My Dog Keeps Scratching His Nose: Why Does He Do It?

If there is one thing that characterizes dogs, it is their great sense of smell. It is common to see them with their noses glued to the ground, tracking, or with their noses lifted, smelling the air. And sometimes we also see them taking their paws to their truffles as if they were scratching their noses.

Now, does your dog scratch his nose frequently? Behind this behavior, there are several reasons that can explain it.

my dog keeps rubbing his nose with his paws

Reasons why my dog scratches his nose

The truth is that there are several reasons that can cause itching in a dog's nose and make him desperately try to scratch it to relieve that discomfort. These are the most common reasons.

Foreign bodies

As we have mentioned, dogs sniff everything in their path, especially when it comes to unknown terrain. That is why it is very normal that in those olfactory searches, foreign bodies enter the canine nose.

One of the most frequent ones are the small spikes, which can cause real itching to the dog, in addition to a lot of damage if they are not extracted correctly.

Therefore, it is important that if after a walk through areas with spikes you notice that your dog scratches his nose, take him urgently to the vet.


Another reason why a dog scratches his nose is because, in addition to foreign bodies, there are other "elements" that can get into his nose and cause him a lot of itching (in addition to other evils).

This is the case of bugs, such as the dangerous processionary caterpillar. And we say dangerous because the reaction it can cause in your pet is so serious that, if it is not attended to soon, it can cause death.

But in addition to this very dangerous caterpillar, there are others that are less so, but whose down irritates the respiratory passages of your dog, causing intense itching, scratching and sneezing.

Finally, it is also worth mentioning that in certain areas, especially of tropical temperatures, the presence of fly larvae and other insects that sneak into the animal's nasal cavity is quite common.

Skin Diseases

Canine snout is located in an area that has two key points. On the one hand, the junction between the truffle mucosa and the nasal plane skin, and on the other hand, the junction between the oral mucosa and the lips skin. Both areas are usually very susceptible to suffer various dermatological problems.

Some of these problems are:

  • Juvenile chin acne.
  • Juvenile cellulitis, which consists of a painful pyoderma that usually affects puppies and causes the dog to scratch its snout.
  • Dermatophytosis, which consists of the appearance of fungi on the nasal plane.
  • Pemphigoids and pemphigus. This is an immune problem by which the organism attacks itself in what is known as an autoimmune process. It can also happen due to an external problem, causing the formation of antibodies in that area of the skin.


The areas of the lips and the nasal plane are very exposed to sunburns and sometimes we do not realize this. This causes discomfort that can be seen when your dog scratches its snout or rubs it against any surface to relieve itself.

For this reason, do not hesitate to protect your pet with sunscreen for dogs.


Allergies in dogs are more common than many people think and not only with the arrival of spring.

  • If your pet is allergic to dust mites, you will notice that the dog scratches its snout when it is at home, but this stops as soon as it leaves it. If so, you must implement a cleaning routine in your home that helps reduce these itches. In these cases, you must not only pay attention to the dust of the furniture or the floor, but it is essential to vacuum and wash frequently with hot water the bed, blanket, carpet and other textiles with which the hairy one has contact.
  • While dust mite allergy can occur at any time of the year, pollen allergy is more common in spring and is another reason why you can see your dog scratching its snout. Normally, this cause of nasal itching is also accompanied by sneezing, nasal discharge and, often, conjunctivitis and / or eyelid inflammation. The lips can also become inflamed.
  • Contact allergy is the one that occurs when the animal touches an object made of a material to which it is allergic. This can be from a toy to its own food or drinking bowl.

In any case, in addition to avoiding exposure to allergens, in many cases veterinary help will be necessary with a recommendation for treatment to relieve symptoms.

Health problems

In addition to what has been mentioned, there are other health-related problems that can cause nose-scratching in dogs. These problems include:

  • Aggressive neoplasms.
  • Alteration in the nasal sinuses or nasal conchae.
  • Facial paresthesia. This consists of a sensation of tingling, cold or heat that occurs in the skin due to neurological alterations, normally. This sensation can cause a response in the dog that involves scratching the muzzle or rubbing it against the ground or other objects frequently.

In those cases, the fact that the dog scratches its muzzle will be an indication, but there will be others that are much more evident, such as deformations in the area or in the face.

Dirt or secretions

It can also happen that you see your dog scratching or rubbing its muzzle not because something has been introduced into it, but because dirt has stuck to it. For example, when it gets stuck with dirt or sand after digging in it, or remains of wet food that it has been ingesting.

On the other hand, if the dog is going through a cold process in which there is an excess of eye or nasal discharge, the animal may try to clean itself by taking its paws to the muzzle.

As you can see, the reasons why your dog scratches its muzzle are many and of diverse nature, some more serious than others. What is certain is that more than one involves veterinary attention, so if that scratching is persistent and not only occasional, do not hesitate to take your pet to the consultation of a professional.

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