Since all dogs will always introduce themselves and explore their noses first, you’re likely to meet dogs initially through their noses! Dogs’ noses are essential sense organs that give them a wealth of information about their environment, including (but not limited to) scents! Dogs have real abilities from their noses, and there’s a lot going on inside that humans frequently take for granted.
Most dogs have cold, wet noses, at least that’s how we see it—especially when that nose gets in your face!—but why is that the case? Sweat, mucous, and licking are the main causes of wet noses in dogs. As we continue to explain, read on.
What Is a Normal Nose for a Dog?
Dogs typically have chilly, wet noses most of the time. Like dogs in general, they do, however, differ greatly from person to person and occasionally from time to time.
According to an old proverb, a dog’s nose should be wet to indicate health, and dry to indicate illness. This is untrue; all you really need to know is what your dog considers typical. Certain dogs have moist nostrils by nature, whereas other dogs have drier noses. After a lifetime of hard sniffing, many dogs, especially as they age, have dry, occasionally somewhat roughened or crusty noses. Usually, this is not a cause for concern, but it is advisable to consult your doctor if you have any concerns about redness or soreness. Numerous variables, including activity level, temperature, humidity, and time of day, can affect how a nose feels. Dogs can also alter things by often licking their noses! These factors are all very normal. For example, your dog’s nose may dry out after sleeping or when they are relaxed. Alternatively, following vigorous exercise, the nose could be moist.
Normal wet noses should have a thin layer of transparent mucus covering them. Once more, it’s important to observe what your dog normally does.
Is There a Problem With Your Dog’s Nose?
Although most of these are quite uncommon, there are a number of potential issues that could affect the nose and may require a thorough inspection by your veterinarian.
Regularly dry noses can be indicative of a more serious condition (fever, dehydration, etc.), but your dog will usually be exhibiting additional symptoms. These could include apathy or appetitelessness.
Wider skin issues like skin infections, autoimmune disorders, and allergic reactions (allergies) can all be related to the nose. The nose or skin surrounding it may appear red, irritated, crusty, furious, or abnormally discharge pus or green tints under certain circumstances.
What If My Dog’s Nose Has Lots of Discharge?
Clear mucus should cover normal wet noses. Once more, it’s important to observe what your dog considers normal; nevertheless, if you see any changes in your dog’s mucus, especially if there are any discharges from the nose, you should definitely speak with your veterinarian. If there is a lot of discharge coming from your nose—snot, boogers, or occasionally blood—it is abnormal and should be examined by your veterinarian as soon as possible. As the area surrounding the nose dries, you could also see similar crusting. Any other color of mucus is abnormal; little amounts of clear discharge are usual.
It’s crucial to get in touch with your neighborhood veterinarian for advice if you have any concerns about your dog’s health, particularly if they exhibit any of the symptoms mentioned above advise as soon as possible.
The 4 Vet Explained Reasons Why Your Dog’s Nose Is Wet
While some dogs naturally have mostly dry noses, there are several more reasons why the majority of dogs have moist noses.
Although certain parts of their unique skin can sweat, most dogs are unable to sweat. These skin fragments are located on the nose and the pads of the feet. Dogs, like humans, will perspire in these particular areas when they are overheated and need to cool off or when they are anxious and tense (due to their fight-or-flight response).
By releasing water onto the skin’s surface, which subsequently evaporates into the atmosphere and absorbs heat, sweat helps the body cool. Sweat may make your dog’s nose feel wetter if they are active or are very hot.
Smell and Taste
Dogs can more successfully retain the compounds involved in tastes and odors when their nasal mucus is wet. This aids in making their nose more sensitive. These signaling chemicals are sent toward the finely tuned detectors in the tongue, the back of the nose, and the vomeronasal organ—a unique sense organ located between the mouth and nose cavities—by both the mouth and the nose. This organ is particularly significant for pheromones and the detection of very intriguing scents, such as those of other dogs that are in heat.
Dogs are able to create an extremely detailed image of their environment by using all five of their senses. They can literally smell and taste their surroundings. This is wholly unfamiliar to humans because we rely more on our eyes than our noses. Some dogs are hundreds or thousands of times more accurate with their noses than people are, depending on the breed.
Controlling the Air That Enters the Lungs
Both people’s and dogs’ noses are crucial for controlling the amount of air that enters and exits the respiratory system (the lungs and airways). Before airborne material can enter the lungs, it is filtered by the nose. The moist nose contributes to the humidification of the air entering the lungs, preventing the lungs from drying out. Additionally, the nose functions as a little heat exchanger, preserving some warmth on the way out and warming cold air as it enters.
Thermal Imaging Camera
Additionally, recent studies indicate that dogs’ noses might even be able to sense heat from a distance. Although heat sources are detectable by humans through the skin, particularly when we approach them, dogs may be able to “see” heat signals with their noses, much like an infrared camera.
At a distance of five feet, Swedish scientists trained canines to identify an object that was slightly warmer than its surroundings, even in the absence of visual cues. If this is a true discovery, then dogs and bats also possess this incredible talent! It may be utilized in the wild to identify heat from nearby prey animals that are hidden.
Sweat, mucous, and licking are the main causes of a wet nose in dogs. Dogs’ remarkable range of senses, lung protection, and temperature regulation are all greatly aided by their wet noses. Although wet noses are common, they can differ greatly throughout dogs and rely on a number of different regional characteristics. Certain dogs, particularly those who are elderly, have a dry nose by nature most of the time.
It’s not a good idea to use the nose as a general indicator of health; instead, find out what is typical for your particular dog. If your dog exhibits symptoms of illness in general (fever, lethargy, dehydration), around the nose (redness, discharge, itching, and crustiness), or both, you should consult a the guidance of your nearby veterinarian as soon as possible.