What Causes Snow Nose?

What Causes Snow Nose?

 By: Bonnie Sweebe

No one really knows.  However, veterinarians and dog experts agree on one thing: Snow nose is a seasonal condition characterized by the lightening or loss of nose pigmentation. The nose pigmentation appears to lighten as cold weather approaches and darken again come spring.

Compare this photo:

This is the same dog in summer and in late fall. She is a healthy disease free golden retriever. She is a year and a half old. Her nose is beginning to turn pink and will return to jet black in the spring.

When my first golden retriever’s nose began to fade, I thought there was something wrong. I read dog owner medical books. I asked breeders. I asked anyone who owned a dog, “What is wrong with my dog’s nose?” Answers varied:

“Oh, it’s nothing. Just snow nose.”
“It’s not snow nose. It’s winter nose.”
“Winter nose? I’ve never heard of winter nose.”
“Well you have now and they all get it.”
“Don’t worry. SNOW NOSE disappears in the spring.”

“But what causes snow nose?” I asked. Then the answers really poured in. It is caused by:

–something in the snow
–cold weather
–a lack of sunlight
–plastic dog bowls
–stainless steel dog bowls
–weak nasal pigmentation
–living in Cleveland
–It happens to old dogs.
–It happens to light haired dogs.
–It happens to large breed dogs.
–It’s a total pigmentation breakdown!
–It’s a physical “fault” of the breed.

So there you have it. No one really knows. Or no one wants to agree. But rest assured. If come late fall, your dog’s black button nose is a little “in the pink,” it is in perfect condition!

Does your dog have snow nose? Let us know in the comment section below!

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