When your dog's nose is warm, it's
hard to miss it. You spend a lot of time petting and playing with your dog, and
there might be times when you notice that your fluffy buddy's nose is a little
warmer than usual. You may worry that there's something wrong or that he's sick
and you're not alone. People often consider the state of a dog's nose as an
indicator of his health.
If a dog's nose is warm, are they
sick? The truth is, a warm or dry nose doesn't immediately mean that your dog
is feeling unwell, so there's no cause for worry. In the same way, an overly
wet nose doesn't always mean that your dog is sick, as a lot of people would
How Dogs' Noses Work
A dog's nose is a wonder in
itself. A dog uses his sense of smell to assess his surroundings and identify a
wide range of smells. If we humans
mostly depend on our vision to make our way into the world, dogs depend on
their olfactory senses for survival. Their brains interpret information based
on what they smell. Dogs even use their noses to sniff out danger or
Canines have over 100 million
sensory receptors in their nasal cavities, which is a lot compared to the six
million receptors in people. A large part of a dog's brain is dedicated to
analyzing odors and it's estimated that dogs can smell up to 10,000 times
better than us. Dogs are in the habit of licking their noses because doing so
helps intensify scents they are trying to sniff out. The moisture in their
noses also helps them identify the direction from which smells are coming from.
So, if a dog's nose is warm and dry, does this mean there's something wrong?
Why Are Dog's Noses Always Wet?
Remember that canines don't sweat
the way humans do and they dissipate body heat mostly through panting and
through their footpads. Dog's noses help them get cooler when it's wet. So how
do they manage to keep their noses wet? The first is through licking. Dogs keep
their noses wet with their saliva to keep cool and to keep them clean. Licking
their noses enhances their sense of smell as it's their way of gathering scent
particles into the mouth where the Jacobsen's organ, which further elevates a
dog's olfactory senses, is located.
Another reason why dogs' nose is
warm and wet is because of the constant secretion of mucus in the inner lining
of the nasal cavities. The mucus keeps the nasal canals moist and this helps
the absorption of scent chemicals. Your dog's nostrils also produce a clear,
watery fluid which also helps with the cooling process.
Your dog's nose may also be wet
from using his nose to probe his surroundings. Moisture from damp plants,
grass, or puddles can be another reason why his nose is moist.
What Does a Dry Nose Mean in Dogs?
My dog's nose is warm and dry,
what does it mean? Given the reasons for your dog's nose being always wet, it
can be worrisome if you notice that his nose is warm and dry. A wet nose can be
a good indicator that his sense of smell and his body's cooling system are
functioning as they should. However, a dry, warm nose doesn't always mean that
he is feeling sick.
My dog's nose is warm and dry
after he just woke up from a nap. Is it normal? When he's sleeping, of course,
your dog is unable to lick his nose, which is why it could also feel warmer to
the touch. A dry nose might also mean that your dog is just a little
dehydrated, especially if you just played with him or took him out to exercise.
Exposure to wind, cold, and hot sunlight can also cause a dog's nose to feel
warm and dry. Aging dogs can also develop dryer noses.
Watch Out for Other Symptoms
If my dog's nose is warm, is he
sick? If your dog's nose is unusually dry, you may look for other possible
symptoms to determine if something is not right. If his nose is warm and dry
but he seems to be behaving normally, then there's likely no cause for panic.
Check his nose from time to time and see if it regains its normal moisture
Dog Nose Warm, Dry, Lethargy
Other than his nose is dry, what
other symptoms would tell you that he might be ill? If his nose appears dry and
crusty, accompanied by teary eyes, then there's something wrong with his
health. High fever along with the dried-out nose, lethargy, and loss of
appetite requires a visit to the vet.
You must also watch out for sinus
infections, which can be indicated by brown, yellow, green, or reddish nasal
discharge. If the abnormal discharge is combined with lethargy and cough, it
could mean a more serious illness like kennel cough, parvovirus, or
Dog's Nose Is Warm and Panting
A dog with a dry nose and can't
seem to stop panting may indicate a high body temperature and dehydration. You
can take your pet's temperature or have the vet do a checkup. You can check for
a fever or a possible allergic reaction. Has he been out in the sun too long?
It might be a case of sunburn, wherein your dog's nose may look red and
A dog's nose may feel warmer than usual for several reasons, and it's not always because he's sick. He could have been laying down too long next to a hot vent or surface, he could have been sunburned, or he just needs a drink of water after a strenuous exercise. But of course, responsible pet owners would want to do everything to keep their dog healthy. If his dry nose is accompanied by symptoms like lethargy, loss of appetite, or abnormal discharge, it could mean more serious health issues that need immediate medical attention.