Is My Dog’s Nose Supposed to Be Dry in Limerick, PA?

Most people are aware that dog noses are usually cool and slightly wet. Everyone has felt a dog’s wet, cold nose on their feet or hands from time to time when dogs seek affection or attention. This is the way that a dog’s nose should feel, so it can be concerning if your dog’s nose suddenly feels dry or warm.

You do not have to be automatically concerned if your dog’s nose is not wet and cool to the touch. Dry and warmer nose skin can happen, and it does not automatically mean that your dog is sick or that there is something wrong that requires medical attention. A dry nose can just happen to dogs from time to time, so their overall behavior and well-being need to be observed if you are worried about their dry nose.

dry dog nose in limerick, pa

Why Are Dog’s Noses Usually Cold and Moist?

Dog noses are typically cold and wet because this helps them to smell better, and it also helps them to cool down. Dogs do not have sweat glands like people, and their noses are part of the system that cools them off when they are hot. On top of this function, the moisture traps smell and allows your dog to define what they are smelling more clearly and with more information.

Cold and moist noses are a normal function of dog health, but that does not mean that your dog’s warm or dry nose is automatically a sign that something is wrong. The skin on your dog’s nose can be warm and dry for some very normal reasons, which do not require a trip to the veterinarian. Knowing more about what might cause a dry nose can help you determine if there is reason for concern.

Why Might a Dog’s Nose Be Dry?

Dog noses can be dry for a few reasons. The most common reason is that they have suffered a sunburn to their nose. This can happen more commonly in dogs with light-colored skin or pink noses, but all dogs can suffer from sunburn in this sensitive area. You can prevent this problem by applying sunscreen to your dog’s nose before they spend time outside in the sun.

There are some skin disorders that can cause dryness in the delicate tissues around the eyes and the nose. This may or may not require a trip to the vet. A simple allergic reaction to something that your dog has gotten into or a small skin irritation from another substance that they are not commonly exposed to could dry out the skin but not necessitate medical intervention.

Reasons That a Dry Nose Could be a Problem

There are some more serious health conditions that can lead to a dry nose in dogs, and these are the conditions that you should be aware of when determining if your dog needs to see the vet.


The first reason that your dog’s nose might be dry or warm to the touch is if they have a fever. It can be a great idea to have a thermometer that is used just for your dog at home so that you can check if their dry nose has to do with an illness or brewing infection of some kind.

Most dogs will range between 101 to 102.5 degrees F when they are healthy. Anything higher than this is considered a fever. Fevers of more than 106 degrees are medical emergencies and require that your pet sees the vet right away.


Severe dehydration can also cause this symptom, and you should be careful to pay attention to your dog’s other behaviors if you think they might not have been able to get enough water on a hot day or might have been exerting without access to water. Vomiting, lethargy, and confusion are all signs of a dog that is dehydrated and needs to get to the vet right away.


If your dog has a dry nose and has any mucus discharge that is discolored, thick, or bubbly, you should also take them to the vet. This can be a sign of a lung or throat infection or possibly a cold or upper respiratory condition.

It can be surprising to owners that their dog can have a dry nose and nasal discharge, but with some illnesses, this is the case. Your dog might have a fever that is drying out their nose, but they could also have an infection or viral process that is causing nasal discharge.

Observe Your Dog’s Behavior

Your dog’s overall behavior will tell you a lot about how they are feeling. If you think that something is wrong due to your dog’s dry nose, start watching their overall attitude and energy level. Pay attention as well to water intake and interest in food. Most dogs are more than happy to eat and drink without reminders, so if your dog has gone off food and water, you will need to be concerned that their dry nose means something more serious is going on.

Dogs Can Have Dry Noses for a Variety of Reasons

As you can see, there are many reasons that your dog might have a dry nose. You will need to pay attention to your dog’s overall demeanor and consider taking their temperature if you have noticed that they have a dry nose. You can prevent sunburn to the delicate tissues of the nose if you apply sunscreen before your dog goes outside.

The most common reasons for dry noses in dogs are not serious, but there are instances where your dog’s dry nose can be a sign of a health problem that needs medical attention. Be sure that you take this symptom seriously and observe your dog to determine if they need to see the vet. If their overall demeanor is fine and they are eating and drinking, their dry nose might just be from skin irritation or sunburn and will probably not require a trip to see the vet.

Need to talk to a vet about your dog’s dry nose? Call Limerick Veterinary Hospital at (610) 489-2848 or book an appointment online!

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