The 10 Most Frequently Asked Dog Questions: Why Are Dog’s Noses Wet?

February 7th, 2017

Have you ever wondered why dog’s noses are wet? You get along just fine with a dry nose, so why shouldn’t your dog? It turns out that a wet nose serves quite a few purposes for your dog. So what are they?

5 reasons your dog has a wet nose

Why are dogs’ noses wet? Let us count the reasons.

  1. It’s snot entirely without purpose 
    When dogs are trying to follow a scent or a trail, they secrete mucus around the outside of their nose. That mucus actually allows them to smell better.
  2. They lick it like a lollipop 
    Sometimes your dog’s nose could be wet just from him licking it. Why do they do this? Either to clean off dirt or food that can get stuck to it, or they lick off the mucus they secreted (see #1 above). When they lick off that mucus, they can actually taste it and sample what the smells around them are like. Weird, eh? Would you do that if you could?
  3. Ice, ice, baby
    Most dog owners are familiar with the fact that panting can cool a dog down. But dogs have another way to cool down, too, and that’s secreting moisture from their paws and nose. If your dog’s nose is super wet on a really hot day, that could just be his internal air conditioning kicking on.
  4. Dog’s noses pick up moisture
    When dogs are hot on the trail for searching for food, an interesting scent, or a nearby interesting critter, you’ll notice dogs turn into little hoover vacuums: they shovel their nose in the ground and barge right ahead. In the process, their noses pick up moisture from things like wet leaves, grass, dirt etc.
  5. Baby I was born this way 

Some dogs just have wetter noses than other dogs. And that’s that, baby.

Now to dispel a myth:

A dry nose doesn’t necessarily mean your dog is sick

Most vets will agree that how wet your dog’s nose is has nothing to do with her general health. Like we said above, some breeds just have wetter noses than others. And just because your dog’s nose is wet doesn’t mean your dog isn’t sick. 

It’s best to cue into your dog’s behavior and if anything seems unusual, that’s your best bet for determining if you should take your dog to the vet or not.

Does your dog have a wet or dry nose? What breed is your dog? Let us know!