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Is my dog’s wet nose a cause of concern?

It is perfectly normal and healthy for dogs to have wet noses, it is the dry ones you should be worried about. The mucous secretion around dogs nose makes it wet to enhance the smelling power in canines,  Dogs through years of evolution have acutely developed their sense of smell and can simply lick their noses to catch the scents of the environs around them.

As Dr. Brittany King, DVM, positioned in Cypress, once explained on VET STREET that a mucous layer is secreted by a dog’s nose and deposits on top to take in scent chemicals. These scent chemicals are in the form of water drops that are absorbed in the layer. The dog licks the layer to examine these scents and transports the chemicals to the olfactory glands in the mouth. This whole exercise helps the dog to enhance its smelling power.

Dog Close up



Reasons for wet noses and how it helps your pooch:

  • A way of regulating overall body temperature. Dogs sweat either from the paw pads or noses. Dogs release heat by producing the moisture from the mucous glands situated in the nostrils and the evaporation of this liquid helps in cooling off.
  • Licking the nose to keep it sparkly & clean. It’s pretty common for a long pointy snout to get covered in foodstuff or muck while sniffing around. Licking helps a canine to keep its nose spotless and at the same time leaves it moist & cool.
  • Moisture from the environment can settle on those probing noses. When a dog is playing outdoors and pokes its nose into greenery or mud often the dampness in the atmosphere is collected on the snout and makes it appear wet.
  • Also a wet nose can be attributed to heredity. Some breeds have wetter noses Vis-a-Vis others. Apart from genetics there could be other conditions too responsible for a colder & moist snout.
Cold Noses but Warm Hearts. Dogs can simply lick their noses and pick up scents from around the area. A skill that has been developed through years of evolution in dogs and wolves. Image :

Cold Noses but Warm Hearts. Dogs can simply lick their noses and pick up scents from around the area. A skill that has been developed through years of evolution in dogs and wolves. Image :

Note that in normal circumstances the mucous discharge will be clear and watery.

A medical condition: If the nasal discharge is thick and in excess then the pet could be suffering from an infection of the upper respiratory system. Another sign of this would be the formation of crusts along the nostrils. Do consult a vet at the earliest to begin the appropriate treatment.

 You may now wonder if a dog’s dry nose is a problem. Not all situations causing a dry-nose are problematic.

  1. As some dogs get older their snouts begin to look dry due to ageing.
  2. Sometimes spending too much time under the sun or next to a heater can result in the same.
  3. A fit and young pooch can too experience this condition after a long restful sleep.

An active & healthy canine with a warm or dry nose is no reason to worry.

Exhaustion or sometimes a lack of fluids in the body can cause a dry nose. Make sure to place the pet in a cool and comfortable space and ensure it drinks enough water.

Seek immediate professional medical advice if your pet dog with a dry nose is lethargic, or not eating properly, or in pain. If dryness is combined with redness of the nose or there are cracks and scabs around the snout then again you have to show your pet to a veterinarian.


With over 15 years of experience in dealing with pets, the PetsWorld Team is now a constant guide for thousands of pet owners in India. Their passion for improving the lives of pets can be seen in their featured blog posts dedicated to pet care.

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