Cut on My Dog’s Nose – How Should You Take Care?

Cut on My Dog's Nose. Photo of a dog with a nose cut and bleeding.

Did your dog get an owie on its nose? It happens a lot more than you’d think, and here’s what you need to know about it.

When caring for a cut on your dog’s nose, you’ll need to say calm, stop the bleeding, assess the cut to see how deep it is, keep it clean, and watch it carefully. While nose cuts look minor, they often can be much deeper and more severe than you’d think. If there are signs of an infection, you’ll want to take your dog to the vet as soon as you can to prevent a serious health issue.

Can dog noses heal?

The best way to think about a cut on a dog’s nose is to compare it with a human’s head wound. They bleed a lot, and they can often look simple but actually be serious. A dog’s cut nose will heal, but it will take time and attention to do so correctly. It’s not to be taken lightly because they can quickly cause a more extensive health concern (more on that later).

How do you treat a cut on a dog’s nose?

If you discover that your dog has a cut on its nose, these are the steps to follow to assess the problem properly!

  1. Stay calm
  2. Stop the bleeding
  3. Assess the cut
  4. Keep the cut clean
  5. Watch for signs of a complication

Stay calm

Your dog will feed off your energy, so you must stay as calm as possible. If your dog gets stressed, the blood will flow faster and worsen the bleed and the cut itself. Stay calm and relaxed to help your dog stay the same. 

Stop the bleeding

Next, stop the bleeding. The best thing to do is press gauze from a first aid onto the cut and apply pressure. A tissue or paper towel will do in a pinch, but gauze is more absorbent and won’t stick to their tender nose.

If you need another layer of gauze, apply it over the existing layer. Don’t switch it out for a new one. Not only can it irritate the skin, but it also gives you a better sense of just how much the wound is bleeding. If you go past two layers, it’s a severe cut!

Assess the cut

Once the bleeding has stopped, you’ll want to assess it. Is the cut ragged? Is it a clean slice? Does it look dirty? Is there any grit or debris in the cut? Determine how deep the cut is to see just what should be done as much as you can. Any time you’re unsure of something, you’ll want to check with your vet! It’s always better safe than sorry when it comes to a cut on your dog’s nose.

Keep the cut clean

Even if the cut looks clean and healthy, clean it anyway. Use warm water and a soft cloth to do it. Follow that with some dog-friendly antibiotic ointment. Call your vet if you aren’t sure if something is safe to use! Do not use hydrogen peroxide, as it can slow down the healing.

Follow these steps several times a day and every day until the cut disappears and heals properly. This will ensure that both your dog’s safety and comfort are a priority.

Watch for signs of a complication

Doing the above step is fantastic for minimizing this, of course, but you still need to watch for a complication. This could be a new cut appearing (or widening/deepening) or an infection. 

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What are the signs of a complication?

Common signs of a complication for your dog’s cut nose include:

  • Excessive bleeding (a deep cut)
  • Colored discharge
  • A bad odor

The first point speaks to the reality that your dog’s cut is much deeper than is fixable at home. This is also the case if it appears to be widening or deepening. Your dog will most likely need stitches to patch them up!

In the case of discharge and/or odor, it’s most likely an infection. These are common if your dog was bit or scratched by another animal.

If you notice a complication, you’ll need to take your dog to the vet as soon as you can to keep their health in check! Remember that nose cuts are often more severe than they appear! 

Can you put Neosporin on a dog’s nose?

If you have absolutely nothing else that you can use, Neosporin is better than nothing. However, some of the ingredients can upset your dog’s stomach (since they’ll lick it off), so it’s best to avoid it if you can. This is primarily a good idea if your dog has a sensitive stomach.

If you can, stock your medicine cabinet with a dog first aid kit. Or at least have a list of options that you can use. Your vet can help you with this!

Is it OK to put Vaseline on a dog’s nose?

Much the same as Neosporin, you can use this if you have absolutely nothing else, but you should use it only in a very thin layer. This will have similar upset stomach symptoms in many dogs, so you’ll want to avoid using it!

Will a scraped dog nose turn black again?

A cut will be white or red or seemingly lacking pigment. Don’t be alarmed, as most dog noses won’t scar permanently. This includes those dog noses that need stitches. As the wound heals, it’ll scab over, and then as that fades, your dog’s nose will go back to its uniform color! 

The cut on my dog’s nose won’t heal. What do I do?

Sometimes a dog nose cut won’t heal properly. If this is the case, you’ll definitely want to bring him into the vet to see what’s going on, even if he’s already been in. Like in humans, a wound that refuses to heal is a sign that something else is going on. 

How to help the cut heal

If you want to keep your dog’s nose as safe as possible while it heals, you’ll seriously want to consider making protection a priority. While you can’t cover the nose, though you can certainly try, you’ll want to prevent your dog from picking at it. Make sure you redirect his paws from picking at it and don’t allow him to rub it on the couch, etc. If you need to, consider getting a cone or an inflatable collar. The better it has the chance to heal, the faster it will heal and (hopefully) without complications.

Common causes for a cut on their nose

Dogs use their noses for everything! A dog’s sense of smell is beyond comprehension compared to that of humans. So, they use that super sniffer to check out everything. This organ will get dried out (much like our lips will, as humans). The dryer the skin, the easier it is to rip/break and bleed. Common causes of cuts for non-weather/general life use include:

  • Sticking their nose where they shouldn’t (ex: a beehive)
  • Rough-housing or fighting with a dog or cat
  • Eating something sharp (something with bones)
  • Underlying skin disease or health problem

All in all

Proper care of a cut on your dog’s nose is essential since they can be prone to many complications that will impact their health.

The steps include staying calm, stopping the bleeding, assessing the cut and any complications, cleaning it safely and effectively, and then watching to see if it heals as it should.

A cut on a dog’s nose can quickly and easily become severe, so proper first aid is essential!

Taking proper care of a dog’s cut nose is more important than many pet parents think, so make it a priority by relying on these tips to help you keep your dog’s health safe.

Consider sharing this with other pet parents, too!

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Hi, I'm Andre and I'm the owner of Sula the Border Collie. I love writing about this amazing dog breed here. I joined the Council to be able to reach and educate more people on the joy of having a pet dog.