Why Are Dogs Noses Wet?

Some dog parents believe that a wet nose means the pup is healthy and happy. But does a dry dog nose mean that something is wrong with it? The answer is – not always. In fact, a dry nose is perfectly normal in some cases.

Read on to find out why dog noses are wet and what a dry nose may signify.

Should My Dog’s Nose Be Wet?

A healthy dog will usually have a wet and cool nose. On the other hand, it is perfectly normal for your pup’s nose to be dry and warmer while it is sleeping.

The nose is an essential body part for any canine. Unlike us, our furry friends rely on their smell more than their sight to communicate and survive. The nose is also essential for cooling the animal and regulating its body temperature.

Overall, a wet nose will be more efficient for smelling than a dry one. But on the other hand, all dogs are different, so some may have wetter and cooler noses than others.

What Makes Dog Noses Wet?

You may be wondering why are dogs’ noses wet and where the wetness of your pup’s nose comes from. Here is how dog noses get wet:

Secreted Mucus

There are glands in the nose of the dog which secrete mucus, which is necessary for moistening the inner nasal canals. A thin layer of this mucus on the outside of the pup’s nose helps improve its sense of smell by absorbing the odor chemicals and allows for better cooling of its body via evaporation.


Pups lick their noses constantly, which helps keep them moist via the saliva from their tongues. The reason for this incessant licking is to keep the nose clean and to transfer any scent particles from the nose to the Jacobsen’s (vomeronasal) organ, which is located on the roof of the pup’s mouth.

This organ is vital for chemical communication and semiochemical signal detection. This organ is capable of detecting certain chemicals, which usually have no odors. In other words, it helps the dog detect virtually undetectable odors. This is why canines are such good sniffers and are often used for detecting upcoming epileptic seizures, blood sugar drops or spikes, stress, fear, and even some types of cancer.

Moisture From The Environment

Your furbaby is constantly sniffing and exploring the world with its nose, so part of the moisture on its nose comes from the wet grass, the puddles, and other dampness from the outdoors.

What Is A Dry Nose A Sign Of?

If your pup’s nose is dry, this is not always a sign that something is wrong with it. Some perfectly healthy dogs simply have dryer and warmer noses than others.

In some cases, exposure to the elements and age can cause the dog’s nose to dry and chap.

Plus, your dog’s nose may be warmer and dryer than usual during or right after a nap. This is because, while it sleeps, it doesn’t lick it so much.

In some cases, though, a dry nose may be a sign of dangerous dehydration or an allergy, or other skin problem.

Cracks and sores may be symptoms of autoimmune disease and other health problems, so you should speak to your veterinarian if you notice such signs.

Is An Overly Wet Nose Normal?

If your furry friend’s nose is overly wet and covered with clear nasal mucus and discharge, then this is usually normal.

However, if the discharge is yellow, green, discolored, or thick, this can be a sign of a foreign body stuck in the nasal canal or of a respiratory infection.

If the nose is covered with a bloody discharge, this can be a symptom of inflammation, an infection from a tick bite, or even cancer.

So, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice an unusual color or thickness of the mucus.

What Makes A Dog’s Nose Dry?

In most cases, the nose of the pup will be more efficient for smelling and cooling when it is wet than when it is dry.

But in many cases, a dry dog nose is something normal and nothing to worry about.

As the pup gets older, it will produce less nasal mucus, and thus its nose will be dryer.

Also, older dogs sleep longer and more often than young ones, which too can cause their noses to be drier than they used to be.

Too much exposure to the sun or wind too can make your pup’s nose dry and cracked.

Last but not least, your dog may have a dry nose after strenuous exercise due to dehydration. This is why it is essential to provide your pup with fresh water after exercise and at all times.

My Dog’s Nose Is Dry? Should I Be Worried?

As mentioned above, in some cases, a dry nose is nothing to worry about. Its wetness can be affected by the dog’s age, whether it has been sleeping or exercising excessively, and even by the weather conditions.

But if your furry companion is displaying other worrying symptoms apart from a dry nose, this can mean that it has some health problems, such as an infection or fever, or that it is dehydrated.

So, always monitor your pet for any unusual symptoms and take it to the vet for a checkup if you are worried about its unusually dry nose and others.

Allergies And Skin Problems

In some cases, your dog’s nose may be dry and even chapped due to an allergy or a skin disorder.

Extreme Dehydration Or Sunburn

If your dog is dehydrated, its nose will be dry, and it will also be lethargic and have other symptoms such as a loss of the elasticity of the skin and sunken eyes.

Severe dehydration is a dangerous condition, so make sure to call your veterinarian as soon as possible!

In some cases, your dog’s nose may have suffered sunburn, which usually causes a red and dry nose with flaky skin.

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