Elements that can cause the nose to feel rather dry to the touch include outdoor exposure to the sun, wind or both. Also, a Beagle's nose may appear to be very dry when he first wakes up… this is often due to the fact that he is not licking his nose when he sleeps and for that reason, it may be dry for the first hour or so in the morning.
The important element to keep in mind is that while small variations in temperature or moisture level of the nose are normal, they may be precursors to larger issues. Either a dry or a warm nose should be checked often to make sure that it is not a chronic issue and that no signs of a larger condition are developing (more ahead).
Dry Nose Issues with the Beagle
There are 3 basic stages to this:
- Unless owners did not take note, a Beagle's nose will not appear to be suddenly be peeling or cracking overnight. The nose being very dried out is the first stage to those sorts of issues. So, noticing this and taking steps at this point is important.
A Beagle's nose (and that of any other breed) has only 3 layers of skin; whilst the body has 5 layers. This is a good example of why people severely overestimate the toughness of a dog's leather. You'll want to treat a dry nose in which only the first layer is involved before it affects the other two layers of skin.
- When you look closely at a Beagle's nose, you will notice that there are groves in the skin. This outer layer of textured skin is called the 'stratum corneum'. It is thin and once that is affected by a drying that turns into peeling, the next layer will be exposed. As the top skin on the nose flakes or peels off, the pink skin of the 2nd layer will be visible.
- If treatment for both a dry nose and then a peeling nose is not given, the next step is a deeper issue involving a cracking of the skin. The nose becomes very raw, there is not enough moisture and it can be quite painful for dogs. At this point, the skin is open and vulnerable to infection. Any sun or wind exposure (without the nose being protected) will rapidly make things worse.