Dog Rubbing Their Nose Raw? Kennel Nose Causes And Treatments

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Separation anxiety is common to many of our canine companions, and one way they can show their reluctance to leave the house is by rubbing their noses on items like dog houses, door frames, or furniture.

If left untreated, this behavior can lead to further skin damage and infection of the affected area.

This behavior is not only directly linked to anxiety and kennel, but it can also be a symptom of allergies.

Read on to find out why your dog rubs his nose and how you can help him!

What is a kennel nose in dogs?

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The term “kennel nose” is used to describe redness and abrasions of the nose caused by excessive rubbing against a surface such as a carpet, grass, and dog house doors.

The reason for the term is that the injury most commonly occurs in dogs kept in a crate, cage, or kennel.

Dogs rub their noses for several reasons. Sometimes it’s just a little itch, other times it’s something more serious like allergies or aches.

Here are the main reasons why your dog might rub his nose on his kennel or other surfaces in the house.

  • A dirty face
  • Allergies
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Anxiety


Signs of kennel nose in dogs include:

Excessive rubbing of the face
Red and raw nose
Bleeding of the skin
Discharge from the affected area

What Causes Kennel Nose?

As already mentioned, the reasons why the dog rubs his nose can be different.

Let’s delve into medical explanations of the kennel nose and why it can be a problem.

Top Kennel Nose Causes

Kennel nose and allergies in dogs

A kennel nose can be caused by allergies.

When a dog suffers from allergies, they often get itchy, which can lead them to chew, lick, or rub any part of their body for relief, including the muzzle and nose.

It is important to ensure that your dog receives reliable flea prevention, as skin parasites can certainly contribute to dog itching.

Signs of an underlying disease, such as a mite infestation or scabies, should also be checked by your vet.

The dog’s face is dirty

Dogs rub their snouts on furniture or other surfaces to try to get rid of what they think is a foreign substance, in this case, dirt.

If you notice your dog rubbing his face on the floor or any other surface, be sure to check his mouth and skin for signs of injury or disease.

Breeds with short noses and many facial folds are very susceptible to infections, dirt, and irritation of the facial skin folds.

This is the so-called “facial fold dermatitis”, which must be carefully monitored and kept clean. It may be helpful to scrub the wrinkles with a warm flannel.

The dog suffers from separation anxiety

A dog may have a sore nose due to separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety can be one of the hardest problems for any dog, and some dogs show signs of it by chewing on items in the house or rubbing their nose on the doghouse or door frame while you are away.

If destructive or traumatic behavior is observed, try leaving the dog with a family member or friend when you have to go to work or run an errand, but make sure they are someone who is used to taking care of animals and that your puppy is with. you find at ease.

If you can’t find a babysitter, you may need to find a crate designed for anxious or destructive dogs.

Check out the Impact Dog Crates brand!

They are the place to travel and to help dogs with separation anxiety, such as nose rubs.

Your Dog’s Face Is Painful Or Irritated

If your dog rubs his muzzle on the ground more than normal, look for signs of inflammation or abrasions that could cause the dog discomfort.

Sometimes dogs rub their snouts on the floor in response to stress or general tension. Untreated pain and irritation are often the cause of a pet’s self-trauma in a certain area.

A dental abscess or mouth injury often causes the dog to rub his muzzle on the floor or other objects.

This may be unwanted behavior, but it temporarily makes them feel good.

If possible, do your best to prevent them from further traumatizing the area.

Sometimes it’s just a habit

Seeing a dog rub its face on grass or carpet doesn’t always mean you have to take it to the vet.

It’s perfectly normal for them to have an itch from scratching sometimes, and rubbing your face is fine.

Food allergies in dogs

Allergic reactions to some dog food ingredients can cause hair loss and an itchy face, nose, and mouth.

It is important to slowly move from an old brand of food to a new one.

However, this does not always mean that the itch on the dog’s face is due to food allergies.

If you suspect that your dog is reacting to food or the environment, it is best to have a vet examined as soon as possible to give him some relief.

How to treat kennel nose

Treatment of a dog’s kennel nose begins at the root of the problem.

The cause must first be identified, whether it is an allergy, a sore, or anxiety.

This will make a difference when it comes to treating the patient.

Tackle Any Environmental Or Food Allergies

Your vet will help you identify the root cause of your dog’s kennel nose.

They will decide which treatment is best to recommend based on the dog’s medical history and clinical signs.

If your dog has an allergy and this is the main cause of the rubbing of the face, administering a medication that stops the itchiness will help improve the symptoms.

Prescribed veterinary medications, such as Apoquel or Cytopoint, are the most effective for reducing dog itch.

However, some vets may prescribe steroids or antihistamines.

Treatment of skin infections secondary to wounds can be easily eliminated with antibiotics.

There are also medicated wipes that vets can recommend for cleaning facial wrinkles.

How long does it take for the kennel nose to heal?

The answer initially depends on the cause of the kennel nose.

If the kennel nose is caused by allergies, it is necessary to treat it with a drug that stops the itching. This can be state-of-the-art drugs like Apoquel and Cytopoint or even over-the-counter drugs like Benadryl or Hydroxyzine.

In general, the cause of the kennel nose should be resolved within two weeks of treatment.

If your dog’s kennel nose is due to separation anxiety and rubbing against bars, you need to work on the behavior itself and make the dog feel more comfortable at home alone.

Sometimes this means buying a kennel that is suitable for dogs with separation anxiety.

How to treat a kennel nose at home?

Home treatments are fine, as long as it’s a minor problem that can be addressed quickly.

If your dog’s nose is just a little red, try to keep it clean, dry, and free from future trauma.

  • For the treatment of the kennel nose, it is recommended to continue cleaning the dog’s scrubbed macaw with mild soap or detergent. Using a warm flannel 2 or 3 times a day for 5 minutes is helpful in treating the kennel nose.
  • After thorough washing and drying, steroid-free anti-toxin or anti-germinal conditioner should be applied. Steroids often cause a delay in the recovery of the rubbed area.
  • Gently rub the conditioner. Make sure you don’t apply a lot of conditioners, as your dog may lick some of them.

In case the dog shows no signs of healing or if fever, hunger pangs, vomiting, and bowel movements increase in the dog, it is recommended to consult the veterinarian immediately. Also, see your vet if the area becomes hot, red, and challenging.

Clean Your Dog’s Face Regularly

Clean Your Dog’s Face Regularly to prevent dirt and bacteria from irritating the skin of the nose.

This is especially true for dogs with short noses and a lot of facial wrinkles.

If the dog has long fur with tangles around the eyes due to normal discharge and accumulation of hair, you may notice that he rubs his muzzle more often.

This behavior is usually due to the irritation caused by tangled hair.

If you want to avoid rubbing your face on the floor, make sure it’s as clean as possible.

Over-The-Counter Meds

It is extremely important to speak to your vet about your dog’s specific conditions and only follow the advice he or she recommends.

However, Benadryl is a common over-the-counter antihistamine that many vets recommend for mild itching and irritation associated with allergies.

Again, consult your veterinarian before administering Benadryl to your dog.

In addition, they will have the appropriate dose that the dog needs.

Kennel Nose FAQs:
Can you put petroleum jelly on a dog’s nose?

It is possible to put petroleum jelly on the dog’s nose, but it will most likely lick it off immediately.
This can cause stomach upset and diarrhea and is of no benefit.

Can i put Neosporin on my dog’s nose?

It is necessary to consult a veterinarian before applying any medication to the dog’s nose.
However, Neosporin is very similar to petroleum jelly which means they will usually lick it right away, causing only stomach upset and without any medical benefit.

Can i put coconut oil on my dog’s nose?

Coconut oil would be better than putting Neosporin or Vaseline on the nose. If ingested, it is healthier for their skin and stomach.
However, if you put something on your dog’s nose, it usually annoys him and makes him want to lick it off.

Can i apply aloe vera gel on my dog’s nose?

Aloe vera, even in small amounts, can cause stomach upset if ingested.
Do not apply aloe on the dog’s nose.

Will the kennel nose heal on its own?

Most cases of kennel noses can be treated at home by washing the area with soap and applying a very thin layer of antibiotic ointment once a day for 5-7 days. At this point, the scab should disappear and heal on its own.

What’s the difference between a wet nose and a dry nose on a dog?

Some healthy dogs simply have a naturally drier nose than others. Likewise, sick dogs can have cold and wet noses. “A wet nose is normal, but a dry nose is not necessarily abnormal.” A healthy dog ​​may have a warm, dry nose after a nap or after extreme physical exertion associated with dehydration.

Is a wet nose on a dog good or bad?

Not only is it normal, but it is also very helpful for the dog’s nose to be wet and cold. The wet nose helps our dogs understand the world through their sense of smell and even helps them regulate their body temperature. However, a dry nose is also a healthy nose.