Why Does My Dog Have A Wet Nose?

photo of a wet dog nose
A moist dog nose doesn't always mean what you may think it means!
We've all experienced it: the cold, wet nose of our furry friend. Maybe it is nuzzled into your warm back on a cold winter day, or maybe it is leaving streaks across the windows of your car. In the majority of dog breeds, you will see the wet nose many times over.

So why do dogs have wet noses? Growing up, I thought it was a sign of good health. I had always heard that a wet nose meant your dog's body was normal and a dry nose meant they were sick. Maybe you heard the same thing. Imagine my fears later when I realized that there was not always going to be a time when my dogs noses were wet!

Most often, a wet nose will be due to your dog taking a whiff of some smell in your house or outside. Dogs have special glands in their noses which secrete a thin mucous layer, and that layer of mucus absorbs scent. As many people know, a dog's sense of smell is probably a MILLION times better than ours. That is not really something that is easy to comprehend. So the scent absorbing mucous is part of that amazing fact. The dog sniffs whatever scent he is interested in, gets the mucous secretion, and then licks his nose, therefore giving him a little sampling of the smell. That is usually what will give the dog his wet nose.

Another reason for a wet nose can be the dog's body trying to cool itself down. As mentioned in another post, dogs have very few sweat glands, and they are mostly in the feet, mouth and, yes, you guessed it, the nose. Sweat is secreted from the glands in your dog's nose, especially on hot days and when they are getting a lot of exercise!

So if your pooch doesn't have a perpetually freezing cold, wet nose, there is no need to worry either. If the dog has been sleeping or is not interested in a scent at the time, he could have a warm dry nose. It's not necessarily a sign of sickness. Only you know when your dog is showing true signs of sickness, so if you notice anything out of the ordinary, whether your pups not is cold and wet, or warm and dry, act accordingly for good health!

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