It is a common belief that if a dog has a wet nose that it is a sign of good health. A healthy dog’s nose can vary between wet and dry several times over the course of a day. It is not necessarily an indication of good health or sickness.
If your dog is showing other signs of illness a dry nose may indicate fever, dehydration, infection or an immune disorder. Speak to your vet if you have any concerns. Even if your dog has a wet nose and shows signs of illness consult your vet. Sick dogs can still have wet noses.
However, looking at a dog’s nose is a good way to check for some other problems such as;
- Dogs with pale or pink noses are susceptible to sunburn. If your dog has a dry, red nose or the nasal skin is flaking, sunburn may be to blame. Consider using sunburn lotion for dogs. Repeated sunburn can lead to skin cancer.
- If your dog’s nose is cracked and you see scabs or sores, your dog may have a skin disorder.
- Another thing to look for is nasal discharge. If your dog’s nose runs, the mucus should be clear. If your dog is producing bubbly, thick, yellow, green or even black mucus, see your vet.
Why are dogs noses wet
There is an old biblical story that goes like this. On Noah’s Ark, there were two of every animal including obviously two dogs. One day the Ark sprang a leak. The dogs noticed this. One of the dogs stuck their nose in the hole to block it while the other dog ran off to warn Noah. Noah came and fixed the leak and everyone was saved. As a result from that day forward, God rewarded dogs with a wet nose.
There are a couple of reasons why a dogs nose may be wet at a particular time. Firstly, when a dog is scenting their noses secrete a thin layer of mucus that helps to absorb scent chemicals. The moisture helps to trap odor particles. They may then lick their noses to sample the chemicals and present them to the olfactory glands on the roof of their mouths.
Another reason a dog may have a wet nose is that it is one of the ways that dogs can regulate body temperature and cool down. Dogs don’t have sweat glands like us. So they secrete sweat from the pads of their feet and their noses.
A dog may also have a wet nose from sniffing around on the wet ground, or they tend to lick it a lot or the individual dog. Some dogs and dog breeds just have colder, wetter noses than others due to genetics and other factors.
Should a dogs nose be warm or cold
As with whether a dogs nose is wet or dry, it is not an indication of health or sickness in a dog.
The temperature or moisture of a dog’s nose is not necessarily a good indicator of anything. A healthy dog may have a warm or dry nose while a sick dog could still have a cold, wet nose.
Whether a dog has a wet nose is not a sign of a healthy dog. This is an old wives tale and simply not true. Wet, dry, cold, warm is not an indicator of good health or illness.
However, the appearance of the nose can indicate problems. Look for things such as sunburn, skin issues or a bubbly, thick, yellow, green or black mucus discharge. See you vet if you have concerns about these.