So why do dogs have wet noses?

Every dog owner will agree with us that there’s no better feeling than knowing your pooch will jump into your arms by coming home.

They’re such wonderful creatures with thousands of different personalities and appearances. In other words, every dog breed is unique in its own way.

As a dog owner, we bet you were curious to find out why dogs have wet noses. While some of you already know the answer, there’re newcomers that need to discover the truth.

Hand on heart, the only thing most of us know is that a dog should never have a dry nose. Well, except in some cases, and we will write about it as well.

Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses

What could be reasons for a dog’s wet nose?

Dogs’ noses like to get into everyone’s business. It’s a vital organ for meeting and greeting all other beings in this world.

Unlike people, dogs have more than 220 million smell receptors. On the other hand, people have ‘only 5 million’.

While our noses are perfectly dry, the dog’s nose should stay wet due to its sense of smell.

It’s good to mention that not all dogs have wet noses in the same proportions. Let’s find out all the sniffy reasons!

Cooling off

Unlike us, dogs can’t sweat. They can’t have sweat glands and to cool off all over their bodies.

Since the nose is the only hairless part of their bodies, it plays the main role in decreasing their body temperature.

By releasing secreting moisture through their noses, pooches actually prevent them from overheating.

There’s nothing alarming to see mucous glands in the dog’s nose producing a liquid that helps them to cool off.

Moisture picking

We all know that dogs like sniffing around and discover new odors. The nose is their main organ for discovering the world.

By doing that, dogs’ noses take different moisture from sniffing the environment. It could be moisture from the grass, flowers, and other surfaces and objects.

That’s only one of the ways how they become cold and wet.


Licking is one more reason why dogs have wet noses.

Dogs lick their noses because it’s their calming mechanism and a source of important information. In order to cool its body, a dog licks its nose especially in a time of high temperatures and physical exertion.

However, another reason is that dogs need to clean their noses for being able to function effectively. The nose must stay clean and wet for receiving all the messages through its highly sensitive smelling system.

You are probably familiar with the situation when your dog licks his nose when you enter the home. Well, there’s a brilliant reason for it.

It’s his way to calm down and find out where and with who you’ve been.

Dogs have wet noses when feeling ill

It’s true that a dog’s runny nose can be a sign of its illness. However – not every time.

A dog’s nose discharge should become alarming in the case when the secrete looks green, yellow or cloudy.

Smelly dog’s nose discharge always points to an issue as well. On the other hand, when a dog’s having a clear nasal discharge, the most common cause is an allergy.

Dogs may show allergic reactions to dust, dirt, pollen, mites and many other allergens.

Brachycephalic dog breeds are at higher risk of suffering due to their shortened nostrils.

Mechanical blockage

A dog with a mechanical blockage in its nose will have a runny nose.  A dog’s nose canal can be blocked with the piece of grass, plant seed or something else. Besides this symptom, a dog often shows nose scratching, bleeding and sneezing. If the stacked piece in its nose can’t be removed with tweezers, visiting a vet is a must.

Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses


If a dog’s having a nose infection, the main cause for such an issue is a viral, fungal or bacterial infection. In most cases, an infected dog’s nose will show green, yellow and smelly discharge. Since this kind of problem requires antibiotic therapy, visiting a vet is the best option.

When can a dog’s nose be dry?

  • Dogs’ noses can be dry for a number of reasons. For example, they can be dry in the morning when they wake up from a long night sleeping. Just because a dog’s having a dry nose, it doesn’t mean he’s sick. Since dogs don’t lick their noses during the night, this condition considers for normal.
  • Dehydration can be one of the reasons for your dog’s dry nose as well. It’s advisable to always provide your dog with plenty of water at any time of the day.
  • Since noses are especially sensitive organs, every dog owner should pay attention when exposing a dog on a sunny day. A dry dog’s nose can easily get sunburns, so putting a baby sunscreen is always a great option.
  • You’re probably familiar with the feeling of the scratchy throat when you wake up. Well, the same situation happens to dogs too. Warm and dry air may also be one of the culprits for your dog’s dry nose problem.

When it’s time to visit a vet?

There shouldn’t be any panicking if your dog’s having a clear nasal discharge.

However, in a case his nose starts to excessively leak, you should hear a vet’s opinion.

When you start noticing a surplus, crusts around dog’s nose or thick mucus, those could be signs of an infection.

Knowing your dog’s body language is also crucial in discovering the root of a problem. If he starts to show strange behavior, becomes nervous or shows loss of energy with excessive nose discharge, you shouldn’t wait any minute more.

Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses

Dogs have wet noses because of the Noah- Yes, that’s right!

There’s a legend that says that a dog’s nose saved the Noah’s Ark from sinking. Namely, two dogs put their noses in the holes of Noah’s Ark and saved the entire animal kingdom.

Therefore, God rewarded the dogs to always have wet noses!

We don’t say without a reason that dogs like to put noses in everyone’s business, right?

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