Skip to Main Content

Skipped to Main Content

The significance of a dog’s dry nose

Published on 24 Jun 2021

Cute dog licking on its dry nose

What a dog’s dry nose really means, is a question commonly posed to Vets. It’s often thought the nose denotes a pet’s health status, and that a dry, warm nose signifies they’re sick, or that a cool, moist nose says they are well.

The reality is that a dog with a warm, dry nose can be either sick or well, and likewise a dog with a cool, moist nose can be either too. A dogs nose is also a really poor indicator of their internal body temperature.

A moist nose is due to:

  1. dogs licking their noses and
  2. to the production of mucous

Some dogs have drier noses as they simply won’t lick their noses as often, and as no two individuals are the same, some secrete less mucous than others.

Benign reasons for a dry nose may be that it’s the morning (not licking at night), or that it’s exposed directly to heating or air conditioning. More concerning causes include allergies, sun burn, immune mediated conditions and dehydration.

So all in all, a dry nose alone is not helpful in assessing the health of your dog. What IS helpful is knowing what’s NORMAL for your mate. And a deviation from this can certainly be significant and require assessment by a Veterinarian.

Dr. Claire Jenkins VetChat founder & CEO

Dr. Claire Jenkins

VetChat founder & CEO, BVSc (Hons), MANZCVS (SAM)

Claire has spent the past 15 years caring for animals as a Small Animal Veterinarian in the UK, Melbourne and is now based in Sydney. She is passionate about early intervention and how easy access to the right advice drives better health outcomes for pets. Claire’s a life-long animal lover, passionate problem solver and adorer of her gorgeous Kelpie ‘Red’.

Dr. Claire Jenkins's Pets

  • RedRed