Here Is the Actual Reason Your Dog Has a Wet Nose

Kori Williams - Author

Feb. 6 2023, Published 12:39 p.m. ET

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So many of us have dogs as pets, and love them as cherished members of our families. And if you've ever had a dog, you've probably heard that it's a sign that they're healthy if they have cold, wet noses. How that became such common knowledge among dog lovers is unclear — but it turns out, the rumor is not true.

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But why are dogs' noses wet if it doesn't mean they're healthy and happy? Luckily, it doesn't necessarily mean anything negative. In fact, it can actually be a good thing. But having a dry nose could be something to look out for.

Why are dogs' noses wet?

It may seem like dogs have wet noses because it keeps them cool in the heat — and this is partially true, as having a set of wet nostrils helps balance out the fact that dogs don't sweat.

But according to Psychology Today, there's a much simpler answer. It turns out that these furry friends have wet snouts because they lick them.

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If you pay attention to your dog for long enough, you might notice that they lick their nose every so often. There's no exact reason why they do this, but it does have a few health benefits. For one, it does help keep dogs cool in the heat. Dogs only sweat via their paw pads, so this extra step can prevent them from overheating.

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In addition to that, having a wet nose helps dogs smell better. Because of the moisture, it's easier for scent particles to stick to their noses. And then each time they lick their noses after they smell something, those same particles get transferred into their mouths So the same scent can be understood via glands in their mouths.

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Is it bad if a dog has a dry nose?

The American Kennel Club says that a dog with a dry nose isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it could mean nothing at all. Here are just a few justifiable reasons your pup might have a dry sniffer:

  • Your dog is just waking up. Dogs don't lick their noses in their sleep.
  • Exercise has left your dog dehydrated.
  • Some dogs' noses get drier as they get older.
  • Your dog lives in an area with a drier climate or one that gets winter weather.
  • Dogs with short snouts tend to have drier noses.

If you have concerns about your dog's dry nose, there are a few health issues you might want to look out for. For one, if your dog is dehydrated, their noses is more likely to be dry. If they've just been active, that makes sense. But this could be a sign that your dog needs more fluids than you are giving them if it's a prolonged issue.

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In another way dogs are like us, they can get allergies, and one of the symptoms is a dry nose. This can also be a sign that your pup has a sunburn or even an autoimmune disease that causes their nose to dry out very badly. If you have any health concerns about any of your pets, be sure to take them to the vet and discuss your concerns with them so they can set your dog on the right path to health.

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