Surprising reasons your Frenchie has a dry nose ( and how to help)

Why does my frenchie have a dry nose?

The unique face of the French Bulldog is its most endearing feature. While the structure is a little out of the ordinary, there is a cuteness there that you can’t help but love. Part of this appeal is the large nose right in the middle of that smiling shorted muzzle.

As with all dogs, this should be a shining wet nose ready to sniff out a treat and interesting smells. But, there are plenty of times when it will become a little too dry and dull. So, why do French Bulldogs get dry noses and what can we do about it to ease any discomfort?

Why does my Frenchie have a dry nose?

There is every chance that your dog’s dry nose is a temporary reaction to their environment, a long sleep, or a simple side effect of their facial structure. It could moisten up again quickly. But, regular issues with a dry nose could be a sign of a deeper issue with their diet, allergies, or other health issues. This is also true if the nose becomes excessively dry or cracked. So, make sure to take the condition seriously, invest in the right products to soothe the nose, and consult your vet whenever necessary. 

The good news here is that there are lots of common reasons for Frenchie to end up with dry noses. Their facial structure and breathing habits mean that they don’t get enough moistureOpens in a new tab.. Other factors such as environmental or dietary issues could play their part too. However, regularly cracked nose or dry noses with additional symptoms could be a sign of something else. That is why it is important to find the cause and then work on the right treatment method.

French Bulldog dry noses aren’t always a cause for concern, but it still helps to understand this trait.

The truth is that dry noses are something that most Frenchie owners will deal with at some point, and to varying degrees. That is why it is vital that you take the time to better understand the causes, treatments, and other considerations. That way, the next time your pet’s nose gets dry or cracked, you can work on finding the best possible solution with ease. The key points that you need to remember here are as follows.

  1. The brachycephalic genetics of French Bulldogs make them more prone to dryness around the nose.
  2. This issue may become worsened via environmental conditions, allergies, or other illnesses.
  3. Extremely cracked noses may be a sign of a more significant condition or illness.
  4. Simple changes to your dog’s diet or environment could make a big difference.
  5. Allergy relief could also help them with other conditions like skin allergies and dandruff.
  6. Natural balms work really well to soothe cracked noses.
  7. Your vet will always help with concerns and diagnoses if you are worried about your pet.

These are just some of the shorter points to help ease your mind if your pet currently has a cracked nose for an unknown reason. Let’s take a closer look at some of these factors regarding the causes and treatments for dry French Bulldog noses.

Is it common for Frenchies to get dry noses?

Yes. This issue is more common in brachycephalic dogs because of their facial structure. One simple way for dogs to keep their noses moist themselves is to lick them with their tongue. That is easier said than done when you are a Frenchie and your nose is so far away from your mouth. They will lick their noses when they can but may go a little longer without doing so. Also, they are unlikely to lick their noses when they sleep, which can allow for a drier-than-average nose when they wake up.

With that said, it is important to differentiate between a dry nose and a cracked nose. Dry noses are just dry to the touch and aren’t their normal healthy selves. Cracked noses are much rougher with tough bits of flaky skin. Think about it in the same way as your lips. They can get drier in the winter and may need a little more moisture from lip-balm. More problematic lips can get a lot rougher and chapped.

Are cracked noses harmful to your Frenchie in any way?

Again, in the way that chapped lips are uncomfortable and can lead to bleeding, a dry cracked nose could be equally annoying for dogs. The last thing you want is for your dog to feel any discomfort or pain on a part of their anatomy that is so sensitive. Then there is the other issue of dogs needing their nose to smell. There is a concern that dryness and other issues around the nose could impede their ability to smell and the sensitivity of the tissues

What causes French Bulldog dry noses?

In order to help keep our Frenchie noses wet and healthy, it helps to understand the causes of this issue. There are a few possible causes that lead to a little dryness now and then. Other factors could cause more frequent cases or those issues of cracked skin. These include the following:

1) Weather conditions

This cause is familiar to any dog owner that deals with drier skin in the winter. Colder weather can make skin conditions a lot worse, and even those of us without any diagnosed condition will need to moisturize our hands and face more often. Therefore, it makes sense that our pets go through something similar.

2) Age

The problem can become worse in old age, but only in terms of the frequency of the dryness and not the risks to your pet’s health. Senior dogs may struggle to retain moisture in their skin and this is more obvious in the nose. They may also be more likely to sleep a little longer, which makes the nose even drier when they wake up.

3) Dehydration

This is where things start to get a little more serious. There is the possibility of a lack of moisture in the skin because of a more general lack of hydration. This could be as simple as that your dog has just woken up for a long sleep and is yet to drink. But, a disinterest in water or other symptoms of dehydration are cause for concern.

4) Allergic reactions

It is important to check the rest of your dog’s skin for signs of dryness and irritation there. Skin conditions are closely related to allergies, whether that means reactions to food, parasites, or environmental factors. French Bulldog dandruff, which you can read more about in our other guide, is a similar issue. So, the two effects may go side-by-side. This also includes allergies to plastic, something that dog owners don’t always consider when giving their pets food and water.

5) Underlying medical conditions

This is where the issue of dry Frenchie noses becomes a little more serious. There are cases where the problems with the skin are a symptom of autoimmune disorders or respiratory illness. In some cases, there may be additional symptoms to take note of. That is why it always pays to check your dog’s nose and general health instead of passing dryness off as a simple reaction to the weather or a night of long sleep.

There is also the potential that your dog’s dry nose is the result of Nasal Hyperkeratosis. This is a condition where the body produces too much keratin, which then leads to tougher, rougher patches of skin. The likelihood of dryness in the nose makes it a common site for these rougher patches of skin. Unfortunately, this mostly happens for an unknown reason and many vets will see it as a cosmetic issue. Your dog isn’t in any danger, but it does help to provide regular treatment to soothe the skin.

Should you go and see your vet about your Frenchies dry nose?

It depends on the extent of the problem. A little dryness now and then is normal. Extreme cracking could be the sign of something worse, so here it might help to call on an expert opinion. Your vet can perform tests and see if there is anything else going on, especially if you notice any other issues like sores around the nose, breathing issues, or other signs of poor health. Whatever the reason, they can advise you on what to do next. This includes advice on providing a better environment at home, using products to soothe the skin, and making any necessary changes that could minimize the risk of allergic reactions.

What can you do to keep your Frenchies nose moist?

Now you know some of the causes, you can figure out the best solution for your pet. As mentioned above, your vet should be able to help you out with all kinds of solutions. But, there is a lot that you can do yourself to provide relief and reduce the frequency of the problem. You can:

1) Consider the atmosphere of the home

Dry noses and skin could be due to little more than the atmosphere in the home and the current weather conditions. It is second nature to come home after a long walk in colder temperatures and put the central heating on. We don’t all have the luxury of natural fireplaces. But, this can create a drier environment that damages the skin further. A dehumidifier could be a good investment, not just for your Frenchie but for the whole family. These devices will improve the air quality and lessen the risk of skin drying out.

2) Give your pet plenty of access to water

This should be a no-brainer for any Frenchie owner, but it is worth reiterating. Easy access to fresh clean water is essential, whatever the season, so that dogs stay hydrated and healthy. Some pet owners that leave their dogs alone for long periods may accidentally neglect this. It is also important to use safe water bowls, especially if there is a risk of reactions to plastic. Ditch the plastic and bring in clean, safe metal bowls instead

3) Consider a change in diet if the problem is due to food allergies

Skin complaints and dry noses via food allergies are rectifiable with some patience and thought. It all comes down to determining what ingredient your dog is allergic to. This can take time as you try different brands and recipes and see how your dog reacts. There is also the chance that something that should be ideal just isn’t to their taste. Consider some fish-based options ( like sardinesOpens in a new tab.) for extra Omega-3 oils or an LID option for smaller dogs.

What can you do to soothe overly-dry and cracked noses?

These solutions are great for dogs where they only experience a little dryness that is easily corrected with environmental stimuli. It is a little different for cracked noses or regular occurrences. The discomfort here and the risk of tissue damage means it pays to treat the skin directly. Your dog can receive immediate relief and a lot of fuss and attention at the same time. Think of it like using a balm on your own skin. The right products can soften the area very quickly and make us feel a lot better.

Natural balms with essential oils and butters offer on-going relief and soften the skin on the nose. There are some great products out there that you can buy. The best are 100% natural with ingredients like coconut or avocado oil, shea butter, and other helpful elements. Just make sure to check the ingredients list to be sure there aren’t any hidden chemicals, parabens, artificial fragrances, or anything else unsavory.

Or, you could try making your own versions of these balms if you can source the right ingredients. The best natural solutions should be safe for use on dogs and humans. Therefore, you might find that you have a great new winter moisturizer for the whole family.

Mother of Frenchies

I’m Sarah-Jane White, an Animal Behaviourist and Trainer and one of my degrees is specifically in Canine Behaviour and Training. I’m a supporter and occasionally foster for the Phoenix French Bulldog Rescue and French Bulldog Saviours. I have grown up with bullbreeds and currently have one fawn pied French Bulldog called Dolly, her nickname is Po, after Kung Fu Panda because she loves noodles and has some great ninja moves.

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