Why Do Golden Retriever Noses Change Color?

Why Do Golden Retriever Noses Change Color?

Golden Retrievers' noses change color for various reasons. The cause for a black nose turning pink can be seasonal changes, aging and sometimes medical conditions.

The color of a dog’s nose depends on the breed and genetics. Dogs may naturally have black, pink or liver-colored noses. They also sometimes have a nose color that depends on their coat's hue. If your dog’s nose changes from a darker color to pink, this phenomenon is due to the loss of pigmentation.

What Is a Snow Nose Golden Retriever?

One common cause of pigmentation loss in a Golden Retriever’s nose is what’s called a “snow nose.” This term means your Golden Retriever’s nose will fade to a more pink or white shade during the winter months. Snow nose is thought to be caused by a breakdown of a certain enzyme called tyrosinase, which produces pigment. Tyrosinase is temperature sensitive, meaning it works more effectively in the summer when the weather is warmer.

Golden Retrievers are not the only dog breed that experiences snow nose. Labrador Retrievers, Bernese mountain dogs and Siberian huskies also experience this seasonal variation in nose pigmentation. Though these dog breeds experience this fade in pigmentation during the winter months, their noses should return to their normal black or brown color during the summer.

Snow nose can not be prevented or treated. This lack of pigmentation in the winter months does not cause any harm to your dog — it is only cosmetic. If your dog’s nose has been fading in color throughout the year and not returning to its original hue, it may be due to other reasons.

Causes for a Golden Retriever's Nose Turning Pink

Another natural cause for a Golden Retriever’s nose changing color is aging. The tyrosinase enzyme becomes less efficient as a dog ages and can cause pigmentation changes, meaning your dog’s nose may become pinker in color as they age.

If your dog’s only symptom is a pink nose, there should not be any cause for concern. But if they are experiencing other symptoms like nose crusts, sores, discharge, sneezing or wheezing, you should contact your vet. These side effects accompanied by a change in nose color may be caused by illness, trauma or an underlying thyroid condition.

One other cause for a pink nose could be contact dermatitis. Some dogs can be sensitive to plastic food dishes, and continually using these dishes can create irritation. This irritation may cause your Golden Retriever’s nose to turn pink, and their lips will also often become inflamed. If this is the case for your dog, switching to a stainless steel food or water bowl may resolve the dermatitis issue and help your dog's nose return to its normal hue.

Learn About More Animal Care Tips With Golden Meadows Retrievers

When you have knowledge on your side, you can easily address concerns about your beloved dog's condition. Golden Meadows Retrievers has a myriad of resources for Golden Retriever owners. Contact us for more information on adoption and training services, or view our online resources today.

Why Do Golden Retriever Noses Change Color?