Why Are Dogs Noses Wet?

Why Are Dogs Noses Wet?

Have you ever wondered why a dog’s nose is wet? While dogs may have many unique characteristics, their wet noses are one of the most commonly known features. The main reason dogs have wet noses is to help them cool off. It is believed that this helps to regulate their body temperature by evaporation, which is the process of turning liquid into gas. Furthermore, a wet nose allows a dog to more easily identify smells and helps them distinguish certain scents.

Why Are Dogs Noses Wet?dog nose 2

  • Sweat Glands: Dogs have numerous sweat glands located in their paws and noses. Just like people, they sweat to help keep cool and to help reduce their body temperature.
  • Allergy Irritations: Dogs’ noses may be wet due to pollen, dust, and other airborne allergens. This can cause the dog to sneeze or lick its nose to help reduce the irritation.
  • Nursing And Hydration: Puppies’ noses are naturally wet when they are actively nursing and drinking milk from their mother. This helps to keep them hydrated and ensures that their body gets enough fluids.
  • Eating Food: Eating food can also cause a dog’s nose to become wet. As the dog licks his nose to clean it off after eating, saliva is left behind, making the nose wet.
  • Salivary Glands: Dogs also have salivary glands located in their noses. These glands help to keep the nose moist and help the dog to better smell the environment around them.
  • Natural Oils: Dogs’ noses contain natural oils that help to keep their skin and coat healthy. As these oils move through the nose, they can cause it to become damp or wet.
  • Weather Changes: A dog’s nose will become wetter when it’s hot outside and especially if there is a lot of humidity. This helps to keep their body temperature regulated and helps them to stay cool.

Dog Wet Nose Sneezing

It is possible that your dog is suffering from an upper respiratory infection that is causing a wet nose and sneezing. Other symptoms of respiratory infection include lethargy, coughing, loss of appetite, discharge from the nose or eyes, and difficulty breathing. It is important to take your dog to a veterinarian if these symptoms persist, as an infection left untreated can become very serious. However, also note that if your dog has been interacting with other dogs, a wet nose and sneezing can also be signs of kennel cough, which is an airborne infectious disease that dogs can pick up from one another. Treatment for kennel cough typically involves antibiotics and rest.

SEE ALSO: Hyperkeratosis Dog Paw: All You Need To Know

Reason for Wet Dog Noses

Wet noses in dogs are caused by a process called rhinarium moistening. Dogs secrete a special type of mucus from their nose that helps them scent the air and collect chemical particles to assess their environment. This helps the dog sense and identify other animals, food sources, and potential threats. The rhinarium also helps the dog absorb smells and tastes in their environment.

What Does An Overly Wet Nose Mean?

An overly wet nose typically indicates a nose that is excessively runny or is producing an abundant amount of mucus. This can be a sign of inflammation in the nose due to a variety of different irritants, or an infection. Some causes of a wet nose include allergies, a cold, a sinus infection, or a foreign object in the nasal passages. If an overly wet nose is present for an extended period of time, it is advisable to seek medical attention.

Why Do Dogs Noses Get Dry?dog nose 3

  1. Environmental Factors: Dry air, overexposure to sunlight, and cold temperatures can all cause a dog’s nose to become dry and cracked.
  2. Allergies: If a dog has seasonal allergies, it may start to develop a dry nose.
  3. Dehydration: Due to the salty secretion from dogs’ noses, it’s important for them to stay hydrated. If they don’t get enough water, their nose can become dry and cracked.
  4. Parasitic Infections: Some parasites can cause a dog’s nose to become dry and cracked.
  5. Mite Infestation: Tiny mites can cause a dog’s nose to become dry and crusty.
  6. Contact Dermatitis: Certain materials, including plastic or rubber, can irritate a dog’s nose if it comes into contact with them.
  7. Inadequate Diet: A diet deficient in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals can lead to a dry and cracked nose.
  8. Hormonal Imbalances: Dogs can suffer from hormonal imbalances, such as Cushing’s disease and hypothyroidism, which can cause a dry nose.
  9. Oral Medications: Certain oral medications, such as antibiotics, can cause a dog’s nose to become dry and rough.
  10. Aging: As dogs age, their skin becomes thinner and drier, which can cause a dry nose.

What Should I Do If My Dog’s Nose Is Dry?

  • Check For Signs of Illness: If your dog’s nose is dry, it could be a sign of an underlying illness such as infections, allergies, hormonal diseases, or other medical conditions. Taking your pup to the vet for a checkup should be the first step in determining the cause of the dryness.
  • Increase Humidity: If your pup spends time outdoors, especially in colder climates, the air can be dry and cause a dry nose. You can help by running a humidifier in your home to provide added moisture to the air.
  • Provide Access to Water: Make sure your pup is drinking plenty of water to keep their body (and nose) hydrated. Dogs should always have access to clean and fresh water.
  • Offer Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a great way to naturally moisturize your pup’s dry nose. Rub a small amount (no bigger than a pea) onto your pup’s nose and/or paws daily.
  • Look for Natural Ingredients: Look for all-natural dog nose balms made with ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and other essential oils and natural moisturizers.
  • Limit Sun Exposure: UV damage can contribute to dry skin, and your pup’s nose is no exception. To decrease the risk, keep your furbaby mostly in the shade and provide sunscreen specifically made for their sensitive nose and ears.
  • Avoid Carpet Cleaners and Air Fresheners: Not only can these products contain ingredients that are toxic to pets, but they can also dry out the air around them and your pup’s nose.
  • Bathing: Bathe your pup using only a mild soap-free shampoo made specifically for dogs rather than human shampoo and other harsh ingredients derived from petroleum or that are scented. Also, remember not to over-bathe your pup.
  • Good Diet: Make sure you’re feeding your pup a diet high in essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Keep an Eye Out for Improvement: It’s important to keep an eye out for any improvements or worsening of your pup’s dry nose. If it doesn’t improve or worsen, take your pup to the vet to rule out any underlying illness.

Healthy Dog Nose VS Unhealthy Dog Nose

A healthy dog nose should be wet, cool, and have no foul odor. An unhealthy dog nose may be dry, cracked, swollen, and have a foul odor. Additionally, an unhealthy nose may have scabs, redness, and even discharge. If your dog’s nose looks or smells off, contact your vet as it could be a sign of infection or disease.

Tips to Keep Your Dog’s Nose Healthydog nose 1

  1. Make sure your dog is properly hydrated. Drinking plenty of clean, fresh water helps ensure the nasal tissues and mucus membranes are moist and healthy.
  2. Keep your dog away from irritants in the air, such as smoke, pollen, dust, and chemical odors. Limit your dog’s exposure to these elements.
  3. Clean your dog’s nose regularly with a damp cloth. This will help keep it free from irritating dirt and debris.
  4. Check your dog’s nose on a regular basis for any signs of irritation or infection. If you see any changes, consult your veterinarian right away.
  5. Feed your dog a balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients. A healthy diet encourages proper nose hygiene and can help prevent infection.
  6. Use a humidifier in your home if your dog suffers from dry nasal passages. This will keep the air moist and help your dog’s nose stay healthy.
  7. Provide your dog with a soft, warm bed or crate that is free from drafts. Sleeping in a cool or moist environment can irritate the nasal passages.
  8. Keep your dog’s living environment clean and free from mold and mildew. These can cause nasal congestion and infection.
  9. Protect your dog from parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites. These can cause irritation and infection of the nose.
  10. Add a few drops of a natural topical solution, like coconut oil, to your dog’s nose daily to keep it moisturized. This will help protect the delicate membranes and hairs in the nose.

SEE ALSO: How To Tell If A Dog Has A Fever: Common Symptoms


Q. Is a wet dog’s nose good or bad?

A. A wet dog’s nose is good! It is a sign that the dog is healthy and hydrated.

Q. What does it mean when a dog’s nose is dry?

A. A dog’s dry nose means that they are dehydrated and need to drink more water.

Q. Are dogs’ noses wet when happy?

A. Yes, dogs’ noses often get wet and warm when they are happy.

Q. Why do dogs put their wet nose on you?

A. Dogs put their wet nose on you as a method of scenting and recognizing you. Their noses are full of sensitive scent receptors, so a sniff is an important way for a dog to identify you.

Q. Does a wet nose mean a dog is happy?

A. Yes, a wet nose can be a sign that a dog is happy.

Q. Is a wet nose a sign of a healthy dog?

A. Yes, a wet nose is generally a sign that a dog is in good health.

Q. Should a dog’s nose be cold?

A. Yes, a healthy dog’s nose can be cold to the touch.

Q. Is It Normal for a Dog’s Nose to Be Wet?

A. Yes, it is normal for a dog’s nose to be wet.


In conclusion, dogs’ noses are wet because of their many glands which help create mucus. This mucus helps them smell and pick up slight odors better. Additionally, that slimy layer helps to protect their nose from drying out, sunburn, and other irritants that may come into contact with the nose. In the end, it all helps dogs take in the world around them.

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