We’ve all heard that a healthy nose is a wet nose when it comes to dogs. And it’s true. In general, a wet, cool nose is a sign of good health in dogs, but the reverse isn’t necessarily cause for concern.
What does it mean when your dog’s nose is dry?
First, Let’s Talk About Why Dog Noses Are (Usually) Wet
Wanna be grossed out? Here’s your reminder that the “wetness” of your dog’s nose is actually either a thin layer of mucus or a film of sweat! Mmmmm. The thin layer of mucus that’s usually on a dog’s nose helps him trap and investigate smells. In hot conditions, dogs are also using their noses to release sweat so they can cool off a bit, too.
So, Why is My Dog’s Nose Dry?
Excellent question. Right off the bat, let’s establish that some dogs’ noses are generally just drier than others. (Think about how some humans have natural oilier skin, for example.) Your dog might just have a relatively dry nose.
Why might your dog’s nose be dry? Well, odds are he’s just a little dehydrated. He might just need a good drink of water to moisten things back up! His nose skin could even be dehydrated, particularly if he just took a nap or has been laying near a heating vent.
There are other reasons, most of which aren’t a huge deal, but if you’re worried about your dog’s nose you should definitely talk to your vet. He might have gotten a sunburn on his nose, for example, or have even be having an allergic reaction. “Dry nose” in dogs isn’t something to worry about unless it’s accompanied by other more serious symptoms like lethargy, behavioral changes, vomiting, or other problems.
How Can I Fix It?
In general, a dry nose on your dog isn’t something to stress over, particularly if it’s short-lived. That said, dry nose can be a little uncomfortable for your dog (kind of like chapped lips) and dry noses certainly smell less efficiently than wet noses. There are a few ways you can help get those doggy juices flowin’ again.
You’ll need to start by identifying the source of the problem. If you’ve ruled out common sense causes like a furnace fan or short-term dehydration, think about allergens. A dry nose is a common sign of an allergic reaction to something in the environment like your laundry detergent or pollen. Try removing suspected allergens to see if that makes a difference.
If that doesn’t work and your dog’s nose is dry for days or weeks on end, it’s probably time to call the vet. It could be that he’s developed some kind of fungal infection or skin issue that needs treating…it’s more common than you think. Your vet will also check to make sure nothing else is going on with your dog’s health. If you’re worried, ask your vet about the many available supplements, lotions, and potions available to “treat” dry nose in dogs – she may recommend them in your case or she may not. It’s always smart to get a professional opinion before adding anything to your dog’s regiment just in case.