it will be better in the long run.
Why Treating Dry/Cracked Nose is Important: Health Issues?
You may think that a dry dog nose isn’t something to worry about, but in extreme cases, your dog could face health issues that require expensive and more prolonged treatments.
Some health issues that a dry nose can trigger are:
1. Nasal Hyperkeratosis
The most common health issue related to a dry nose is Nasal Hyperkeratosis. Hyperkeratosis is excessive skin growth that can collect at a certain point. In dogs, Nasal Hyperkeratosis affects a dog’s muzzle and nose.
Nasal Hyperkeratosis can severely affect your dog’s sniffing ability. And while most dogs are used to sniffing out old socks, they need this ability to protect themselves. Your dog may have trouble telling harmful and safe things apart without a good sniff.
Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. When this happens, the body and its metabolism slow down.
Hypothyroidism isn’t directly caused by a dry nose but can worsen a dry nose experience. Hypothyroidism in dogs is most commonly associated with weight gain and excessive shedding in sensitive areas like the nose.
Dogs with hypothyroidism cannot handle the cold and will be much more sensitive to the environment. This will irritate your dog more, and with the shedding that’s happening with the nose, dryness will be much more common.
3. Excessive Licking of the Nose
Dogs will lick the part of their nose which is dry, but constant licking on a dry nose can cause the skin to wear out. This can form sores.
4. Collie Nose
Nasal Solar Dermatitis, commonly called Collie Nose, is a condition where the skin can react abnormally to the sun.
Collie Nose dries out the nose and eyes and can worsen a dry nose. Of course, if your boxer already has a dry nose and gets Nasal Solar Dermatitis, the reaction can be much more severe and painful.
5. Snow Nose
Snow Nose is the depigmentation of your dog’s nose. Snow Nose gets its name from a dog’s nose’s whitish, flaky appearance.
6. Pemphigus Foliaceus
This is the most common autoimmune skin disease in dogs, which results in the formation of pimples and nodes.
7. Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE)
DLE is a type of skin lupus where the skin begins to thicken, crust, and scab.
8. Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis
Zinc deficiency can lead to Zinc-responsive dermatosis, where skin scaling and crusting can occur.
9. Nasal Infection
A dry boxer’s nose is an open invitation to nasal infections. Both bacterial and viral infections can quickly occur if a dog’s nose is dry.
You can apply some ointments to prevent your boxer’s nose from drying. Of course, it’s always better to go with the vet’s advice, but you can safely apply olive oil, Shia butter, and lotion.
We don’t recommend applying petroleum jelly because while it’s harmless, it can be harmful if ingested.
As your boxer ages, it will be more prone to health issues. In old age boxers, nasal diseases, problems like sinus inflammation, rhinitis (nasal congestion, itching, sneezing, and runny nose), and chronic bacterial infections can be frequent.
Don’t worry; with proper care and treatment, aging boxers can live a healthy and long life.
All dogs need to have moist noses to prevent health issues triggered by dry noses. Boxer dogs cannot keep their nose moist, which puts them at greater risk of health issues.
If your boxer’s nose is not moist, it can develop scabs, scales, flakes, and other nasal problems that can cause trouble in breathing and sniffing.
Here’s how you can treat and relieve your boxer’s dry nose:
It would be best if you first visited the vet to treat your boxer’s dry and cracked nose. The vet will tell you which mode of treatment you should follow since you might not know how severe the dry nose is.
Sometimes, the vet will recommend natural ointments to treat the dry nose at home. If your boxer’s nose is beginning to get thick or scale from excessive drying, the vet will probably prescribe a medicinal ointment suitable for your dog.
Give your dog lots of water to compensate for the dryness.
If you live in a cold and dry area, use a humidifier around your boxer to keep the air moist and humid.
Some home remedies to treat your boxer’s dry nose at home include:
- Olive oil
- Almond oil
- Shia butter
- Cocoa butter
- Cocoa butter seed oil
Final Thoughts: Boxer’s Nose
Your boxer’s dog can dry quickly. A dry nose isn’t always harmful but can trigger other health issues that can harm your dog. If your boxer’s nose is peeling, scaling, or blistering, visit the vet and get your dog treated for a dry nose.
Keep your dog hydrated and use a humidifier in a cold environment to prevent health issues triggered or worsened by a dry nose. Don’t let your dog go out into the sun without sunscreen.
We know you’re worried, but your furry pal will be fine with the proper care and treatment.