Why Is My Dogs Nose Cold

There is an urban legend that claims that if your dog has a cold nose, you can tell he’s sick. While one dog may have a dependably warm, moist nose, another dog’s nose may be significantly cooler. This is because canine nose temperature varies from animal to animal.

Consider the intriguing fact that your dog’s nose is an essential component of his cooling system and helps to control his body temperature throughout the day. This is due to the fact that dogs pant to cool themselves off, which uses the respiratory system to push out warm air and draw in cool air. Your dog is panting because his tongue and nose are the main sources of moisture that he is trying to remove. Since your dog is trying to cool himself off, even though it is scorching outside, his nose might feel very chilly and damp to the touch.

What temperature range is considered normal for a canine nose?

Since a dog’s nose temperature might vary, it’s crucial to know what is “normal” for your pet and use it as a benchmark to determine whether he is experiencing any kind of illness.

The reason why a dog’s nose is typically the coolest part of her body is partly due to the fact that it is damp and hairless. A dog’s nose will typically be between 101 and 102.5 degrees. Consult a veterinarian if your pet’s nasal temperature seems to deviate significantly from this.

Older dogs and particular breeds, such as pugs and bulldogs, are more likely to have dry, chapped noses. Additionally, sitting too close to a heat source or getting sunburned might make your dog’s nose unusually heated and dry.

When should I worry about my dog’s nose?

Even while it’s usually nothing to worry about if your dog’s nose is a bit warmer or colder than usual, there are some symptoms related to the nose that would advise that you get your furry friend checked out by her veterinarian. These situations consist of:

Having trouble breathing

You should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for your pet if any of these issues suggest an underlying health issue.

In conclusion, your pet may not necessarily be experiencing health issues if they have a chilly, dry nose. However, it is always worthwhile to make an appointment with your vet for a checkup if his cold nose is accompanied by other concerning signs like evident pain, loss of appetite, lethargy, or something else out of the norm. Your veterinarian is qualified, experienced, and trained to recognize small changes in your pet’s health or behavior that can point to a serious underlying problem that needs to be treated.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our knowledgeable, friendly staff if you have questions concerning your pet’s nose; they will be happy to assist you.

Why does a dog have a cold nose?

A chilly, damp nose is simply one indication of health in cats and dogs and shouldn’t be used as a sole barometer of wellbeing. There are times when you can spot a healthy animal with a warm, dry nose. They might not lick their noses as frequently or produce less mucus. However, a sick animal may have a chilly, damp nose.


A thin layer of mucus is secreted by dogs’ noses to aid in absorbing smell molecules. The odor and taste receptors (olfactory glands) on the roof of their mouths are exposed to the dispersed smells when they lick their nostrils. One of the many reasons dogs have such a keen sense of smell is their chilly, wet noses.


Dogs can adjust their body temperature and cool themselves by blowing their moist noses. Dogs don’t have sweat glands as humans do. The pads of their feet and their nostrils produce sweat.

When to see the vet

Your pet needs to see a veterinarian if they have a dry nose and other symptoms of disease or pain (see the links below for other symptoms to watch out for). Similar to this, sick pets with cold, wet noses need to see a veterinarian. Visit the veterinarian right away if you notice any odd nasal discharge because it can indicate a health issue. Thick mucus or crustiness around the nostrils, which could be symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, should not be present in normal nasal flow.

Does a dog’s chilly, wet nose indicate good health?

The majority of dog owners concur that a dog’s cool, damp nose indicates good health, but why is the dog’s nose wet in the first place?

Dogs value their sense of smell, hence noses are highly regarded in the canine society. Dogs utilize sight and smell to assess their surroundings and to communicate, in contrast to humans who rely largely on vision to survive. Human brains spend more time interpreting visual input than olfactory data since seeing is our most important sense. The converse is true for dog brains, which prioritize what the dog scents over what he sees. Bottom line: A functioning nose is crucial to a dog’s survival, and wet noses function better than dry ones.

In the nasal cavity, dogs have more than 100 million sensory receptor sites compared to only 6 million in humans. Additionally, the portion of the canine brain responsible for odor analysis is nearly 40 times bigger than the corresponding region in the human brain. In fact, it has been estimated that dogs have a sense of smell that is 1,000–10,000 times greater than that of humans. This is in part because dogs have an additional olfactory organ called the Jacobsen’s organ, which enhances their sense of smell. Jacobsen’s organ enters the mouth through the roof of the mouth, behind the upper incisors, from its location inside the nasal cavity. A supplementary olfactory system created specifically for chemical communication, this wonderful organ functions as a remarkable organ.

Because scent molecules adhere better to damp surfaces, dog noses function best when damp.

One further benefit of wet noses. They assist in keeping a dog cool. Dogs use their foot pads and panting to release some heat, but they also use their nasal passages to cool themselves.

How do noses get wet?

So dogs with wet noses have superior senses of smell and vision. How do noses get moist, though?

Mucus is secreted by noses. Special glands that create mucus to maintain the moisture in the nasal canals are found on the inner lining of the dog’s nose. The dog’s sense of smell is enhanced by a thin layer of mucus that adheres to the nose and aids in the absorption of scent molecules. Additionally, clear, watery fluid is produced by specific mucous glands inside the nostrils, which helps the cooling process by evaporation.

2. Canine nose-lickers. Some dogs seem to lick their noses nonstop and are particularly adept at keeping them covered in saliva. Even with breeds like Collies, who have exceptionally long noses, dogs have lengthy tongues that may readily reach the tip of the nose. What causes them to lick their noses? Since dog noses become dirty from smelling everything, dogs lick them to keep them clean. Dog noses stay dirty and require a lot of licking to become clean again, whether the source of the dirt is food from the bowl, pollen from a flower, or dust from under the couch. Dogs lick their nostrils as well to ingest some of the scent molecules. The smell-laden mucus from the nose is transferred to the area of the mouth’s roof that houses the Jacobsen’s organ. By making Jacobsen’s organ operate better, licking the nose improves one’s sense of smell. Dogs learn to keep their noses moist and will instinctively lick them when they grow dry since moisture is so crucial to the canine sense of smell. Because of a dry nose, clever dogs don’t want to lose out on essential information!

3. At work, noses get damp. The canine nose is quite active. Dogs frequently sniff various objects because they utilize their sense of smell together with sight to explore the environment. When studying anything new, dogs use their noses to probe, inserting them into wet grass, leaves, plants, puddles, etc., and emerging with wet noses after absorbing moisture from the surroundings.

What does a dry nose mean?

A dry nose isn’t inherently abnormal, but a moist nose is usual. Many people believe that a sick puppy has a warm, dry nose while a healthy dog has a cold, moist nose. That isn’t always the case. A nose’s real temperature and moisture content are not a reliable indication of one’s general health. Some healthy dogs simply have drier noses by nature than others. Dogs with illnesses may also have cool, moist noses.

A healthy dog may wake up after a nap with a warm, dry nose or after engaging in intense physical activity that causes dehydration. Some dogs age or are exposed to the outdoors, which can cause them to acquire a chapped, dry nose (extreme wind or sun). Not all dry noses indicate a problem.

There is no need to be alarmed if your dog’s nose is hot and dry but he’s otherwise performing normally because the temperature of a dog’s nose is not a reliable indicator of their body temperature. Consult your dog’s veterinarian if a dry nose appears along with other symptoms of disease, such as listlessness or loss of appetite. Additionally, see the veterinarian if the area around the nose develops redness, cracks, or sores as these are sometimes early indicators of an autoimmune condition.

What does an overly wet nose mean?

Trouble can be indicated by either an excessively dry or moist nose. Normal nasal drainage is clear. Call your veterinarian if you see excessive amounts of mucus or if the mucus thickens or changes color (think green or yellowish). Respiratory diseases or even foreign objects in the nasal passages might be indicated by nasal discharge. Blood-tinged discharge could be an indication of malignancy, inflammation, or one of several infectious disorders spread by ticks.

Is a dog’s nose supposed to be chilly or warm?

Every time we publish an issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask subject-matter experts to respond to readers’ inquiries on a variety of subjects, including what is and isn’t true in the area of pet health. We spoke with a professor of veterinary medicine on what a dog’s nose temperature indicates about their health for our July/August 2012 issue.

A: It is FALSE to say that healthy dogs have cold, wet noses, whereas sick dogs have hot, dry noses.

This is why: Dogs’ nose temperatures vary from day to day and sometimes from hour to hour. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact cause (the surroundings or recent activities could be to blame). However, a dog’s nose might be warm and dry and still be in excellent condition. A dog with a cold, moist nose can be seriously ill (think heart disease or gravely injured).

According to Steven Marks, DVM, clinical associate professor of critical care and internal medicine at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, your dog’s nose’s moistness is also not a sign of health. “Yes, the nose might be dry in a dog that is extremely dehydrated,” he explains. “Dogs, however, can make wet noises when they have a nasal ailment and can have moist noses when they are healthy. Simply put, it’s a bad indicator.”

Indicators of a dog’s health including not eating, drinking, or acting strangely are better.

Do dogs typically have chilly noses?

Not much, in actuality. The nose of a healthy dog may be warm and dry. A dog who is ill could have a chilly, runny nose. Learn why a dog’s nose is frequently wet and what symptoms may point to a health issue.

How can you tell whether a dog is sick?

Know The Signs: Symptoms Of A Sick Dog

  • Canine warning signs Your dog may become unwell, just like you, which is an awful reality of life.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • repeated gagging, sneezing, coughing, or vomiting.
  • refusing food for more than 24 hours.
  • excessive urination or thirst.
  • gums with red or swelling.
  • a challenge to urinate.
  • runny nose or eyes.

What symptoms indicate a dog has a fever?

The following are the most typical signs of fever in dogs:

  • decrease in appetite.
  • Shivering.
  • Panting.
  • glassy or reddish eyes
  • Warm nose and/or ears
  • a stuffy nose.
  • reduced energy
  • Coughing.

How does a sick dog’s nose feel?

The nose of many dogs serves as a reliable health indicator for their owners. For instance, a cool, damp nose is often regarded as an indicator of an animal’s general health. While that is somewhat accurate, it might not always be the case. Let’s examine the facts surrounding a dog’s nose to ensure that it is functioning as normally as you imagine.

Moist vs Dry Noses

A dog’s body is well hydrated and has a wet nose, according to popular consensus. The body may become dehydrated owing to vomiting, diarrhea, or a difficulty consuming water, in which case the pet’s nose may appear to be dry as a result of insufficient blood flow. Have your dog checked out if for whatever reason he or she has stopped drinking water, as this could indicate more significant health problems, such as liver or renal difficulties. In addition, hyperthermia or high body temperature may cause a warm nose, and hypothermia or decreased body temperature may cause a chilly nose.

Your dog’s nose should be the same size on the left and right sides, and it should feel moist to barely dry if it is healthy. Additionally, there should be a constant airflow coming in and going out of both nostrils. There shouldn’t be any pigmentary or textural alterations to the surface or deeper tissues of the nose, and there should only be a modest amount of clear discharge.

Nasal Discharge

If you think there is a nasal discharge, your pet’s nose may be running more frequently than usual. This could seem as clear liquid, blood, or thick mucus. You’ll be relieved to learn that the discharge, as long as it is clear and minimal, is typical for dogs. The nasal passages may become inflamed from inhaling items like perfume, smoke, pollen, or air fresheners, etc., if the discharge increases in volume.

Dogs who produce thick, opaque mucus frequently have diseased nasal passages. If the discharge is bloody, there may have been trauma to the nose’s external surface. The bleeding can frequently be stopped by applying light pressure, whether it be from physical trauma, a scrape, or a piercing wound. Additionally, if something enters the dog’s nasal tube or if the tissues are harmed by a tumor, blood vessels inside the nose may occasionally bleed.


When it comes to a change in the color of your dog’s nose, it may indicate a medical issue. That isn’t always the case, though, as the dog’s breed, environmental exposure, age, or age may have an impact. However, it is strongly advised that you see a veterinarian if you’ve detected a change in the colour of your pet’s nose. Additionally, if the nose’s texture changes as a result of issues like unhealed wounds or scaling, it may be a condition called nasal hyperkeratosis. The nose gets dry or callused as a result of an overabundance of keratin, and this is especially common in particular breeds such Labrador retrievers and cocker spaniels.

Just keep in mind that while a sick dog might have a cool, wet nose, a healthy dog might have a warm, dry nose. Regardless of the condition of your pet’s nose, you should schedule a visit to the veterinarian if they exhibit any symptoms of sickness. A rapid change in your dog’s nose, such as appearance, heat, sores, bleeding, unusual discharge, wheezing, sneezing, or dryness and cracking, should be investigated by your veterinarian.