Ask Dr. Alice: Raw Foods and Noses Changing Color

We think of our pets as family so when they get sick we panic and have a million questions. Well, no fear, Dr. Alice Weiss is here! Dr. Weiss has been working for 30 years as a licensed veterinarian and is here to answer any questions you may have about your best furry friends.

If you have a question for Dr. Alice about your pet, email it to:


Dear Dr. Alice,
My neighbor swears by a raw meat diet for her dog. She is almost angry that we won’t feed our dog raw meat. What am I supposed to say to my neighbor?

Besieged Neighbor

Dear Besieged Neighbor,
Probably nothing. ‘Raw diet people’ are usually very adamant. Raw food diets for pets have been popular for the past few years. This basically means raw meat. If you talk to ‘raw diet people,’ you usually can not convince them of any other diet choice. Yes, it is true that years ago, when pets were not domesticated and had to hunt, they ate raw meat. But nowadays most dogs live with people who feed them. If the meat didn’t have parasites or bacteria, then fine. But there have been many reports of Salmonella (a bad bacteria ) in these raw meats (even when the meat has been frozen) which cause gastrointestinal issues like cramps and diarrhea. Sometimes, the bacteria can actually get into the blood stream from the gut and cause septic shock. This can happen to the pet, BUT also to the person who is handling the raw meat. And some animals can show no symptoms with a Salmonella infection. So, just nod to your neighbor and keep using cooked meat or prepared dog foods.


Dear Dr. Alice

My Labrador’s nose seems to be changing colors. I know that animals can get skin cancer and I am worried my dog may have cancer on his nose.

Lab Nose

Dear Lab Nose,
Yes, animals do get skin cancer but most likely your dog’s nose is changing color because of a change in the temperature. We call this ‘snow nose’ because the nose color tends to turn from black to a reddish or a pink in the winter. A bunch of different breeds are affected like Labradors, Huskies, and German Shepherds. We don’t really know why this seasonal change happens. But usually, this is just cosmetic. If you have any doubt that there is more going on than a pigment change, then bring your dog into your local vet for a check.

Read more of Dr. Alice’s sage advice here.

Photo: Emerson Peters on Unsplash

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Dr. Alice has spent her life embracing and advocating the animal human bond through her work as a traditional and a public health veterinarian, a writer, and vlogger on dogsenjoylife. Some people love expensive vacations and shopping but all Dr. Alice needs is time with her pets.

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