“Your dog’s nose is dry. Maybe she is sick!” This is the popular opinion of most dog owners. A wet nose is a sign of good health and a dry nose is a sign of illness. Is this true or just a myth that needs to be debunked?
Before we reveal the answer, you need to understand why dogs have wet noses. A wet nose helps your dog to have a heightened sense of smell to know the world around them and scent particles stick easily on moist surfaces. The wet nose also helps your pet cool down on hot days.
A special mucus producing glands are found in the lining of a dog’s nose that keeps their nasal passage moist apart from producing a watery fluid which help to keep themselves cool. Dogs also lick their noses to keep it clean.
What does it really mean when your dog’s nose is dry?
There are perfectly normal reasons why a dog’s nose can be dry. As easy as it is to say that a dry nose means a dog is sick you must also note the fact that a sick dog can have a wet nose too.
The following are some probable reasons why your pet’s nose is dry:
- Your dog was napping – A sleeping dog does not lick its nose during nap time so they will wake up with a dry nose.
- Dehydration from exercise – Heavy exercise can cause dehydration that leads to a dry nose. So, keep your pet well hydrated during exercise time.
- Exposure to elements – Too much exposure to sun, wind or cold will dry your dog’s nose and in a few cases will result in chapped or sunburned snouts. Lying too close to a source of heat can cause dry skin on your pet’s nose.
- Age – Some dogs have dry nose as they age.
So, now you know that a dry nose does not necessarily mean a health trouble to your pet. But it can be a sign of fever, dehydration or even a dry eye. If a dry nose is accompanied with other symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea or changes in appetite that you must consult your vet for their professional advice.
Another interesting fact to note is that your pet’s gums can tell you more accurate details about their health rather than their nose. A moist gum is a sign of good hydration. If it is dry then it is a sign of dehydration. Gums that are pink in colour is a sign of good health. Pale looking gums can be a sign of anaemia or low blood pressure. If your pet has bright red – purple or pale blueish gums then they must be checked by the vet immediately.