Have you ever found yourself nose to nose with your dog? And in these moments have you ever wondered why it's warmer than you'd think? Let's understand more!
The temperature of the dog
Dogs don't function in the same way as humans when it comes to managing their body heat and hydration.
You probably already know that dogs only sweat through their snouts and paw-pads. This is why, during a heatwave, it's recommended your dog has the opportunity to wet their paws (in a swimming pool or bath, for example.)
In fact, having a humid nose is very normal for a dog, which explains why it is warm!
The temperature and humidity of your dog's nose also depends on many factors. This includes their body temperature but also the temperature and humidity of their environment. The temperature of your own hand is also an important factor.
The normal body temperature for a dog is between 38 and 39 degrees celsius, just slightly warmer than a human's. When your dog is inside, their temperature can oscillate between these two figures, and their nose can have a completely different texture based on their activity. For example, if your dog has rested for a while near a radiator, their nose will be hot and dry, but this doesn't necessarily mean that they are ill.
Dog's nose as an indicator
Sometimes, the temperature of your dog's nose can indicate an illness or fever. However, this symptom alone does not necessarily mean they are unwell!
For example, if your dog has a wet nose which is often flaky or peeling, it could be that your dog is having problems with their tear ducts. This means their natural tears may be redirected to the nose. If this is the case, hop on over to your local vet to have them checked out. Luckily, a high fever will show other symptoms to a trained animal doctor.
A large hike in temperature, from having spent time outside on a hot day or from exercise, can also be shown through a dry nose. This should return to normal once the animal has cooled down again.
In any case, if you feel that your dog's nose is abnormally warm or cold, or that its wetness is not normal, take their temperature at home and determine then if you should consult your vet for a second opinion.
Also try to see if the changes in texture in your dog's nose correlate to other significant changes such as loss of appetite, volume of pee or fatigue, for example. Your vet will ask you if you have noticed anything abnormal, and having thought about it beforehand will help with a suitable diagnosis.
With that all said and done, it's good to remember that if your dog's nose is always warm and wet, and you haven't noticed any other recent changes in them, then they're likely to not need assessment.
What do you notice about your dog's nose?