Why Is My Dog’s Nose Dry-Is My Dog Sick


Have you ever been woken up by the cold wet nose of your dog? It can send a bit of a shock into being wide awake quickly. But why is my dog’s nose dry sometimes, and do you have to be concerned when it is dry?

Why is my dog's nose dry

Does a dry nose mean a sick dog?

A Dog’s Wet Nose

First, lets understand why are dog noses wet to help us better understand the dry noses. Most people believe that if a dog’s nose is cold and wet, my dog is healthy, and if my dog’s nose is dry and warm, my dog is sick.

That is not necessarily the case. A dog’s nose is wet for a few reasons. They have tear glands that empty into the nose, adding moisture to the dog’s nose.

Your dog’s nose also secretes a thin mucous that helps them absorb scent chemicals. When your dog licks their noses, they are able to sample the chemicals through a gland on the roof of their mouths. A dog can’t smell as well when their nose isn’t moist. The wet nose will bring in tiny particles that your dog can smell.

In order for your dog to sample all these smells, they will lick their nose to help get the scents to the gland on the roof of their mouth. Your dog licking their nose, is also making their nose more wet and moist.

Dogs sweat through their noses and paws, and that sweat helps keep their noses moist.

What Does It Mean When My Dog’s Nose Is Dry

Your dog having a dry nose doesn’t mean they are sick. It is better to judge your dog’s wellness by if they aren’t eating or drinking, have less energy, or are acting differently than they normally do.

Don’t let the dry nose be the indicator as to how your dog is feeling. Most times your dog will only have a dry nose for a short period of time.

Why is my dog's nose dry

Dog’s lick their noses a lot, which helps keep them wet


Reasons Your Dog’s Nose Could Be Dry

  1. Just woke up from a nap. When your dog is sleeping, they aren’t licking their nose, adding that extra moisture. This should get better 5 to 10 minutes after they are awake and moving around.
  2. Allergies. Dogs that have allergies can experience dryer noses. If the allergies are bad, you might want to consider changing your dog’s food, changing the chemicals used for cleaning your home, or take an at home allergy test to help you figure out what your dog is allergic to.
  3. Dehydration. Make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water. If they aren’t drinking, you should contact your veterinarian to have your dog checked out.
  4. Warm air flow. Was your dog sleeping by the heat vents? The warm air flow blowing on their noses could dry them out. This should improve 5 to 10 minutes after they move away from the vents.
  5. Sunburn. Just like humans, dogs can get a sunburn, and the nose is a sensitive area that gets sunburn.

What To Do For A Dry Dog Nose

Usually, once your dog starts moving around, the cold wet nose will return. If it doesn’t, you should take measures to make sure that you protect your dog’s nose. Their nose can start to crack if it is left dry for too long.

Don’t use Vaseline on your dog’s nose. Vaseline is not approved for internal use, and your dog will be licking their nose and ingesting the product. Vaseline locks the moisture in that is there, but it doesn’t provide moisture for healing.

I would recommend getting a product like Organic Snout Soother. It has grapeseed oil, hempseed oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E, which will also work as a natural sunscreen for your dog’s nose. There are many other products that are specially designed for the purpose of soothing your dog’s dry nose, but I have found this one to work well.


This should give you a better understanding as to “why is my dog’s nose dry,” and help you realize that a dry warm dog nose doesn’t mean your dog is sick. It is best to judge how your dog is feeling based off of how they are acting and not how moist their nose is.

Why is my dog's nose dry

Dog’s have tear glands emptying into their nose keeping it moist

Don’t let your dog’s dry nose get to the point of cracking. It can be quite painful for them. It is better to have some Snout Soother on hand, for if the situation arises.

If you don’t see improves with the moisture on your dog’s nose after a few days of applying a snout moisturizer, you should contact your veterinarian for them to see if their might be some other medical issues with your dog.

Generally, you dog will only have short periods of time when their nose isn’t the cold wet dog nose we have become accustom to pushing on us for attention.

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