Are Dog Noses Supposed To Be Wet?

When a dog nuzzles his nose to your hand for attention, you might just think that your dog wiped his runny nose on you.

Are Dog noses are supposed to be wet? Yes, a dog’s nose is supposed to be wet. In it’s simplest form, a dog will secrete a thing layer of mucus on it’s nose in order to collect very tiny particles in the air so that the dog can smell better. In fact, a wet nose is what allows a dog to smell up to 100,000 times better that people.

A dog will lick his nose frequently to ensure that he can smell better. Just like people’s eyes have to be moist in order to see, a dog’s nose needs to be wet in order to maximize it smelling capabilities.

Are Dog Noses Always Cold and Wet?

Dog noses are not always cold, or wet for that matter. The moisture on a dog’s nose will change from day to day, (or even hour to hour for that matter). In fact, the temperature of the environment that the dog is in plays a major factor in determining if their nose is moist or not.

If, for example, you find that you (or your dog), are drinking a lot of water because your mouth is dry in the winter months, it may be from the dry heat that is pumping through your home. As such, you could expect your dog’s nose to be dry given the environment that he is in. The heat in the house may warm up his nose, and prevent it from being moist.

When a dog sleeps at night, there are hours that go by when he does not lick his nose to keep it moist. So, to find that your dog’s nose is not very moist in the middle of the night is completely normal.

What Can Cause a Dog’s Nose to Get Dry?

If your dog’s nose is dry and is not moist to the touch, it could be a result of one or more of the following 5 things:

  1. Dehydration
    Like people, dogs need to by hydrated too, especially in the hot summer heat, or after a long hike. Again, remember that any time you find yourself with a dry scratchy throat, your dog almost certainly feels the same way, (but on his nose). So, be sure to keep your dog hydrated, especially when you will be away from your dog’s water-bowl for any length of time. You may want to consider getting an Active Dog Traveling Water Bottle from our store. This way, you can keep your dog hydrated while at the park, or while running around town doing some errands.
  2. Dry Heat
    If your dog sleeps near the air vent to keep warm, this warm dry air that blows through the vent will have the same effect on it’s nose as the warm dry air has on you when you sleep at night. Have you ever found your throat dry and scratchy when you wake up in the morning? That warm dry airflow has the same effect on your dog’s nose.
  3. Winter Weather
    Like a person can suffer from chapped lips, a dog can suffer from a dry nose. You could use coconut oil on your dog’s chapped nose to soften it up again, which should heal it right up. Also, applying coconut oil is not painful, whereas rubbing a balm on your dog’s cracked nose, just might be. Just be sure to keep an eye out for a chapped nose. Just like chapped lips are bothersome to you, so too, a cracked nose on a dog is just as painful.
  4. Sunburn
    When we think of “sunburn”, we usually do not think of dogs. We think of how the sun can affect the skin of people. Dogs can be susceptible to the sun too, however, and a dry nose may be one of the results.
  5. Allergies
    Believe it or not, like people, dogs can have allergies. If you find that your dog is frequently getting a dry nose, be sure to have your veterinarian check to see if he is allergic to anything. They will, of course, need to run tests to determine this, but if it is found that your dog has a dry nose due to allergies, the good news is that there is medication that you can give your dog to prevent this.

What to Put on a Dog’s Dry Nose

A dog that is outside in direct sunlight will be affected, and as such, you need to ensure that your dog is cared for by hydrating your dog and possibly preemptively treating your dog with dog-specific balm to prevent sunburn.

It is highly recommended that you stay away from “baby oil”. While baby oil may soften the skin, it also absorbs and attracts the light directly to the skin. This is bad news for a sunburn, so stay away from baby oil when treating the sunburn on your dog’s nose.

Instead, you may want to consider coconut oil to treat your dog’s sunburned or cracked nose. Because coconut oil is a liquid, one can easily apply it without causing any pain to your dog. It also is very effective at softening the tissue, nurturing the nose back to health.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Getting a Dry Nose

As already mentioned, a dog’s nose can be wet and cold one hour, and far less moist and even warm, an hour later. It all depends on the dog’s environment. There are two things that you must do in order to keep your dog healthy and free from a dry cracked nose.

  1. Keep Your Dog Hydrated
    Your dog pants to moderate his body temperature. It is vitally important that your dog has access to drink water, . . . whenever they want. Yes, it means that you will have to take your dog out to go to the bathroom more often, (do dogs go to the bathroom?) . . . you will have to take your dog outside to relieve himself, but that is part of parenting a dog. Again, ALWAYS ensure that your dog has access to their water-bowl.
  2. Always Be Aware
    The most important factor, however, is for you to always be aware, keeping an eye on the condition of your dog’s nose. Just like the mother of a newborn baby is constantly aware of her baby’s needs, you too, need to constantly be aware of your dog’s needs.

    You may need to preemptively apply some dog-specific balm to your dog’s nose, or coconut oil if it you find that it is too dry. Just be aware of your dog’s needs, and don’t wait for your dog to tell you that he is thirsty.

Closing Thoughts

A dog’s nose can become dry due to the environment it finds itself in, or it might be due to allergies that the dog has. Regardless of the environment, it is imperative that you make it a point to keep your dog hydrated by always making water available.

The number one reason why a dog’s nose can become cracked or VERY rough, is because it was not looked after or treated to prevent such a condition. If you believe that your dog’s nose is a little too rough, (bumpy), it would not hurt to rub a little coconut oil into his nose to ensure healthy soft tissue so that your dog can continue to use their incredible sense of smell.

Rebecca Chesonis

Rebecca Chesonis is a business professional with a lifelong love for dogs. She has owned and worked around dogs since she was a child. She has a love for all breeds, and a particular fondness for large dogs. She loves to write articles and create videos that will help you take care of your dog and find activities to make life with your dog even more fun!

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