Dog noses come in all sizes and colors from black to pink and very small to wide.

And while they can be so different in appearance, they all share the same function, to enrich your dog’s life with a great sense of smell.

To do this, a dog’s nose should be cold and wet to the touch, but is that really the case?

Should a dog’s nose be cold?

Dogs’ noses should actually be cold and wet with a temperature of around 101. Cold improves their ability to navigate their surroundings and regulates their body temperature.

News research, however, found that the nose is unlikely to play a major role in regulating body heat due to its small size, disproving previous theories.

They suggest it helps dogs sense faint heat sources even five feet away.

The tip of a dog’s nose is noticeably cooler than its ambient temperature, making it sensitive to radiant heat.

Dog noses are much colder than those of herbivores, so this sensory function can serve as a tool for better hunting rather than simply regulating body temperature.

Small dog with wet nose.

The fact that the nose always remains cold makes it incredibly ineffective in dissipating excess body heat compared to the tongue which is always wet and hot.

To keep it cool, your dog needs to constantly apply moisture to his nose.

The moisture will evaporate and keep a cool nose similar to what your dog is trying to achieve by panting.

This allows your dog to have a colder nose even on hot days.

Dog noses aren’t inherently cold, but what if your dog’s nose suddenly feels warmer than usual?

Should a dog’s nose be warm?

A dog’s nose shouldn’t be hot for a long period of time, but hourly temperature fluctuations are normal and aren’t necessarily an indicator of your dog’s health.

This means that a healthy dog’s nose might be hot while a sick dog’s nose might be cold and wet.

It is always important to look at your dog as a whole and evaluate his health based on all of his symptoms.

If your dog has a fever, is vomiting or is feeling lethargic, it is important to take him to the vet for a checkup.

Rather than the temperature and humidity, focus on the skin around the dog’s nose.

If you see any lumps, swellings, or sores, it’s best to give it a professional look.

It is completely normal for a clear discharge to come out of your dog’s nose, but you should keep an eye out for pus, blood, and thick mucus.

These could be caused by inflammation, cancer, allergies, and more.

Read my article on 10 Types of Unhealthy Dog Noses to learn their signs and meanings.

What does it mean when a dog’s nose is wet

Dog noses are generally wet as perfume particles are much more likely to stick to wet surfaces than dry ones, helping your dog gather more information from his environment.

Nose flax has special glands that produce mucus throughout the day.

You can observe your dog licking his nose several times per hour which distributes mucus and keeps his nose moist.

However, dog noses are not always wet.

If your dog has not been able to lick his nose, for example while sleeping, he will feel much drier.

This is not a cause for concern and your dog will get his nose wet again after waking up.

A long walk outdoors or a long play session can also leave your nose pretty dry, especially if it’s on a hot or very cold day.

In the warmer months, you should check your dog’s eating habits and closely monitor his nose for any signs of dehydration.

Although humidity greatly improves your dog’s olfactory abilities, lacking it does not necessarily mean that your dog is sick.

Signs like dryness or cracking can be symptoms of underlying health problems, but often your dog just needs a good moisturizer.

Keep in mind that some dog breeds have drier noses than others.

This can include brachycephalic breeds as they often have difficulty licking their noses.

Other breeds such as the Lhasa Apso are prone to blocked tear ducts which also results in a dry nose.

Dog lying on his back under a table.

Should puppy noses be warm?

Puppies’ noses are not supposed to be hot and they are also not an indication of their body heat which should be measured using a human rectal thermometer.

Newborn puppies are actually unable to regulate their body temperature and rely on the warmth given by their mother and littermates.

During the first week, a puppy should be in a temperature of around 94-97 ° F.

They should be a few degrees warmer during the second and third weeks (97 to 100 ° F).

Puppies reach adult body temperature during the fourth week.

It is very important to monitor a puppy’s temperature closely to find a “normal” range for each puppy as they can be slightly different.

Young puppies are also more susceptible to fever and hypothermia, both of which require veterinary care.

A puppy, still living with its littermates and mother, may have a hot nose from sleep, play, or just burying its nose in its mother’s fur.

If you’ve brought home a puppy with a warm nose, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s sick.

Puppies play, explore, and doze all the time, so a warm, dry nose is not a cause for concern unless it shows other symptoms.

Warm and dry dog ​​nose lethargy

If your dog has a hot, dry nose and is feeling lethargic, the symptom you should focus on is lethargy.

Every human and every dog ​​have days when they feel a little down and sleepy, but persistent lethargy is a cause for concern.

Your dog may not be interested in the things he usually likes (playing, walking, sniffing) and refuses to get out of bed.

He may also feel very weak and even refuse to eat and / or drink.

Lethargy can have a lot of causes including pain, disease, medications, toxins, infections, etc.

It is impossible to find the underlying problem without a veterinary examination and laboratory work.

Get your dog to the vet as quickly as possible in case your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t or is suffering from life-threatening diseases or infections.

Disclaimer: This blog post is not a substitute for veterinary attention and is not meant to. If your dog shows any signs of illness, call your vet immediately.