Dogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and colors.But have you noticed that their noses come in different colors as well? Most have black or pink noses, but some dogs have brown or liver-colored noses. In fact, the exposed skin on dogs, even the skin under their fur, can vary in color. But why is that?
NosesThe color of a dog's nose is largely dependent on both his age and breed. Some breeds have black noses, while other breeds are more prone to pink noses. Still other breeds have noses that are the same color as their fur. Many puppies are born with pink noses that darken as they age. Conversely, some dogs with black or dark noses may have noses that get lighter as they get older. Some are speckled. There is also a condition called "winter nose" or "snow nose" where a dark nose will get pink in the winter, but go back to black in the summer. Sometimes only a portion of the nose will turn pink. One possible explanation for this is that the enzyme (tyrosinase) which makes melanin (pigment) is temperature sensitive. Snow nose is a harmless condition. There can be other reasons for a dog's nose to change color, however. If your dog's nose is crusty, has one or more raised areas, is running, or if he's digging or scratching at it, take him to the vet. It could be a sign of an allergic reaction, an infection, the result of an injury, or from other causes requiring medical intervention. If your dog has a pink or light colored nose, either as a result of winter nose or year round, it can be prone to sunburn. Putting a dog-safe sunblock on your dog's nose can help protect it from both sunburn and skin cancer.
Chow Chow | istockphoto/Iurii