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Why Do Golden Retrievers Noses Turn Pink

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Do Pink Puppy Noses Turn Black

Is Your Dog More Golden Than Retriever? Teach Them To Fetch!

It can be black, brown, liver, pink, or the same color as its coat.

Sometimes a dog’s nose can start off one color and change to another as it ages.

Puppies are often born with pink noses, which later darken.

The weather: The most common reason a dog’s nose loses its pigment is called winter nose or snow nose.

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22 Related questions

We’ve handpicked 22 related questions for you, similar to «Why do dog noses turn pink?» so you can surely find the answer!

Why Do Labradors Noses Turn Pink

When someone learns that you have a Labrador Retriever, the question that most often follows is, What color? There is no doubt that Labs are the most popular choice of dog breed, and it seems as though everyone has a favorite color.

Whether Labs are black, chocolate, or yellow, they are easy to identify with their happy, smiling faces, thick otter tails, and cheerful, friendly personalities. One feature that is often overlooked though is the color of their noses.

Its so easy to get caught up in the joy of owning a Lab that slight differences in nose color often go unnoticed until you stop to take a close look and think, Was his nose always that color?

Why do Labrador Retrievers noses turn pink? While some yellow Labs, known as Dudleys, have a pink nose due to a lack of pigmentation, others may experience their once dark noses becoming pink due to several factors including weather, age, injury, allergies, or certain health conditions.

Anytime we notice something abnormal in our dogs, we worry. Thats only natural, but for the vast majority of pink nose incidences, theres no need for concern.

Keep reading to familiarize yourself with the possible causes of a Labs pink nose and to put your mind at ease.

Chemicals In Plastic Water Bowls

There is also a possibility it could be caused by certain chemicals plastic food and water bowls. These are not the most sanitary anyways, and I highly recommend stainless steel or porcelain.

Loss of pigment in a dogs nose can be caused by eating and/or drinking from plastic or rubber bowls that contain the chemical p-benzylhydroquinone. This chemical is absorbed through the skin and stops the formation of melanin. Many vets recommend using stainlesssteel, glass or ceramic bowls instead of plastic to eliminate the possibility of Plastic Dish Nasal Dermatitis.

Dog Health Doc Color of Dog Noses

I hope you found this information helpful. I know we love our goldens no matter what color their noses are.

PLEASE do NOT try and alter the color your dogs nose with shoe polish or magic marker!

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What Is Dog Snow Nose And What Can You Do About It

Reviewed for accuracy on March 19, 2019, by Dr. Katie Grzyb, DVM

If your dogs nose turns from its usual dark color to pink or brown, specifically during the winter, your dog may have what is commonly referred to as dog snow nose or winter nose.

The condition, which is called hypopigmentation, typically causes a dogs nose to lighten in colornormally to a pink or light brown. The color the nose turns will depend on the original color of your dogs nose.

If your dog normally has a black nose, it turns pink or a darker brown. If your dog has a brown nose, it may turn a lighter shade of brown.

What Kind Of Skin Does A Golden Retriever Have

Why Do Golden Retrievers

In golden retrievers, one expects a panic, because brown skin isnt supposed to exist our breed! .

A loss of pigmentation in the nose can also be caused by an underlying thyroid condition, and you will want to consult your vet to get thyroid levels tested. Another cause of pigment loss in your dogs nose could be from contact dermatitis. Some dogs have a sensitivity to plastic, and continued exposure to it will lighten their nose.

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Why Do Golden Retrievers Smile

There are various reasons why Golden Retrievers smile:

  • The panting smile: they look happy but are mainly trying to cool down.
  • The submissive smile: your dog will show its teeth in a goofy way. They want to show you they arent a threat to you.
  • The aggressive smile: this one usually comes with a growl. Its a warning to stay away.

To find out all about it, you can check this good article from JustForYourDog.

How To Keep Your Golden Retrievers Nose Black

Golden retrievers noses change color in the winter due to lack of sunlight and vitamin D, so if you want to keep their nose black, youve to provide them daily with enough vitamin D and take them for a walk whenever you see sunlight in the winter.

You dont have to worry about their nose turning pink or light brown because it will turn black again in the spring or the summer.

It also depends on their genetics so if you tried to provide them with vitamin D and sunlight in the winter and still it didnt work then its totally normal because some goldens dont have this condition.

Also Check: What Is The Average Age For A Golden Retriever To Die

Signs Of Snow Nose In Dogs

The only known symptom of snow nose in dogs is the fading or lightening of the nose color. This color change can be permanent but is most often a temporary change so the nose usually returns to its normal color. Some dogs even develop snow nose repeatedly each year or season but only the color of the nose changes and not the texture.

Whats The Difference Between A Red And Cream Golden Retriever


Sometimes, breeders change their name to trick buyers into thinking that these lighter-colored dogs are rare. But, no matter what they are called, they are Golden Retrievers. As a side note, cream Golden Retriever tends to be slimmer and sleeker in appearance. The Red Golden Retriever is officially classified as Mahogany.

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What Is Snow Nose In Dogs

Snow nose occurs when a dog’s nose lightens from a dark color to pink or brown. The name comes from the old thought process that this only occurs during the winter months when there is snow. Despite the name though, it is now known that dogs that aren’t exposed to cold temperatures can also develop this nasal color change.

Also known as winter nose, hypopigmentation of the nose, and a type of vitiligo, snow nose can cause a dog’s black nose to turn pink or dark brown or a dog’s brown nose to turn a lighter shade of brown. This is usually a temporary condition and is not a health concern. Snow nose in dogs is purely a cosmetic issue.

Take Care Of Your Dogs Pink Nose

If your dog has a naturally pink nose, or it has turned pink temporarily, or permanently, you will need to protect your dog from sunburn.

Just like humans with fair skin, dogs with pink noses are at risk for sunburn and need to be protected from the sun.

A great way to protect your dogs nose from getting sunburned is by applying a natural moisturizing sun protection balm. The one I recommend is from Snout Magic.

Snout Magic is a 100% natural and organic soothing balm, that contains ingredients like Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, and Cocoa Seed Butter.

There is no need to worry if your dog licks it off. It is all natural and will not harm your dog, as long as you continue to apply the balm it will offer protection.

Snout Magic is also great for dogs who suffer from dry cracked noses. It prevents windburn, heals rashes and skin irritations, and helps with many other nose conditions.

It is great for you too if you suffer from chapped lips and dry skin.

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Why Do Golden Retrievers Lose Their Black Nose

Also known as winter nose, hypopigmentation of the nose, and a type of vitiligo, snow nose can cause a dogs black nose to turn pink or dark brown or a dogs brown nose to turn a lighter shade of brown. This is usually a temporary condition and is not a health concern. Snow nose in dogs is purely a cosmetic issue.

Which Dogs Are Affected

Why do certain dogs nose turn pink in the winter? This is ...

It most commonly affects Siberian Huskies, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and Bernese Mountain Dogs, although it can affect any breed, says Dr. Koch, and Dr. Cain says she has even seen it affect some smaller breed dogs.

Some pups are born with brown dog noses, which is normal and not the condition known as snow nose. Dog snow nose typically affects the central part of the nose, or the pigment of the flat part of the nose called the nasal planum, says Dr. Cain.

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How Do I Treat My Dogs Scratched Nose

Use povidone iodine or betadine to clean the area by gently wiping the cut. You can then put a little dab of antibiotic ointment over the wound, but keep it thin because your pooch is sure to lick it off in no time. Be prepared to reapply the ointment throughout the day to keep things in tip-top shape.

How To Treat Pink Dog Nose

Snow nose does not cause any health problems for dogs. Because there is little risk no definite treatments are available or really needed. However, if your dog does have snow nose you will need to protect his nose from sunburn until normal pigment returns.

No need to worry about your dog licking at this soothing balm, Snout Soother is an all natural dog product made with responsibly sourced ingredients.

Natural Dog Snout Soother provides a natural sunscreen for use on a dogs nose and can prevent sunburn if your dog has snow nose. Snout Soother contains Kukui Nut Oil, Shea Butter, and Natural Vitamin E. It has an estimated SPF of 9.

Even if your dog tries to lick off Snout Soother, the ingredients are 100 percent natural and will not harm your dog. As long as you continue to apply the product, it will keep your puppy protected! Snout Soother also helps dry, chapped and cracked noses, prevents windburn, heals rashes and skin irritations, and helps with many other nose conditions.

So if your dogs dark colored nose suddenly starts fading to a pink dog nose, rest assured hes not turning into Rudolph, and trust us, hell be just fine. All your old pal needs is an all natural soothing dog balm to cure his snow noseSnout Soother to the rescue! Our mission is simple: Soothe, Heal, Wag.

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Golden Retrievers Love Water

All Golden Retrievers choose to get wet any chance they get. If you have a pond or any other source of water on your land, you can expect your Golden Retriever to get into it whenever it gets the chance.

They are also drawn to mud, and will get themselves dirty on a frequent basis. This means regular baths to keep your dog clean!

Should I Be Concerned


The temporary loss of pigmentation on the nose is a cosmetic issue that does not harm your dog and there is no need to be concerned.

As your dog ages, the colour change can become permanent, the nose will still be healthy but just lighter than before.

Snow nose is not a health concern, but if you notice any changes in your dogs nose such as crusts, sores, discharge, sneezing or wheezing, you should consult your vet.

A loss of pigmentation in the nose can also be caused by an underlying thyroid condition, and you will want to consult your vet to get thyroid levels tested.

Another cause of pigment loss in your dogs nose could be from contact dermatitis. Some dogs have a sensitivity to plastic, and continued exposure to it will lighten their nose. If you use a plastic food and water bowl, it is best to switch to stainless steel or ceramic bowls.

Making the switch to stainless steel or ceramic bowls will also be more hygienic because plastic harbours bacteria when it gets scratched.

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Treat The Underlying Disease

The irritation due to various diseases makes your pal aggressive. And that leads to excessive pawing in the nose and skin abrasion. These diseases are allergies, skin infections, bacterial infections, fungal infections, cancer, etc. Therefore, managing these diseases can prevent your Golden Retrievers pink nose.

You can seek the advice of your Veterinarian to treat and manage the disease. Furthermore, the management of diseases promotes a healthy life for your pet. And thus, it controls the pink nose.

What did you do to manage your Golden Retrievers pink nose?

Were there other signs except for the pink nose?

Vitiligo Makes Your Golden Retrievers Nose Pink

Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease that causes hypopigmentation in the Golden Retrievers. In this disease, the immune system assumes its pigment-producing cells as an antigen and starts attacking them.

As a result, the skin color fades. Thus, your Golden Retrievers nose turns pink with white patches.

Since this is a fatal health issue, you should seek the help of a veterinarian immediately.

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Should You Worry About Your Golden Retrievers Nose In Winter

If you are the parent of a Golden Retriever, you may think the cute little dark nose is a prominent and appealing feature of your pet. However, your favorite dark nose of your pet may become lighter during the winter. And this is common.

Since it is a temporary cosmetic thing that does not harm the function of the nose, the nose of your Golden Retriever regains its original color once it becomes warm.

Besides this, if you have an old Golden Retriever, a permanent pink nose is the most common that does not indicate illness.

You should worry and be cautious when your pet has a pink nose with terminal signs. Because these signs indicate illness and health issues. The signs are:

  • Wheezing
  • Sores
  • Crusts

Moreover, a dry nose and foul-smelling discharge with the sudden and excessive loss of pigmentation in the nose of your pet indicates the possibility of infection, autoimmune disease, or tumor. Apart from this, ground dust or foreign particles may enter and stick to the nose of your pet.

Thus, the continuously pawing behavior of your pet leads to nose pink or bleeding of the nose.

In addition, the Golden Retriever with tumor or nasal polyps makes noise while breathing, secrets excessive mucus, and discharges blood from the nose during winter. All these signs are fatal which need immediate management. Thus, you must be cautious and seek the help of a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Are you familiar with the word snow nose?

Why Your Dogs Nose Is Turning Pink

Why do Golden Retrievers noses turn pink in the workplace?

We dont entirely know why snow nose happens. It is a low priority for research because it is only a cosmetic change and does not impact the dogs health or comfort. Some theories state that changes in the length of daylight, temperature, or the enzyme tyrosinase may be involved in causing snow nose.

Eating and drinking from plastic bowls can sometimes cause changes in nose pigment, so if your dog with snow nose uses a plastic bowl, you can try switching to stainless steel or ceramic and see if the nose returns to and stays its normal color.

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Because we dont know what causes snow nose, there is no treatment. The lighter nose can be more sensitive to sun damage, so your dog may benefit from some dog-safe sunscreen applied to her nose when she is going to be out in the sun a lot.

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What Are The Signs Of Snow Nose

Since the snow nose does not indicate health issues, it is a temporary change in nasal pigmentation. Thus, it is natural, and you should not worry until:

  • Snow nose appears only once a year
  • The problem resolves completely in a warm climate.
  • The pet retains the original texture of its nose along with the color
  • Function of nose runs smoothy despite snow nose
  • Breathing is normal without discharge and noise

Furthermore, if your pet shows an extensive decline in the pigmentation of the nose with breathing problems, it is a fatal condition that indicates a health hazard. Thus, you must consult your Vet.

Undoubtedly, the weather is a common cause of your Golden Retrievers pink nose. But, do you know other reasons that lead to fading of nose color?

What If It Wasnt Always Pink

Some Labrador Retriever noses begin to turn pink as the canine ages and this process is called depigmentation. There is nothing about this that should be alarming or concerning. It can be likened to an older persons hair turning gray. BUT, if your dogs pink nose is swollen, seems sore or is crusty then see a vet.

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Should Pet Parents Be Concerned

One of the reasons there has been little research done into the condition is that dog snow nose itself is not harmful to your dog and should cause no concern, says Dr. Christine Cain, a board-certified veterinary dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology and allergy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in Philadelphia.

The condition is completely cosmetic and seems to be incidental and will wax and wane the nose will typically return to its natural color eventually, says Dr. Cain. However, in some instances, she says, the nose will remain a lighter color.

It should be noted, says Dr. Cain, that dog snow nose does not change the noses texture or moistureit only affects the color, typically in the central part of the nose. That part should still be that cobblestone texture, says Dr. Cain. If it is getting smoother and smoother or is raw or there are sores, you should see your veterinarian.

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