Dogs are infinitely extraordinary creatures, and that too for several apparent reasons. Not only do they keep you company and surrender their lifelong loyalty to you, but, at times, they also use their incredible sense of smell to get you out of trouble. Researchers say dogs’ noses contain about 300 million olfactory receptors, enabling them to smell in 3D.
A dog’s nose can identify tiny portions of food on the floor, sniff cancer on humans, smell critters, and much more. And in times past, most persons also believed that the temperature of the dog’s nose could tell his health status. We shall verify the truth of this claim as we progress.
Before we go any further, you must know that a dog’s nose temperature can fluctuate unpredictably. It can be cold or hot several times a day, depending on what the dog has been up to. Therefore, it would not be practical to hinge the health situation of your canine on this very fickle variable.
Conversely, factors such as the undermentioned are telltale signs of the health condition of your dog.
- The eating pattern
- Drinking frequency
- Appetite loss
- Colored nasal discharge
- Behavioral changes
How Does A Dog’s Nose Work?
A dog’s nose can sniff the slightest scent that we humans may not be able to detect. Once the smell gets through the nose, the electrical impulse gets to the brain through the specialized olfactory receptors and is interpreted as tangible messages that the dog can understand.
Why Should A Dog’s Nose Be Wet?
The dog’s nose must be wet, preferably because particles’ scent can be more easily identified when they are dissolved in solution. The inner lining of your dog’s nose has mucus glands which usually produce the watery fluid. When your dog’s nose is wet, the microparticles easily stick to it, improving its sense of smell.
Besides aiding smelling, when your dog has a wet nose, it also reduces his body temperature and keeps him cool on hot days. It is a fact that, unlike humans, who sweat all over our bodies, dogs sweat only through their paws and nose. This functions to keep their nose wet and brings cooling when the sweat evaporates.
You might have also observed that your dog regularly licks his nose; this is a means to keep its nose wet for all the reasons mentioned earlier. And when your dog licks his nose, he can interpret smell through the taste of the substance on his nose. Your dog would have been sniffing the area, and some ‘helpful’ materials must have collected on his nose.
What Does It Mean When A Dogs Nose Is Warm and Dry?
We have already established that a warm or cold nose is not enough to declare a dog ill or healthy because while a sick dog may have a wet nose, a healthy dog may have a dry and warm nose.
Hence, besides being sick, some of the reasons why your dog has a warm, dry nose could include:
- Your dog was having a jolly nap, and because of this resting period, he was unable to wet his nose by licking it.
- Your dog species is the kind that develops a dry nose with age. A sure sign that your fur baby is getting old shows up as a straight dried nose. Therefore, to ease up his discomfort, ensure that the room he spends most of his time in is humid. Some dogs are also unable to lick their nose regardless of their age because of their flat face. Dogs like; Shih Tzus, Chihuahua, Pugs, Brussels Griffon, English Mastiff, boxers, miniature bulldogs e.t.c belong to this group.
- Your dog may have been exposed to too much wind, low humidity, and sunlight. In cold seasons like winter, your dog’s nose would be wet undoubtedly, but your dog’s snout would dry out in relatively hot weather conditions.
- Your dog is dehydrated from strenuous exercise.
- Probably, your dog has been lying next to a heat vent that had dried up his snout. Your dog may have laid close to the fireplace for warmth during winter, which dried up his nose.
- If your dog was given anesthesia, maybe after surgery, it can affect his cooling and heating ability. This can cause his nose to become warm and dry.
- Deformities like cleft palate will open your dog up to a warm and dry nose.
Some Illnesses That A Warm-Dry Nose Might Indicate
If your dog’s nose is warm and dried temporarily, then it is nothing to worry about. But if your dog has a dry nose for an extended time frame, then you might want to visit a vet because he may likely be sick of:
- Nasal Hyperkeratosis: Although some dogs are more likely to come down with this condition, it can happen to any dog. In this condition, the dog has a dry and hardened nose due to overproduction of keratin, the primary protein found in hair, nail etc. Do not attempt to remove the hardened mass from the dog’s nose because it is an outgrowth of the dog’s skin, not just solidified mucus. Not only would the dog bleed from the hurt, but he could get infected via this means.
- Tick and fleas: Most times, ticks and fleas hide underneath the fur of dogs and feed on their blood, but a severe tick infestation could cause the dog to have a dry-warm nose, appetite loss, and hair loss.
- Parvo: Parvo is a gastrointestinal disorder caused by the presence of parvovirus in a dog’s GI Tract. This condition occurs mostly in younger dogs, and it causes severe dehydration in the dog that, if left untreated, could terminate the dog’s life.
- Malignant growth: Although this isn’t very popular, skin cell tumors could cause warm-dry nose in dogs.
- Demodex mange: Mange is a parasitic infection caused by ticks. They cause loss of hairs in the region where they reside.’ Besides hair loss, the ticks cause dryness of the nose and paws of the dog. A critical manifestation of Mange would cause the nose of the dog to chip off.
- Tooth abscess: A dog with a tooth abscess will be unable to regulate its body temperature and experience pain in its jaw and head. The skin of the face would also get inflamed, causing its mouth to feel warm and dry.
Treatment of Warm Nose Problems
The treatment of your dog’s nose problems would depend on the diagnosis from the vet. It may be that your furry friend needs a round of antibiotics, antihistamines, etc. It merely depends on the cause of his dry-warm nose condition.
Ways to Keep Your Favorite Dog Healthy
If your dog is healthy, his nose would benefit too. So, to keep your dog’s nose healthy, ensure he is hydrated all day long. Avoid leaving him in extreme atmospheric conditions, and make sure he gets a balanced diet, proper vaccination when due, enough rest days, and regularly monitor his behavior. Lastly, visit the vet for a periodic check-up, as they may spot any underlying condition before it becomes worse.
How to Handle A Warm Dog Nose?
- Observe your dog for times when its nose becomes dry and warm. You might establish a pattern after the exercise to help you handle the situation. Let us assume your dog’s nose usually feels warm during midday due to dehydration from the weather at the time.
With this knowledge, you could ensure your dog is hydrated all day long by placing enough water in his drinking bowl and giving him water-rich fruits like watermelon. Some other symptoms of dehydration in your dog include; excessive panting, sticky gum, sunken eyes, laziness, weakness etc.
- Apply a toxin-free, soothing balm to your dog’s nose regularly. This would prevent dryness and crack in the nose. Substances like Pup wax balm would help in preventing dryness of the dog’s nose. An ointment of petroleum jelly should not be applied to a dog’s nose because it would inhibit the breathing of the dog,
- Remove allergens your dog might be reacting to. Like humans, dogs also have allergies, and this might result in your dog sneezing very much. This continuous sneezing would contribute to warmth and dryness in your dog’s nose. So, clear away any dust, mold e.t.c in the surrounding environment that may have been causing your furry buddy his discomfort.
- Keep your eyes peeled for other symptoms. After doing all that has been mentioned, continue to observe the reactions and behavior of your dog. If after a period of careful monitoring you still find no improvement in your dog’s condition, then pay a visit the vet.
In the canine world, a wet nose is a valid symbol of happiness and vigor. If your furry baby, suffers from the occasional warm dog nose, applying Pup Wax should solve the problem. But if this isn’t efficient enough, you should most certainly pay a visit to the vet.