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The Significance Of A Dog’s Dry Nose

Posted by Dr Claire Jenkins on Aug 8, 2016 9:32:21 PM
Dr Claire Jenkins

What a dog’s dry nose really means, is a question commonly posed to vets. It’s often thought the nose denotes a pet’s health status, and that a dry, warm nose signifies they're sick, or that a cool, moist nose says they are well.

The reality is that a dog with a warm, dry nose can be either sick or well, and likewise a dog with a cool, moist nose can be either too. A dogs nose is also a really poor indicator of their internal body temperature.

A moist nose is due to (1) dogs licking their noses and (2) to the production of mucous. Some dogs have drier noses as they simply won’t lick their noses as often, and as no two individuals are the same, some secrete less mucous than others.

Benign reasons for a dry nose may be that it’s the morning (not licking at night), or that it’s exposed directly to heating or air conditioning. More concerning causes include allergies, sun burn, immune mediated conditions and dehydration.

So all in all, a dry nose alone is not helpful in assessing the health of your dog. What IS helpful is knowing what’s NORMAL for your mate. And a deviation from this can certainly be significant and require assessment by a veterinarian.

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Topics: dry nose, dog