Is your 4-legged companion’s hot nose a sign of illness?

Old wives tale:

Is your 4-legged companion’s hot nose a sign of Illness? The answer might surprise you. The old wives’ tale indicated that if your dog’s nose is dry and warm, they are getting sick. Nevertheless, that IS NOT correct! A healthy dog may have a warm, dry nose if they are just getting up from an afternoon nap. The nose is NOT a good indicator of your pet’s health.

Here are a couple common and acceptable reasons your dog has a dry nose:

  • My dog has allergies
  • My dog has a sunburn

Why is my dog’s nose wet?

Your dog’s tears are constantly producing lubricate for movement of the eyes; therefore, the dog’s body produces more tears than are actually needed causing excess tears to go down into the nasal duct causing “Nose-Tears” which do indeed come out their nose. Nevertheless, your furry-friend then licks their nose to wipe the excess tears spreading it over the nose consequently making their nose wet. Makes perfect sense right?

What if my dog is actually sick?

First of all, if your dog is showing other signs of illness you definitely don’t want to ignore them just because their nose may be cool and wet.  If you do happen to notice that your dog’s nose is hotter than normal, you should check their temperature to make sure.

As mentioned above there are indeed reasons your dog’s nose can be dry.

  • Dogs can develop allergies to specific types of food, plastic water dishes or even toys.
  • Sunburn can potentially cause dryness and cracking on the nose as well.
  • In the wintertime when your dog is cold and wants to find a warm heater to lay next to it may also cause dry and cracking in their nose.
  • Your dog may become slightly dehydrated which can cause dry nose. So, make sure to keep fresh water available at all times.

The bottom line is if your dog’s nose is dry it doesn’t necessarily indicate illness unless accompanied by other serious symptoms. We recommend asking your veterinarian for more information about any questions you have.

This article was written by Ashely Foglesong and Teresa Campbell, professional breeders.

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