How to Keep a Golden Retrievers Nose Black? [Say Goodbye to Fading Noses]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Imagine this: you bring home a gorgeous Golden Retriever puppy with a luscious golden coat and a nose as black as night.

The puppy sniffs around, exploring the world with an insatiable curiosity.

But as time goes by, you notice something disheartening – their once jet-black nose begins to fade, turning shades of pink or even light brown.

You can’t help but wonder, “How to Keep a Golden Retrievers Nose Black? And is there a way to bring it back?”

Is your Golden Retriever’s black nose gradually changing color?

It can be quite worrying and it’s totally normal for you to wonder if this is something that requires attention.

Let’s find out the reasons why and what you can do about it.

Medical Questions? Talk to a Veterinarian 24/7.
Connect one-on-one with a licensed vet who will answer your questions in minutes.

Ask a Vet Now or Schedule a home visit

*Article may contain affiliate links to retailers like Amazon and Chewy. Learn more on our disclosure page.

Natural Nose Color of Golden Retrievers

Natural Nose Color of Golden Retrievers

Did you know that dogs have different nose colors? For Golden Retrievers, a black nose is the standard. 

However, puppies may not have fully black noses initially.

It can take time for their noses to darken and this natural process can take several months to a year. 

What makes a dog’s nose black?

A dog’s nose gets its black color from the presence of melanin. The dark coloring of your pet’s skin, hair, and eyes is from this pigment. 

Melanin concentration determines the distinct black coloration in dogs with black noses.

Why is my puppy’s nose not fully black?

Puppies are born with pink noses and it will take time for their sniffers to develop and darken.

The gradual darkening of a puppy’s nose is a natural process that can take several months to a year. 

Genetics, age, and individual variation can influence the speed and extent of nose color development in puppies.

In fact, some Golden Retrievers may not even end up with black noses. 

Changes in Nose Color for Golden Retrievers

It’s a common occurrence for a Golden Retriever’s nose to go through color changes as they grow.

From pink to brown or black, these variations can occur naturally. 

But sometimes, the nose changing its color could also be a sign of something more serious.

Why do golden retrievers’ noses turn from black to brown?

Some dogs experience hypopigmentation during the winter months.

This is when their noses lighten in color. 

This condition changes the nose color to pink or light brown.

It is temporary and is influenced by temperature, sunlight exposure, and your pet’s genetics.

Is it normal for a golden retriever’s nose to change from black to pink?

If you observe the change occurring during the colder months, it could be a normal phenomenon mentioned above which is also known as “winter nose” or “snow nose“. 

This change in nose color is sometimes attributed to reduced sunlight exposure.

However, breeders believe that a genetic component is involved.

Some Golden Retrievers may carry genes that cause their nose pigmentation to lighten.

On the other hand, there is a condition called Dudley Nose, characterized by a pink or light-colored nose. It is not considered normal. 

This genetic condition leads to a loss of pigmentation in the nose. Dudley nose can occur in various dog breeds, including Golden Retrievers.

If you notice a significant and persistent change in your furry pal’s nose color, particularly without a seasonal pattern, then this could be its cause.

Do dogs’ noses get lighter as they age?

In some cases, a dog’s nose may lighten in color as they age.

As your pet gets older, their bodies tend to produce less melanin. 

Remember though that not all dogs will experience a change in nose color with age.

Can you make a dog’s nose black again?

While you cannot directly control or reverse nose color changes in dogs, providing proper care and nutrition can help support overall nose health. 

Hey there, sorry to interrupt but I wanted to tell you about an online vet service I’ve been using for years.

An in-person visit with one is great, but it’s not always an option.

Now, thanks to technology, you can speak to one without leaving your home.

Remote access
Avoidance of travel
Reduced stress for pets
Immediate access to experts
Quick response time
Schedule appointments easily

Got something to ask a vet?
Talk to one anytime, 24/7.


* Don’t use this service for emergencies.

Alternatively, a vet can come out to you instead (exclusive to our readers: use THEVETS15 for 15% off).


Thank you. The rest of the article continues below.

Snow Nose in Golden Retrievers

This seasonal condition affecting some of our furry pals is really quite interesting.

Let’s address some of the common questions associated with snow noses. 

Is snow nose permanent?

Snow nose is generally a temporary condition that resolves itself as the seasons change. 

As spring approaches and exposure to sunlight increases, the dog’s nose often returns to its original color.

Is snow nose painful for dogs?

Snow nose is primarily a cosmetic change and is not usually painful for dogs. This condition should not cause discomfort or physical distress to your pet. 

If you notice any signs of discomfort, irritation, or other concerning symptoms, then the color change in your pet’s nose may not be caused by snow nose.

dog essentials banner in content

Maintaining Nose Color for Golden Retrievers

There’s very little you can do to prevent your Golden Retriever’s nose from losing its pigment.

However, there are steps you can take to support nose health and minimize pigment loss.

How can I prevent my Golden Retriever’s nose from losing its pigment?

How can I prevent my Golden Retrievers nose from losing its pigment

Some dog enthusiasts believe that sunlight deficiency contributes to pigment loss, so it could help if you make sure your Golden Retriever gets sufficient vitamin D.

Is there any truth to it? There really isn’t any conclusive evidence, but in my opinion, as long as you are regularly bringing your dog out for walks, they should have sufficient exposure to sunlight.

However, you need to be careful about letting your dog sit under the sun unprotected for too long.

Limit your dog’s sun exposure during peak hours and provide shade when they are outdoors to protect their nose from excessive sunlight.

You can also try using a sunblock made for dogs.

Epi-Pet K-9 Care Sunscreen

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B002AI39QW&Format= SL500 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=dailydogdrama 20&language=en USir?t=dailydogdrama 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B002AI39QW
Superb sun protection
Acts as a conditioner for skin and coat as well
Non-greasy Solution
FDA Compliant Pet Sunscreen

How do you treat a dog’s nose losing pigment?

As I mentioned before, there is really no treatment for pigment loss.

You should still consult with a veterinarian anyway to rule out any underlying health issues. 

They may recommend interventions based on your pet’s case.

What are some natural remedies for keeping a dog’s nose black?

Besides applying natural sunblock formulated for dogs to protect their nose from harmful UV rays, you should also consider replacing your pet’s plastic bowls.

Get some high-quality stainless steel or porcelain food and water bowls.

Some dog enthusiasts notice that dogs with sensitivities to plastic may experience contact dermatitis.

This skin condition can contribute to nose pigmentation loss.

By switching to non-plastic bowls, you can reduce the risk of allergic reactions. 

Dyeing a Dog’s Nose

Some dog owners may consider dyeing their pet’s noses in an attempt to maintain the standard black color.

Before exploring this solution, think of your reasons for dyeing your pet’s nose.

If it’s simply for cosmetic purposes, maybe it’s best to keep the dye away. 

I do not recommend it.

Can I dye my dog’s nose black?

Technically, yes, it is possible to dye your dog’s nose black using pet-safe dyes.

The more important question is whether you should.  It is generally not recommended to dye your pet’s nose.

Dogs have sensitive noses, and applying dye to that part can cause discomfort or irritation. 

Is it harmful to dye your dog?

Yes, dyeing your dog can be potentially harmful. The chemicals in dyes can irritate your pet’s sensitive skin and eyes. 

Ingesting or licking the dye can also lead to stomach upset or even toxicity. 

Even if you manage to find a pet-safe dye, understand that the sensitive skin of their nose can still be easily irritated.

Winter Effects on Golden Retriever’s Nose

As the winter season sets in, our furry friends often experience changes in their routines.

They may spend more time indoors or have to bundle up in winter gear for outdoor excursions. 

Additionally, some Golden Retrievers may experience a change in their nose color during this time, adding to the unique winter effects on our beloved pets. 

Why do Golden Retrievers’ noses turn pink in the winter?

There is little information about the exact cause of this change in nose color.

It may be influenced by a combination of factors like reduced sunlight exposure, changes in temperature, and your pet’s individual genetic predisposition. 

Some Golden Retrievers may have genes that make them more susceptible to experiencing a change in nose color during the winter months.

Is Vaseline good for a dog’s nose?

Some fur parents rely on petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, to keep their furry pal’s noses hydrated.

Remember that the use of this product should be limited and done under vet guidance. 

While Vaseline can provide a temporary barrier and moisturize the nose, overuse or ingestion of it can potentially have negative effects on your dog’s health.

I recommend you get a dedicated dog nose balm instead.

Key Benefits

  • Relieve your dog’s suffering and repair their damaged nose
  • See results within days
  • Highest quality organic and natural ingredients on the market

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should I use sunscreen or protective balms to prevent nose color fading in my dog?

Sunscreen or protective balms provide a physical barrier against harmful UV rays. Their primary purpose though is to protect the skin from harmful rays. The use of these products may not directly prevent depigmentation or reverse the color change in snow noses.

Is there a recommended cleaning routine for a golden retriever’s nose to prevent discoloration?

There is no specific cleaning routine to prevent discoloration. But, keeping the nose clean and moisturized can help maintain its overall condition. Remove any dirt or debris with a soft, damp cloth or pet-safe wipes. Don’t use harsh products that could irritate your pet’s skin. 

In Conclusion: How to Keep a Golden Retrievers Nose Black?

I hope that the tips in this post can help you out.

The bottom line is, you hold the power to ensure your Golden Retriever’s nose remains a captivating shade of black.

Remember, it’s not just about aesthetics; a healthy nose reflects a healthy pup!

Check out these other dog care tips as well:

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

Share this post!
Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

no more bad dog breaths banner