Do Labradors’ Noses Change Color? Snow and Dudley Noses Explained

Labradors come in various shades and colors, but did you know that their noses do too? 

Many factors influence a lab’s nose color, which ranges from dark black to pale pink, and fun fact: it can actually change colors back and forth. 

These minor variances in nose color are generally overlooked unless you take a careful look.

So, Do Labradors’ Noses change color? Some Labradors have a pink nose due mainly to a lack of pigmentation, while other labs’ noses may turn into a pink color due to a variety of reasons including aging, weather, injuries, allergies, or certain medical problems.

Let’s have a look at what your Labrador’s nose says about him, ask the most popular queries, and offer all the answers. So keep reading!

Do Labradors’ Noses Change Color?

close up of dog nose to show why do labradors' noses change color

Labradors’ noses are sometimes one of the most overlooked features, that is until you notice something different and start asking yourself “was my lab’s nose always this color?”

A lab’s nose can be any color, whether black, brown, liver, pink, or the same color as their coat. A dog’s nose might start off one hue (normally pink) and then change to another as it gets older. Pink noses are common in puppies, which darken with time.

Sometimes a lab’s nose would be black or dark brown yet suddenly depigment and turn pink; The reasons behind nose depigmentation vary, it may be due to not so worrisome reasons like aging, Nasal de-pigmentation, also called “Dudley Nose”, weather conditions, or other reasons that need more attention like allergies, trauma or injury, Bacterial infection, or other health issues.

Reasons why labradors’ noses change color 

Melanin is the pigment that gives color to the hair, skin, and portions of the eyes. If you have noticed that your lab’s nose has changed colors, here are the most common reasons why:

  1. The Aging Process

The aging process causes a dog’s snout to lose color. This is due to the loss of a melanin-producing enzyme called tyrosinase, which deteriorates with age.

  1. Trauma/Injury

When a dog has an injury to the nose, such as a scratch or abrasion, the nose may turn pink as it heals. After a while, the pigment will typically return. 

  1. Nasal depigmentation, commonly known as “Dudley Nose,”  

a condition in which a dog’s nose goes entirely pink or white for unexplained causes. The dog’s nose does not always shift back. It may reappear at any time or alter seasonally in certain dogs.

A yellow Labrador with a lack of nose pigmentation is known as a “Dudley Nose.” A Lab with no pigmentation on the nose or eye rims, and all parts being pink in hue, is extremely unusual and almost certainly a genetic anomaly.

  1. Bacterial infection

The nose may become inflamed, irritated, crusty, or generally unhealthy in appearance. If this is the case, you should consult a veterinarian.

This color change is generally very transitory, and the nose should revert to its natural hue after complete healing.

  1. Genetics

Some Labradors’ noses may stay pink, while others will deepen to a light brown tint, and yet others will turn totally black.

All pups have bright pink noses when they are born, which gradually darken throughout the first several weeks of their life.

  1. Cold Weather

Winter nose, often known as “snow nose,” is the most prevalent cause of a dog’s nose losing its color. In cold weather, the color of certain dogs’ noses changes from dark to pink, then returns to dark when the temperature warms up. 

It occurs as an enzyme called tyrosinase which produces melanin is temperature-sensitive. 

Labrador Retrievers are one of the breeds whose noses change with the weather the most.

  1. Contact allergies (contact dermatitis)

When a dog’s nose comes into close contact with anything that they are allergic to, The nose, as well as the region around it, may appear inflamed, painful, crusty, or otherwise unhealthy. 

If your dog is allergic to plastic, switch their food bowl to stainless steel.

  1. Vitiligo 

an immunological illness that affects the skin by attacking healthy, pigment-carrying cells with antibodies, causing them to become blocked. 

Not only may this ailment cause a dog’s nose to turn pink, but it can also cause loss of pigment in other parts of the body, making the coat white in scattered hairs or patches. 

The condition can worsen over time, making a formerly dark dog white. 

Vitiligo is typically harmless to a dog’s health, as it primarily affects the dog’s look. 

One of the breeds most prone to vitiligo is Labrador Retrievers.

  1. VKH-like syndrome, also known as Uveodermatological syndrome (UDS)

an autoimmune illness in which the body’s own immune system, the T-cells, targets the body’s melanin-forming cells (melanocytes).

  1. Discoid Lupus 

an immune-related skin condition that causes ulcers around and on the snout of dogs. When the dog is exposed to the sun, the illness might worsen. 

  1. Idiopathic 

a disorder in which the pigment in a dog’s nose, lips, and eyelids fades. The reason behind this is unknown.

  1. Pemphigus 

immune-related skin disease causes ulcers and crusty patches on and around the nose of dogs. 

Sunburn is more likely on lighter-colored noses. When your Lab will be outside for a long amount of time, it is strongly advised that you use an all-natural sunscreen and moisturizing balm. Before using, double-check that the product does not contain zinc, since even little quantities of zinc may be harmful to dogs.

What is a snow nose? 

When a dog’s nose lightens from a dark color to pink or brown, it is known as a snow nose. The term originates from the fact that it only happens in the winter when there is snow. This nasal color change can also occur in dogs that are not exposed to cold weather.

Snow nose, also known as winter nose, hypopigmentation of the nose, and vitiligo, can turn a dog’s black nose pink or dark brown, or a dog’s brown nose a lighter shade of brown. 

This is generally a transient occurrence that does not pose a health risk, that happens due to weather changes, the amount of daylight, and the breaking down of an enzyme called tyrosinase which is responsible for melanin production.

The fading or lightening of the nose color is the sole documented sign of snow noses in dogs. This color change can be permanent, but most of the time it is just transient, and the nose returns to its original hue. 

Some dogs grow snow noses year after year or season after season, but just the color, not the texture, varies. By the way, if you are looking for cute dogs that have this snow nose look all the time, look no further than these stunning 10 dogs with pink noses and blue eyes.

Is a snow nose bad for a dog? 

A Snow nose is solely related to Weather changes, the quantity of daylight and the breakdown of an enzyme called tyrosinase, which is responsible for melanin synthesis, these all contribute to this transitory condition that poses no health concern.

Your dog will not be harmed by snow nose.

Although, you should take notice if their nose is dry, cracked, or scaly. There are medical products that can assist with dry noses. 

A dry nose though might be a sign of various problems, so you should talk to your veterinarian about it. You can also learn if you can put chapstick on your dog’s dry nose here.

What is a butterfly nose on a dog? 

A butterfly nose is a condition that is related to nose depigmentation; when the middle area of the nose becomes depigmented and the dog has light-colored patches with the sides of the nose dark.

 It is usually a transitory condition that does not represent a health concern.

There’s nothing to be concerned about if your dog’s nose becomes pink or develops pink patches. Your dog will not be harmed by snow nose. 

A pink area in the nose is also less resistant to the sun, so if you live in a sunny region where sunshine is common, you may use sunscreen to protect your dog’s nose.

Related Questions 

Do all yellow lab noses turn pink? 

yellow Labradors’ noses turn pink and may stay this color, all yellow lab puppies are born with pink noses, some will deepen to a light brown tint, and yet others will turn totally black. The noses of yellow Labradors vary in colors, ranging from pink to brown to black.

Are yellow labs born with black noses? 

yellow labs are born with pink noses; Some pups’ noses will become black during the second week. A fully developed lab would often have a black snout and amber to dark brown eyes. The amount of melanin in your puppy’s nasal cells is determined by the genes he acquired from his parents.

What is a Dudley nose? 

A Dudley’s nose is a condition in which a dog’s nose turns completely pink or white for unknown reasons. The dog’s nose does not always return to its original color. In certain dogs, it may return at any moment or change seasonally.

Is it harmful to a dog to have a pink nose?

It is not harmful to a dog to have a pink nose, they are typically equally as healthy as black nose dogs. Most of the time, the impacts of these lighter-colored snouts simply influence the nose’s look. But other times, it may be the consequence of sickness or even cancer in some circumstances.

Helpful Resources 

What is Dog Snow Nose and What Can You Do About it?


Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

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