Why is My Dog's Nose Cold?
It’s tough to pick out the most adorable part of your dog, but that sweet snout is certainly up there. It’s hard not to fall in love with these big, boopable noses, but you may have wondered why your furry friend’s sniffer can sometimes feel different.
One moment your dog’s nose is cold and wet, then a little later It may be warm and dry. If you’ve wondered whether your dog’s nose should be cold, you’re not alone. The good news is that there are very practical reasons why our dog’s nose is constantly changing.
Why Are Dog Noses Cold?
Dog noses aren’t naturally cold. If you touch your dog’s nose while they are asleep, it’ll likely be warm and dry. However, that same nose will likely be cold when they are awake. The reason for that is simple – they licks their nose.
While that answer may seem overly simple, there’s a very good reason behind the nose licking. It turns out that a wet nose works better than a dry one. A wet nose intensifies any interesting smells and makes it easier to figure out where they come from and what they are. As such, a wet nose helps dogs improve their already impressive sniffing abilities.
What does this have to do with your dog’s nose feeling cold? It just so happens that a wet nose is typically a cold one. As your curious canine sniffs and smells, the air rushing in and out tends to make your dog’s wet nose cold.
All that exploring can make for a bit of a dusty and dirty nose, though. As debris builds up on your dog’s snout, they will occasionally give it a lick to keep their nose in tip-top shape. After all, it’s hard to smell the flowers with mud on your nose!
Another reason why your dog intentionally wets his nose is because it can actually help dogs regulate their body temperature. Since dogs can’t sweat like we can, they have other creative ways to stay cool. A wet dog nose helps cool that air moving in and out when they breathe, helping your furry friend stay comfortable when it’s hot.
Once licked, a dogs nose is wet for a while. Our furry friends have special nose glands that produce mucus. When a dog licks their nose, their tongue helps distribute the mucus across their snoot and leaves a thin film. This film allows a dog to keep their nose cool and wet for longer than other animals.
What Does it Mean if My Dog’s Nose is Warm All the Time?
While dogs tend to wet their noses for the reasons mentioned above, a warm, dry nose isn’t necessarily a warning sign by itself. For one thing, some dogs are just less prone to licking their noses than others. Senior dogs and certain breeds like Pugs and Bulldogs are among the most common pups with slightly less frequent licking habits.
Other factors like the weather and sleeping patterns could make your dog’s nose dry. However, a dry nose can be a potential red flag in combination with other symptoms. These symptoms can include:
- Excessive nasal discharge
- Thick, discolored mucus
- Loose, runny stool
If your dog has a warm nose along with one or a handful of these symptoms, please consult your veterinarian.
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