WINTER NOSE

By Monday, December 12, 2016 14 No tags Permalink

Winter Nose” (or sometimes Snow Nose) is a term used to describe the color change on a dogs nose.

MEET CHARLIE –

WINTER NOSE

His mom Robin calls him – her #doodometer.

She says –

I can determine the temperature outside by looking at his big doomometer nose. When its chilly, his doomometer is kinda purplish and when it’s warm my doodometer is black as coal.

The first time I saw this happen with Harley, my daughter told me it was because Harley was aging. #Ibelievedit

Legitimate hypotheses – just not feasible for a dog at the tender age of four!

WHAT IS SNOW-NOSE? –

Snow nose, winter nose (also called “hypopigmentation”)  results from loss of sunlight, and causes the nose to fade to brown in winter; normal colour returns as summer approaches. Snow nose occurs mainly in light-coated breeds; the colour change can become permanent in older dogs. It is not associated with disease.

This year Jaxson has developed “winter nose.” He’s become my own personal barometer. Since the late fall our temperatures have consistently been below average. Look at the difference in the color of his nose…

WINTER NOSE

DE-PIGMENTATION –

Weather is the most common and harmless cause for the loss of pigment –

Some dog’s noses change colors from a dark color to pink in cold weather; turning dark once again when the weather gets warmer. Usually when the nose changes color due to the weather it only partially changes pink as seen in the picture above. Snow nose seems to be directly related to the temperature and is harmless to the dog. The culprit is thought to be a breakdown in an enzyme called tyrosinase, which is what makes melanin. (Melanin is what gives color, or pigment, to the hair, skin and parts of the eyes.) The enzyme is temperature sensitive and gets weaker with age. Source:Dog Breed Info

Some breeds are more prone to the change in nose color due to weather.

Dogs like –

  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Husky
  • Shepherd

While Winter Nose / Snow Nose is usually harmless, sometimes it can be an indication that medical attention may be needed. Please contact your vet if you don’t know WHY your dog’s nose has lost it’s pigment.

Robin and I are grateful to Charlie, Harley and Jaxson – thanks to their Winter Noses – we no longer have to depend solely on the weather channel 🙂

Does your dog have a “Winter Nose?”

New Monday – New Week – New Goals! 

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14 Comments
  • Tiffany Bennett-Cuartero
    December 12, 2016

    Harley’s not old, just a little chilly. Thanks for the lesson. I’ll pass it along.

    • Cathy Bennett
      December 12, 2016

      Harley is what I like to call “seasoned”

  • Greg Reid
    December 12, 2016

    Who would have known…!!! Forget the cliché “that dog won’t hunt!” Change to…”that dog ain’t predicting weather right!”

    • Cathy Bennett
      December 12, 2016

      HA! You’ve got jokes Greg #andIlikeit

  • Dashlilly
    December 12, 2016

    I have never watched D and L’s noses.. now I have to! How adorable.

    Hey — if you can, send a little prayer Dash’s way. We have managed, with medication, Dash’s hypothyroidism really well… until now. Doc is concerned with weight gain, slow heart rate and an ear infection. We go for a re-test on 12/29. Prayers that we can adjust the medication and my doodle-boy will be A-Ok. Thanks!

    • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
      December 12, 2016

      Sending POTP for Dash! Callie had been on thyroxine for several years, and we had it under control. Hopefully all Dash needs is a slight adjustment to his meds.

  • Jan K
    December 12, 2016

    Sheba’s nose was black when she was a puppy, but it started turning pink pretty early on. I think once it turned completely pink, it has stayed that way, no matter the time of year. She has a dark spot on there too, and that has been there for quite a few years now. So unfortunately I have to listen to the weathermen instead. I imagine dogs’ noses would be equally if not more accurate. 🙂

  • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
    December 12, 2016

    Shadow has had a liver-colored nose since she was about a year old. Callie’s nose was coal black her entire life, even during the winter months, so I guess she had melanin to spare.

  • Emma
    December 12, 2016

    Katie’s nose turned more and more pink as she aged, but it didn’t change for seasons. Bailie and I have black noses no matter what. It is interesting to think about what causes the change in some dogs.

  • Sand spring Chesapeakes
    December 13, 2016

    Oh wow, I didn’t know. Interesting.

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    December 13, 2016

    I have never heard of this; I’ll have to check out my dogs’ noses when I get home to see if their colors change 🙂 Very cool factoid.

  • LeeAnna Paylor
    December 14, 2016

    who knew??

  • Yanira Maldonado
    October 7, 2017

    Hello, we have a Goldendoodle and I just noticed this week that his nose changed slightly pink. Jarvis is 2 years old. I have a few questions that hopefully you can help answer since you have gone through this before. To be safe, we have already scheduled appt for him.

    Can it change this early in the season?

    He has been acting normal and I haven’t noticed nothing out of the ordinary. Will he be acting a certain way if it was due to something more serious?

    I hope you don’t mind me asking due to I am new to this and we love our Jarvis dearly and want to make sure he is healthy.

    Thank you so much in advance!

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 24, 2017

      I’m happy to hear that you’ve made an appointment with your vet. I always encourage Doodle parents to go to their vet whenever they are unsure of something. I believe (from what you’ve described) that there is nothing wrong with Jarvis. Sounds like his nose is just changing color. With the two distinct breeds selectively cross bred, each is unique to include the pigmentation of the nose. Please let me know what the vet said. I am curious – but not worried. Thanks for stopping by, please come back again soon. I’d love to see a photo of handsome Jarvis too!

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