Shih Tzus are very dependent on their sense of smell to interact with the world around them. In fact, the sense of smell of Shih Tzus can be up to 5 times more effective than that of humans that is why it is important that this remains healthy. The problems that arise when your Shih Tzu has a dry nose are varied. The most common one is the loss of smell to a certain extent since they cannot sniff properly. In addition to this, there may be irritation problems and in some cases, moderate or severe pain.

There are several diseases that can manifest because of dry nose in Shih Tzus. Among these diseases are distemper and hyperkeratosis. The second condition is a little more serious because the skin of the nose becomes scaly and can bleed heavily if not treated properly. If hyperkeratosis is suspected, it is best to see your vet immediately to prevent the situation from worsening.



You should know that throughout the day, your Shih Tzu’s nose goes through different stages, which can vary depending on the weather and the activities they do. If, for example, it is windy or your Shih Tzu has been exposed to the sun, it is very normal that their nose becomes warm. In addition to that, after sleeping, it is very common to notice that their nose is dry. The problem is when the dryness of the nose lasts long and it starts to show some scale-like texture.

The best way to know whether or not it’s normal for your Shih Tzu to have a dry and sometimes chapped nose is by performing basic care such as cleaning their muzzle with a special soap for dogs and then drying it gently.

Problems in the immune system

One of the reasons for dry nose in Shih Tzus is usually the weakness of the immune system. It is very likely that your Shih Tzu has low defenses and you must give them some type of supplement or change their diet.

Problems in the immune system


Another cause of dry nose in Shih Tzus is sunburn. If your Shih Tzu is used to lying in direct sunlight and has redness in their nose as well as dryness and cracks, it is very possible that they have been sunburned and you should apply some lotion on their nose that’s recommended by a veterinarian.

Parvovirus or distemper

There are some slightly more serious illnesses that can cause accelerated dehydration in your Shih Tzu and they can lead to a dry and cracked nose. These illnesses include parvovirus or distemper. In both cases, the dryness of the nose is a symptom that manifests accompanied by other signs such as diarrhea, vomiting, runny nose or yellowish-green, and so on.

Skin disease

If apart from dryness and cracks you also notice that your Shih Tzu’s nose has sores, it is very likely that they are suffering from some type of skin disease and you should immediately go to the veterinarian to have it examined and diagnose the skin so that the appropriate treatment can be given.


  • Adjust the length of their sun exposure: This is an activity that many Shih Tzus love but owners must pay attention in the amount of time that they do it.
  • Use of sunscreens: There are products designed to protect the nose of your Shih Tzu from sun damage. Many use products for humans and this MUST NOT BE DONE. Specific products for dogs should always be used and it must always be free of zinc oxide.
  • Vaseline: This product is very useful to relieve cracks that can be caused by a lack of hydration. Along with sunscreens, this should be applied in very small amounts because your Shih Tzu will begin to lick their nose to remove the external agent and it can cause indigestion.
  • Make sure your Shih Tzu drinks water: This is the best way to hydrate your Shih Tzu and the cooler the water, the better.
  • Wash their nose with soap and freshwater: It is a practice that can give a lot of relief for your Shih Tzu. It’s important to note that the product to be used must be exclusively for animals so that it’s neutral and soft to the skin.


  • Clean your Shih Tzu’s nose with a mild soap (but never the one that you use, it is important to know that your Shih Tzu has a lower skin pH than ours: use a soap that’s exclusively made for dogs) and then dry it gently.
  • Apply a small amount of lubricant or petroleum jelly for dogs on the cracked nose. Don’t use the ones that are made for humans because your Shih Tzu will not stop licking their nose and if they ingest a lot of petroleum jelly or lubricant, it can cause stomach discomfort that can lead to diarrhea.
  • You should always have a bowl of fresh, clean water so that your Shih Tzu can drink and stay hydrated throughout the day, especially in hot weather.



When your Shih Tzu ​​has a dry nose, be especially careful if you notice any of the following:

  • If the dryness lasts for several days and the nose is hot.
  • If there’s bleeding in the nose.
  • If sores appear.
  • If there is a greenish or yellowish discharge.
  • If the nose becomes inflamed.
  • If lumps appear.
  • If you notice that it is difficult for your Shih Tzu to breathe and that it hurts them if you touch their nose or if they are too apathetic.
  • If the nose is very discolored.
  • If they constantly scratch and rub their nose in different places to be relieved.
  • If you notice that they drink more water than usual.


  • If your Shih Tzu has a dry nose, it does not have to be an indication of a disease.
  • If you notice that your Shih Tzu’s nose has become discolored, or it has cracks or scabs, it may be due to some type of dermatitis or depigmentation such as vitiligo.
  • Nasal depigmentation is fundamentally a cosmetic problem.
  • Check with your vet if the dryness persists or if the nose starts to bleed, has greenish secretions, or other symptoms.
  • Be careful with exposures to the sun or extreme cold.
  • Use specific sun creams for dogs.
  • Be careful with heaters and install a humidifier if you live in an excessively dry environment.