Why Are Dogs’ Noses Wet?

Why Are Dogs' Noses Wet?

Ellen Britt for CNT #wooftips

First of all, let’s get this one out of the way. As a dog owner, you have probably heard that if your dog’s nose is dry, it means he is sick. Not true!

Dogs differ in the wetness of their noses, as some dogs have wetter noses than others. Also, the moisture level of a dog’s nose may vary depending on the time of day. A dog can be ill and have a wet nose. 

But let’s get back to our question. Why are dog’s noses wet?

The Number One Reason

The number one reason why a dog’s nose is wet, is because the nose secrets a thin coating of mucus. This mucus coating absorbs scent laden molecules and helps your dog to smell better.

Plus, dogs tend to lick their noses a lot. One of the reasons they do this is that licking their noses transfers the scent molecules trapped in the mucus to the olfactory receptors located in the roof of the dogs’ mouth. The other reason dogs lick their noses is to clean them of adhered food particles, dirt and so forth.

Wet Nose Benefits

A wet nose also helps to cool your dog down. Dogs sweat very little, a bit from their paw pads and nose and this helps on a hot day.

Also, certain dog breeds have wetter noses than others.

So there you have it. The mystery of a dog’s wet nose solved!

By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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By Ellen Britt

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