Sometimes your Samoyed’s nose is cold and other times wet, but lately, you’ve noticed other changes to your dog’s snout. Namely, the color is different. You could have sworn your Sammy’s nose was once black, but now it looks pink. Why did this happen?

A Samoyed’s nose can change between black and pink due to the shifts in the weather. In the summer, your dog’s nose looks black. Once the weather cools down, their nose becomes pink. This is called a winter nose and even a snow nose. In some instances, aging can also cause nose color changes, as can illness, injury, and even contact dermatitis. 

In this article, we’ll elaborate on the many reasons your Sammy’s nose can go from black to pink and back again. Not all these reasons are benign, as some nose color changes could be a symptom of a nose disease. We will discuss these diseases in greater depth as well.

Why Does a Samoyed’s Nose Color Change from Black to Pink?


As we talked in the shedding post, Samoyeds begin the arduous (for us humans, anyway) process of removing their heavy winter fur through shedding once spring starts. You could be so busy cleaning up thick tufts of dog fur that you don’t even realize the color of your Sammy’s nose has changed. All winter, it was this pale pink color, but now it’s black again. Or was it always black? You can’t answer with much confidence.

Don’t worry, as you’re not going crazy. Your dog’s nose color can indeed shift, and it’s often seasonal. In the wintertime, a Samoyed’s normally black nose fades to a pale pink hue. This is referred to as Dudley’s nose. This change should revert to normal once summer arrives. That’s why the black nose has earned such nicknames as a winter nose or a snow nose.

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Your Samoyed will go through many bodily changes as they get closer to celebrating a birthday with double digits. One of these may be a new nose color.

Their nose may turn brown from black or it might become pink. When this occurs due to aging, the nose typically does not go back to its former glory.

That’s because a pigment-inducing enzyme known as tyrosinase depletes more and more as your dog gets older. Tyrosinase occurs in both animals and plants and allows the body to make melanin. This type of pigment affects animal and human eye color and even the hue of human skin and hair (the coats of animals as well).

While your Samoyed’s already-white fur wouldn’t change, more colorful dogs might get white spots or have their rich, colorful coat fade to a lighter hue. This is in addition to the different colored nose.  

In fact, tyrosinase could cause the winter nose phenomenon as well. This enzyme doesn’t react well to temperature changes, especially older ones. Thus, your dog loses his or her nose color for a few months.


Is your Sammy feeling under the weather? Besides lethargy and changes in appetite, did you check your dog’s nose? You may see the color has faded somewhat. Their nose maybe didn’t go full pink, but it’s definitely not the deep black it usually is.

In some instances, sick dogs experience nose hue fading while they’re going through their illness. As soon as they’re on the road to recovery, their nose becomes black once again.


If your Samoyed roughhoused too much with another pet or scraped their face on something, then you can expect their nose color to change yet again. It will become pinkish, especially around the injured area.

This time, the pinkness has occurred because the nose is healing. When the scab comes off (naturally, don’t pick at it!), the injured area should darken.

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Contact Dermatitis

We people can experience contact dermatitis if our skin gets exposed to certain products or ingredients. The same is true of dogs like Samoyeds. It could be the plastic of their food bowl that does it. Since your dog buries their head in that bowl each day to chow down, the pigment changes will eventually become apparent. If your Sammy also has swollen lips, then it’s contact dermatitis. Get them a new bowl and consider setting a vet appointment as well.

Why Is My Samoyed’s Nose Permanently Pink?

Sometimes your Samoyed’s nose turns pink and then never changes back to black again. This often isn’t a seasonal thing, either. It could be an injury that never fully healed or one that left a scar on the nose. Untreated contact dermatitis could also possibly be responsible.

A pink nose looks kind of cute on your Sammy and often isn’t cause for concern. If you are worried, you could always see your vet. They will suggest you start a special care regimen for your pup’s snout. For instance, when you take your Samoyed for those long walks they love so much, they need sunscreen on their nose. Otherwise, they risk getting sunburned there.

While it’s possible to get tattooing done to make the nose look black again, you should avoid this if at all possible. Only if your Samoyed spends all its time outside and risks sunburn would this option even be viable. Otherwise, leave their nose alone.

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Nose Color Changes Indicative of Diseases

Most nose color shifts are benign, but you should keep an eye on your Samoyed nevertheless. Changes in the nose could be a symptom of an undiagnosed disease. Here’s an overview of those diseases.

Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis

Alaskan Malamutes, Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, and Huskies have the highest likelihood of getting zinc-responsive dermatosis. Still, other breeds can develop this condition as well. Symptoms include a facial rash that looks worse near the mouth, ears, eyes, and nose. The rash may appear crusty and even scaly. A lack of zinc causes zinc-responsive dermatosis, but overdoing it on zinc supplements can lead to zinc toxicosis, so be careful!

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus

Next, there’s discoid lupus erythematosus. This is an autoimmune disease that affects certain breeds of dogs more often than others. These include Brittany Spaniels, Shetland Sheepdogs, Huskies, German Shepherds, and Collies. That doesn’t mean Sammies are totally exempt, so don’t get too lax.

Your dog’s nose becomes pink, but it’s typically accompanied by nose crustiness, fissures, sores, and facial cracking.

Pemphigus Complex

You also want to watch out for pemphigus complex. These diseases (yes, there’s more than one in a group) are again autoimmune. Your Sammy could have either pemphigus erythematosus or pemphigus foliaceus. Both diseases cause ear and nose skin redness, but, depending on which of the two your Sammy has, the symptoms will manifest in different areas as well.

If it’s pemphigus erythematosus, then their footpads, head, and face will also become reddened. Then these spots will blister and look crusty. With a case of pemphigus foliaceus, the dog’s paws, body, and feet turn red.

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Related Questions

Q: Why is my dog’s nose dry?

A: If your Samoyed has a drier nose than usual, you might want to consider scheduling a checkup with your vet. After all, a dog’s nose can dry out for all sorts of reasons. For instance, if your dog is dehydrated, their nose might feel bone dry. Sunburn can also lead to dryness, as can allergies and aging.

Q: Can I put Vaseline on my dog’s nose?

A: Whether your Samoyed’s nose looks crusty or just dry, can you moisten it up a bit with some Vaseline? No!

Vaseline may not cause any adverse effects in people, but the same’s not true of dogs. They could get diarrhea if they eat it, and come on, if it’s on their nose, they’re probably going to eat it.

If you keep using petroleum jelly for your dog’s snout, they could end up with a condition called lipoid pneumonia. This occurs when the dog’s body has too many toxins from Vaseline. The lungs are affected as the Vaseline gets in there. Lipoid pneumonia could lead to death in some instances.

Q: What can I use on my dog’s nose?

A: Since older dogs tend to have drier noses, you don’t have to leave your canine companion to fend for themselves. Just make sure you choose a dog-safe product. The Pura Certified Organic Nose Moisturizer is made with herbs, grains, and essential oils. American Kennel Club also recommend it for dogs. You can use this on dogs of any age, even those that have sensitive skin.

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Q: How does a vet treat nose diseases?

A: To lessen the painful symptoms of the nose diseases we covered in this article, your vet will first do some diagnostic testing on your Samoyed. In most instances, they request a skin sample. The vet then does a fungi and/or bacteria culture. They may augment this testing with an immune system check as well as a skin biopsy.

After confirming the cause of the nose disease, your vet should recommend a treatment for your Sammy. Prednisone and cortisone can help for conditions with open sores leaking pus. Cortisone in lotion form can lessen redness and inflammation as well.

To help your dog heal, follow the vet’s recommendation for how long and how often to use any prescription treatment.

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