It’s a widely known fact that dogs have wet noses, but have you ever stopped to wonder why? The wet nose of a dog has many purposes, and as a dog owner, it’s important to understand just why your canine companion’s nose is always wet.
In the article below, you’ll find out more information about your dog’s wet nose. You’ll find out what causes it, whether you should be worried if your dog’s nose isn’t wet, and how to tell if your dog’s nose is too wet, as well. With this information, you can better understand your furry friend from nose to tail!
How Dogs’ Noses Become Wet
Dog noses secrete mucus just like human noses do, but dogs tend to have more mucus in their noses than humans. The mucus in a dog’s nose makes it easier for him to pick up smells, and his nose may run more if he has just been sniffing something he’s interested in.
Dogs also lick their noses regularly throughout the day, which helps them stay moist. They do this because they know instinctively that a wet nose makes smelling easier. However, they also lick their noses because they want to taste whatever it is they’ve smelled. In both instances, it means a wet nose.
How Dogs’ Noses Help Them Smell Better
Dogs lick their noses often to moisten them because they are able to smell scents better with a wet nose. They have a special organ in the nasal cavity that helps them process scents more easily, and this works even better than ever when your dog’s nose is wet.
A wet nose allows scent particles to cling to the dog’s nose and nasal passages, which allows the dog to sniff and process the scent more readily. It also gives your dog a chance to really get to know the scent in question, which can be beneficial in a new environment.
A Wet Dog Nose Helps Them Stay Cooler
Dogs do not have much exposed skin (except for hairless dogs) and can’t sweat. Most of the time, they lose heat from their bodies through their paw pads, but their inner ears and their noses also contribute.
When your dog has a wet nose, this helps him release heat through the skin on his nose more easily. It helps him cool down during hot weather, which is better for his body overall.
What Does it Mean if a Dog’s Nose is Dry?
It is a common myth that a dog with a dry or warm nose is sick. In fact, there are many perfectly normal, everyday reasons why your dog’s nose might be dry or warm to the touch. If he has been sleeping recently, he may have a warm, dry nose until he’s been awake for a little while.
Other causes of a dry nose in dogs include windy or cold weather, running the heat often in your house, not drinking enough water, or overexertion during playtime or exercise.
What Does it Mean if a Dog Has a Very Wet Nose?
If your dog’s nose is very wet but does not seem any different than normal otherwise, there isn’t anything to worry about. For example, if your dog’s nose is excessively wet but the mucus isn’t thick, hasn’t changed color, and doesn’t have any blood in it, then your dog is probably just extra excited about something or just finished sniffing something good.
Overly wet noses usually aren’t anything to be concerned with but should be monitored just to be sure.
When to Talk with a Vet About Changes in Your Dog’s Nose
If your dog’s nose looks noticeably runny for more than a short time, or if the mucus from his nose is yellow or green, these may be signs he has a respiratory infection. If your dog’s nose is running blood, this is a serious condition and may mean your dog has a severe disease or a cancerous tumor.
Finally, if your dog’s nose is so dry that it has become cracked or looks inflamed, this may be a sign of diabetes or autoimmune disorder. In all these instances, you should take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible for a diagnosis.
There’s a lot to learn about a dog’s body, and his wet nose is just part of his whole makeup. Consider doing more research and finding out more about what makes your dog tick and remember that his wet nose is an important part of his body that helps him function the right way.
If you have any other questions about your dog’s wellness or the way his body works, call your Live Oak Veterinary Hospital veterinarian at 209-432-9437 or book an appointment online. By talking to your vet, you can find out more individualized information about your pet and you may learn something new, too!