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Why Are Dogs Noses Wet? Learn 3 Most Common Reasons

Why Are Dogs Noses Wet? Learn 3 Most Common Reasons

Your dog probably adores kissing you and licking your face. This is one of his ways to show you how much he loves you. Since you have your dog so close to you probably very often, you have certainly touched its nose, which was wet. Why are dogs noses wet?

First of all, I would like to emphasize that this is completely normal. If you are a new pet parent, some things might surprise you, but, don’t worry, you will learn everything, and we are here to help you with any question you might have.

A wet nose in dogs is usually not a sign of anything wrong with your dog. Exactly the opposite – this is just what your dog’s nose should be like.

But, this does not mean that you should get instantly worried if your dog’s nose is dry, or not completely wet. There are also reasons for this, too.

Now, let’s start with the explanations why dogs have moist noises.

Why Are Dogs Noses Wet?

dog licking his nose why lying on the floor

You can learn a lot about your dog’s health by taking a close look at its nose. For example, if your dog’s nose has turned pink, this might indicate that your dog got sunburned, or that his nose is injured.

But, what would a dog’s wet nose might be telling us? Is there a logical explanation for this occurrence in our furry friends?

Of course there is! Let’s look at 3 main explanations for this.

1. Your Dog Licks Its Nose

We all know how much dogs love to lick anything – some lick their own lips intensively, while others adore to lick their owners.

Many dogs also lick their noses all the time – and this is the most obvious explanation why this part of your dog’s face is always wet.

Perhaps your dog usually licks both its lips and its nose when you are about to give it food, or while it is looking at you when you are eating your meal.

2. A Way Of Cooling Dog Down

Have you ever thought about whether our dogs can sweat under all that fur of theirs? They don’t sweat in a way we do, but they also react to changes in temperature.

So, our dogs feel the heat during the summer months just like we do. While humans have sweat glands all over their bodies, our furry companions are slightly different in this matter. They have sweat glands in their noses, and on their paws.

When your dog becomes hot, his nose will begin to actively moisten to reduce his body temperature. Quite an interesting concept, isn’t it?

So, even though our dogs don’t sweat in the same way we do, they still need some kind of cooling system. This is why it is not recommended to walk dogs in the hottest parts of the day in summer. 

The best would be to provide our dogs with a cool place without dark sunlight, at least during the hottest summer months.

3. Contribution To Canine Sense

We all know that dogs have such an amazing sense of smell. This is one of the reasons why some dogs are so good as search and rescue dogs.

Smell is in some ways even more important than vision for dogs. Dogs love to smell anything – they might even surprise you with their constant need of smelling everything – from you, food, to garbage and all kinds of nasty things.

Your dog’s moist nose is actually an additional contribution to his superior sense of smell. It may sound strange to you, but there is a completely logical explanation.

When a dog inhales, various scented particles from its environment end up in its mucus in the nose. The dog will then instinctively lick his nose, in order to use his tongue to pick up the scent particles that are in his nose.

Thus, a moist nose helps dogs to further deepen their enjoyment of various smells from their surroundings.

My Dog’s Nose Is Not Wet: Should I Be Worried?

dog touching his owner's palm with his nose

So, a wet nose is usually a sign that everything is fine with your dog. The only thing you should pay attention to is if you notice a larger discharge from your dog’s nose, especially if it is a bloody discharge.

This might be a sign of respiratory infection, or some other health issue in your dog, that should be supervised by your dog’s veterinarian.

If your dog’s nose is supposed to be wet, then something is definitely wrong with your pooch if his nose is dry? Not necessarily. A dog may have a dry nose immediately after waking up. But, the dog’s nose can become dry if the dog has a cold or has problems with allergies.

If your dog’s nose is dry when he is sick, his nose will probably become normally wet when the dog recovers.

Lack of water intake can cause dry noses in some dogs. Also, hot temperatures in summer, or cold temperatures in winter can also cause a dry nose in dogs.

How can you estimate whether a dog’s dry nose is harmless, or is it showing you something is wrong with your pet’s health? The best way to assess this is to observe your dog and see how it behaves.

If you notice additional symptoms, such as fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, or similar symptoms, you should definitely contact your veterinarian immediately.

In many cases, a dog’s dry nose does not have to mean absolutely nothing. However, a dog’s dry nose can also be one of the first symptoms of a certain health problem in a dog.


So, what can we conclude on the matter: Why are dogs noses wet?

First of all, this is something completely normal for dogs. All dogs, no matter their breed, age, or size, will normally have wet noses.

This happens because dogs like to lick their noses, because they can sense nice smells even better, and even when they try to cool them down.

So, a wet nose is not a reason for concern. The only thing you should check, and you should consult a veterinarian about, is if you notice a severe discharge, or even bloody discharge, from your furry companion’s nose.

It is also important to mention that a dry nose in a dog does not necessarily mean there is something wrong with the dog. 

Some dogs have dry noses during hot summer months. Some dogs might also experience this during the cold winter days.

Some dogs have dry noses when they first wake up, or, when they are located in dry areas.

Still, if your dog’s nose is dry for a longer period of time, this could indicate a certain health problem in your dog. In these cases, I recommend you to consult a veterinarian.