Dogs have quite active senses. They are quick to smell a new dog in the neighborhood or simply something delicious that you are cooking in your kitchen. When it comes to a dog’s nose, many dog owners have one question in mind – why is my dog’s nose wet?
Why is the Nose Wet?
From small house dogs to the most protective dog breeds, most canines have moist noses which can be triggered by one of three things.
1. Your family protection dog is trying to smell something.
Just like humans, dogs have sensory receptors on its nose. The pores on a dog’s nose secrete mucous, which absorbs different scent chemicals present in the air. This chemical often releases when the dog smells something that makes it anxious or excited, like a dish that you are cooking or a cat walking on the street.
When this chemical is secreted through the pores on its nose, the dog licks it with its tongue. This chemical then travels to the olfactory glands on the roof of the dog’s mouth, where they are sampled for identification. So, if your dog touches you with a wet nose, there is a high chance that it was trying to sniff something interesting in the air.
Not every dog secretes a lot of mucous through its nose and not every dog licks its nose. Therefore, if your dog’s nose is dry, it is completely normal.
2. It is trying to cool down.
A wet nose doesn’t always point out your dog’s sniffing habits. If the dog is not trying to smell something, there is a high chance that it is trying to cool down its body temperature.
As many people know, dogs do not sweat due to the absence of sweat glands. Hence, they are unable to beat the heat like us. They can only stay cool by drinking lots of water and by staying away from the heat. Because protection dogs do not have sweat glands, they sweat through feet pads and the nose.
If your personal protection dog’s nose is wet, don’t worry, as it might just be a little sweat that is keeping it cool in the hot weather. Keep in mind that hot temperatures put your dog at risk for a heat stroke, as explained in a previous post. Dogs should be kept well hydrated during the summer season when temperatures rise. Moreover, in order to keep your dog protected from the heat, you need to keep it indoors where the temperature is cooler.
3. It is a sign of a health issue.
The mucous secreted through a dog’s nose has a thin consistency and a clear texture. However, if you begin to notice a thick secretion, there is a problem. When dogs are suffering from an upper respiratory infection or illness, they begin to discharge thick mucus. The most prominent sign of such a condition is when you find crustiness around your dog’s nose. This dried liquid is formed as a result of thick secretion from the nose.
When to Take Your Protective Dog to See the Vet
Respiratory conditions can be life threatening for dogs. Therefore, it is best to provide your dog with immediate care from a professional. If you notice that your executive protection dog is discharging a lot of liquid through its nose or has a runny nose, it is time to visit the vet.