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Why do dogs have wet noses?

Instant Answer

The wet nose improves the sense of smell and also helps release the excess body heat.

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Are you a dog owner who has often wondered why your furry friend’s nose is wet? If you are, you are not alone. This is actually a common question that many pet owners have pondered over at one time or another. While some people think that a cold, wet nose is a sign that their dogs are in good health, this may or may not be true. So, just why do dogs have wet noses? Read on to find out.

Regulates Body Temperature

Dog relaxing on a hammock with sunglasses
Dog relaxing on a hammock with sunglasses

First of all, since most dogs are covered with hair, they do not sweat through their skin as humans do. As such, dogs typically release excess body heat through their mouths by way of panting and drooling.

However, they also release some excessive heat through their noses. A dog’s nose has special mucous glands that produce a watery fluid, which helps to keep its body cool during hot and humid weather.

Strengthens Sense of Smell

Airport canine sniffs out luggage
Airport canine sniffs out luggage

Most of us know that dogs have an amazingly keen sense of smell. In fact, their olfactory abilities can be up to one million times greater than those of humans! But have you ever wondered just how this can be true?

The most popular theory is that the wet nose of a dog is able to capture microscopic droplets that carry scents. This, in turn, allows our canine friends to detect even the most minute odors in the air and on land.

Results of Self-Grooming Behavior

British bulldog licking his nose
British bulldog licking his nose

Finally, another reason that dogs often have wet noses is because many of them lick their muzzles regularly as a form of self-grooming. Most canines have very long tongues that can easily reach their noses.

This enables them to lick their snouts after eating or drinking. Furthermore, some dogs also lick their noses simply out of habit much like some humans may bite their nails or twist their hair.

Keep in mind that a dry nose does not necessarily mean that your pet is sick. However, if your dog is exhibiting such symptoms as vomiting, diarrhea or apathy, you may want to schedule a trip to your veterinarian.


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