Many things can affect the appearance of your dog's nose over time. Dietary changes, seasonal changes or health conditions can all influence how your dog's nose looks and feels. Age can also be a factor.
Loss of Pigment
One of the leading reasons a dog's nose may appear to be losing skin is a loss of pigment. This occurs for many reasons. First, many dogs react to changing levels of sunshine as the seasons shift. This is called "snow nose" or "winter nose." In other cases, dietary changes resulting in reduced zinc levels may cause dogs to lose pigment in their noses. Finally, some dogs lose pigment with age, causing their noses to turn from black to pink.
Dry nose may also appear to be loss of skin. This is because of the dull, cracked appearance of a dry nose. Some conditions of the also cause the skin to thin, making it appear that the nose is losing skin. If the nose is particularly dry or rough, or appears to have open sores, the dog should visit a veterinarian. This could be a sign of a serious condition that requires medications.
Some immune-system-related changes, such as vitiligo, can cause a dog's nose to appear to lose skin. In many such conditions, changes in the nose are associated with changes in coat color and thickness as the immune system attacks the overall pigmentation of the body. This should not be mistaken for general aging, in which the face and paws may begin to lose pigment and turn white.
Seeking Veterinary Care
In general, dogs do not lose the skin on their snout as they age, they simply begin to lose pigmentation, resulting in their noses turning pink. If your dog is showing signs of skin loss, sudden changes in color, sores, discharge or peeling, visit your veterinarian right away. These could be signs of a more serious condition that requires medication or dietary changes.
Shelly Volsche has worked as a professional dog behavior consultant, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and a diploma in canine nutrition. She has written for "The Chronicle of the Dog" and Lucky Dog Magazine and is currently pursuing her PhD in anthropology with a focus on pet parents.