Why Are Dogs’ Noses Wet?
There’s nothing quite like a cold, wet nose poked in your face at the crack of dawn. While it’s certainly an effective tool for your dog to tell you it’s time to get up and go for a walk, is a wet nose actually a good thing?
Wet Noses Help Dogs Smell
As it turns out, having a wet nose is actually quite important, if you’re a dog. Scent particles travelling on the breeze are caught on a damp nose (the dampness being caused by a thin layer of mucous). When your dog then licks his nose, the scent particles are deposited onto special scent receptors located in the roof of your dog’s mouth. Watch your dog closely next time you fire up the barbecue. When she catches the delectable odour of grilling ribs, her tongue will flick out over her nose to draw those amazing scent molecule inside her mouth so she can deliver them to those olfactory glands.
Wet Noses are for Cooling Off
We know that dogs don’t sweat - or, at least not all over their body like we do. When they get hot they do have a few mechanisms for lowering their body temperature. Panting is one, but dogs are also able to perspire through the pads of their feet and their noses. Ironically, it’s on hot days that you might notice your dog’s nose is wettest.
No Two Noses Alike
As with many canine characteristics, every dog is an individual. One dog’s nose might be dry most of the time and another mostly wet. It’s important to know what is normal for your dog and, if things change suddenly, to check out what’s going on. A discharge from inside the nose, particularly one that’s thick, yellow, or green is not a good thing and calls for a visit to the vet. Healthy mucous on the surface of a dog’s nose is clear and not excessive. In fact, it’s actually this clear mucous that aids in body heat evaporation.
Keep Your Nose Clean
A dog will also lick its nose to keep it clean, which makes sense if you think about how a dog often leads with its nose. Excessive licking is not healthy, though, and if you notice your dog is constantly flicking his tongue out or if the nose seems irritated, cracked, red, or sore, you should consult your vet to find out what’s causing the problem.
Does a wet nose mean a dog is healthy?
Just because having a wet nose is normal doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog is sick if she has a dry one. When a dog first wakes up it’s quite normal for its nose to be dry: dogs don’t usually lick their noses when they are sleeping after all. Older dogs sometimes produce less mucus than younger dogs, and that can also mean their noses are drier. As long as your dog has no other symptoms, seems active and alert and has a good appetite, a dry nose alone is probably not a cause for concern.
My guess is that if you are feeding Rawmate premium meals to your dog there will be so much sniffing and tasting that their tongues and noses will be in overdrive so dryness won’t be an issue!