Why is a Dog’s Nose Warm? Any Reason For Concern?

Warm Dog Nose

The dog’s nose is an amazing tool the canine will use for a lot of different things. It provides daily news for the dog, getting all kinds of information about the surrounding environment and then interpreting them for the animal. It will also be used as a communication way, pushing against humans and other pets when the pet needs socialization. On top of all this, it is also an internal thermostat that helps the mammal keep its body temperature in check day in and day out.

Being one of the main ways in which a dog will control its temperature, the dog’s nose will be dry, wet, cold, or, of course, warm, depending on weather conditions, environmental conditions, and activity levels of the dog. In fact, it is completely normal for the temperature of the nose of a dog to fluctuate considerably throughout a single day. So let’s go over the reasons that would make a dog’s nose warm.

Why is a dog’s nose warm?

I think it is important to go over how a dog’s nose works before we talk about the reasons behind it getting warm.

You might also like my articles on whether a dog’s ears are supposed to be warm, why are puppies breathing fast, and why dogs lick their lips.

Dogs will usually wick their nose a lot to keep it moisturized, which makes it wet most of the time. If you’re asking yourself why would your dog do that, you should know that a wet nose will have an enhanced sense of smell and will help the animal get a better idea of what happens around it. A wet nose is so powerful that it can even catch someone being anxious or fearful. This is because this organ is really complex and has over 100 million scent receptors. As a result of always being moisturized, the nose of a dog is most of the time cold.

Although pretty unusual, a dry and warm nose won’t necessarily mean a health issue. There are a few different reasons why your dog’s nose might be warmer than usual:

  • The dog might simply be older and spend most of the day sleeping. This might cause it to lick its nose a lot less than younger dogs do, which will lead to it getting dry and warm.
  • If it’s really cold outside or if the dog sits very close to the air vent, the circulating air will cause the nose to go completely dry, just like it can cause your throat to get scratchy and dry as well.
  • A hot temperature won’t help either. In hot weather, the nose of a dog will dry out quickly and get warmer than usual. This is when you will have to make sure the dog won’t overheat and provide it with enough water for hydration.
  • You might have checked the nose right after the dog has woken up from a long sleep. During sleep, dogs don’t lick their noses.

It might just be the breed

Dog Sleeping With Dry NoseThere are a few breeds of dogs for which a drier nose is totally normal. Some dogs will simply lick their noses less than others. At the same time, some breeds are more prone to health issues that would make their nose lose its natural moisture.

A great example is dogs with very short snouts, which have difficulty properly licking their nose, making them have very unusually dry ones as opposed to other breeds. Among them are Bulldogs and Pugs. Another example is dogs which are very susceptible to a condition that causes their tear ducts to get blocked. Some popular breeds prone to this are Cocker Spaniels and Lhasa Apsos. A blocked tear duct will prevent a dog’s tears from draining naturally into the nasal passage, making it very hard for the nose to moisturize naturally.

When is it time to call the vet?

As you can probably gather from this article, relying on the dog’s nose temperature to find out when the pet has medical issues isn’t really reliable. What you should remember is that although most people will say that a warm nose is a sign of a dog being sick, this isn’t necessarily true. If on the other hand the warm nose is accompanied by any of the symptoms below, then you should get in touch with your vet:

    • A nose that is especially crusty, itchy, or sore can be an indication that your dog is experiencing the effects of a sunburn, dehydration, or allergic reaction.
    • If instead, you notice the nose bleeding, this might indicate either an infection in the respiratory tract or an injury.
    • When a warm nose comes together with abnormal discharge it might be a sign of either distemper, parainfluenza, or a similar virus, allergies, or even dental disease.
    • Difficulty in breathing can not only be a sign of health issues but can even become lethal which is why you should seek out medical assistance as soon as possible to rule out severe issues like respiratory or lung-related issues, allergies, tumors, heart disease, or heartworm.

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