Why is my dog rubbing his nose raw? (How to stop)

If your dog is rubbing his nose raw, you’re not alone. This is a common problem that many dog owners face. It can be alarming at first, but the more you know how to support your pup through the process, the less unsettling it will be.

There are several reasons why your dog might be doing this, and in this blog post, we will discuss the main causes as well as how to stop it.

Why Is My Dog Rubbing His Nose Raw?

Here are some of the most common reasons why your pup will start rubbing his nose raw:


Just like humans, dogs can suffer from allergies. If your dog is constantly scratching his nose or face, it could be a sign that he’s allergic to something in his environment. Dust, pollen, and other airborne allergens can cause irritation and make your dog want to rub his nose constantly. This can lead to raw and irritated skin, especially if your pup is already suffering from the sensitive skin that allergies bring.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is another common issue that can cause your dog to start rubbing its nose incessantly. A dog’s nose is normally moist and cool, but if the air is too dry or there isn’t enough moisture in the environment, their nose can start to chap and crack. This can be painful and cause your pup to want to relieve the discomfort by rubbing his nose raw.


If your dog’s nose is constantly dirty, it can also lead to irritation. Dogs like to sniff everything, and that means their noses are constantly coming into contact with dirt, dust, and other particles. Over time, this build-up can cause your pup’s nose to become dry, so your dog will vigorously try to clean it.

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A Tooth Infection or Absess

If your dog is constantly licking or rubbing his nose and you notice that he’s also drooling more than usual, it could be a sign that he has an infection in his teeth or gums. This is especially true if your pup’s breath starts to smell bad.

The rubbing helps to relieve the pain and pressure of the infection, but it also makes the nose raw and irritated.

An Object Inside the Nasal Passage

If you notice that your dog is only rubbing one side of his nose, it could be a sign that there’s an object stuck in his nasal passage. This is a common problem for dogs who like to dig and play in the dirt.

Your dog may also use its paw to try to scratch the object out, which can cause even more irritation and lead to a possible infection.

Separation Anxiety

If your dog is rubbing his nose raw when you leave the house, it could be a sign of separation anxiety. Dogs are social creatures, and they can get anxious when left alone. This can manifest in different ways, including excessive licking, chewing, and rubbing. So your dog may be repeatedly rubbing its nose as a way to cope with the anxiety of being away from you.

Excessive Burrowing

If your dog likes to dig and sniff around in the dirt, it’s not surprising that it may end up with a sore nose. All that burrowing can cause the skin on their nose to become irritated, especially if they’re already prone to dryness and allergies.

Kennel Nose

If your dog spends a lot of time in a kennel or crate, it may develop what’s called a “kennel nose.” This is when the constant contact with the metal bars causes the skin on their nose to become raw and sore.

How to Get My Dog to Stop Rubbing His Nose Raw?

There are some common solutions to this problem that can help your pup’s sore nose heal in no time:

Remove Allergens from the Home

If your dog is allergic to something in his environment, the best solution is to remove the allergen from his environment. This may mean using a air purifier or humidifier in your home, switching to hypoallergenic dog bedding, or avoiding places where there are high levels of pollen or dust.

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You can also use a medication like antihistamines to help relieve your dog’s allergies, but be sure to talk to your vet first.

Use a Moisturizing Nose Balm

If your dog’s nose is dry and cracked, you can use a moisturizing nose balm to help soothe and protect the delicate skin. Look for one that contains ingredients like aloe vera or coconut oil, which are both known for their healing properties.

Apply the balm to your dog’s nose a few times a day, and be sure to avoid any products that contain fragrances or other harsh chemicals.

Give Your Dog Plenty of Water

If your dog is constantly licking or rubbing its nose, it’s important to make sure it’s getting enough water. Dogs need a lot of water, and if they’re not drinking enough, it can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can cause a number of problems, including dry skin, which can make your dog’s nose even more irritated.

Make sure your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times, and consider investing in a dog bowl with a water fountain to help encourage them to drink more.

Clean Your Dog’s Nose Regularly

If your dog’s nose is constantly coming into contact with dirt, dust, and other particles, it’s important to clean it on a regular basis. This is especially important for dogs with shortened noses, like pugs and bulldogs.

You can use a cotton ball soaked in warm water to gently wipe away any dirt or debris. You can also use a saline solution to help keep the area clean and free of infection.

Avoid using any harsh cleaning products on your dog’s nose, as they can further irritate the skin.

Reduce Your Dog’s Anxiety

If your dog is rubbing its nose raw due to separation anxiety, there are a few things you can do to help reduce his anxiety.

First, try to make your comings and goings less stressful. Avoid making a big deal out of leaving or coming home, and don’t give your dog too much attention when you first walk in the door.

You can also try leaving your dog with a special toy or treat that will keep him occupied while you’re gone. This could be a Kong filled with peanut butter or a puzzle toy that dispenses treats.

Finally, make sure you’re giving your dog plenty of exercise and attention when you are home. A tired dog is a happy dog, and a dog that feels like he’s an active part of the family is less likely to suffer from separation anxiety.