Dogs’ noses are naturally moist and this is a major indication of a dog’s hydration status. Veterinarians primarily check the nose of a dog to feel and assess the moisture in a dog’s body. However, one of the common health issues Shih Tzu owners face is a dry and cracked nose. There are a lot of reasons causing this condition and before deciding to see a veterinarian, it is best to know the reason yourself. Actually, there are home remedies that you can use to ease your dog’s discomfort and here are some important tips.
If you observe your Shih Tzu’s nose sticky or dry in the morning, this is normal. Dogs normally lick their nose to keep it moist and to stimulate mucus production that protects the nasal epithelium and traps scents that help the dog process its surroundings. Licking is very important to keep the nose healthy but when the dog is asleep – especially for long hours, it is not able to moist its nose. Thus, this leads to a dry nose when it wakes up. Eventually, the moisture return as soon as the dog is out of dreamland and back to reality. Lying near a heat source and less water intake are dynamic duos that will definitely dehydrate your dog. Move your dog farther from the heat source (especially during winter) and provide warmth such as a blanket, pillows or a cage with thermoregulation. To stimulate drinking, make sure to clean the water bowl everyday and replace the water with clean, distilled water. You can also place ice tubes from time to time as cold water encourages drinking more (same to humans). Dry noses can also induced by dry, cold air seen in winter. There are dog nose chapsticks available in the market that you can use especially when walking or exercising your dog outside. Petroleum jelly may also work, but not all the time. Last and probably the most unexpected reason is the use of plastic bowls. Chemicals used in making these bowls can lead to skin irritation. Since the material is soaked in water all day, these harmful substances can be drunk by the dog and can stick to the facial hair and skin that can lead to itching, scratching and peeling of the upper layer of the skin. It is best to use stainless steel bowls or cage-attached nipple drinkers.