Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses?

You may have wondered why your furry friend’s nose always has a wet, glistening shine to it, or why your pooch licks their nose several times a day. So, today we aim to answer the age old question: why are dog’s noses wet?

Dogs have an incredibly powerful sense of smell compared to humans. The average human possesses approximately 6 million olfactory receptors in their nose, whereas the average canine has over 100 million. Dogs rely heavily on their sense of smell to guide them through the world, as their vision is weaker than humans’. But compared to humans, the portion of their brain designed to process smells is 40 times larger. 

Because smell is so important to a dog, their nose requires a bit more maintenance than humans’. There are a few reasons as to why they stay wet:

Wet noses are able to smell better

Scent particles stick to wet, mucus-y noses better than dry ones. Your dog’s nose secretes mucus to keep it moist, allowing it to work best. 

Temperature regulation

Dog’s noses stay wet to keep them cool as well. While dogs primarily pant to cool themselves down, a moist nose can also aid in body temperature regulation.

Your dog’s nose can also work as an indicator to their overall health. While wet noses are normal, so are dry ones (to an extent). Dry noses could be a result of prolonged sun or wind exposure or dehydration. But, it could also occur after a nap or a brisk walk. So, if your dog’s nose is a bit warm or dry, don’t panic just yet.

The color of the mucus is also important to determining if there’s a problem or not. Clear, watery mucus is normal, but if you notice thick, yellowish or greenish mucus, it’d be a good idea to call your vet. Because dogs use their nose to sniff almost everything, they can pick up lots of germs along the way.

Overall, dogs’ noses are wet to keep them in working condition and are no cause for worry. 

Abigail Kurten
Author: Abigail Kurten

Hi! My name's Abigail, and I intern as a Content Writer for DogFriendly.com. I have one dog, a chocolate lab named Riley who's the best! My favorite breed of dog is a Bulldog or Saint Bernard, though.

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