A dog’s nose is the most important part of their body. They can be used to sniff out prey, they can even detect bombs and some dogs can even use their nose to identify cancer cells on the human body!
The moist spongy skin of the dog’s nose captures scents thousand times more efficiently than human noses ever could. Because of this a dog’s nose is the most important tool they have and is how they explore and learn about the world.
But what should your dog’s nose feel like? And is it a problem if their usually wet nose is warm and dry?
Should a dog’s nose be cold or warm?
I’m sure any dog owner has heard that if your dog doesn’t have a wet nose, they must be sick. This however is a myth. There is no way to tell the state of your dog’s health from their nose alone and should only be considered in the presence of other symptoms such as, not drinking, not eating and sleeping more than usual.
The temperature of a dog’s nose simply just fluctuates day to day and even from hour to hour. And some dogs just have naturally warmer noses than other dogs! Trying to judge your dog’s health purely from their nose is not a reliable way to diagnose them. A perfectly healthy dog may have a warm dry nose and a dog who is really sick could just as easily have a cold wet nose.
Dogs keep their noses cold and wet by licking. The moisture that accumulates on their nose helps to intensify scents and even allows dogs to determine which dirents smells are coming from! If your pup has just woken up from a nap you may notice that they have a dry nose. This is completely normal and simply means your dog hasn’t had a chance to lick their nose whilst they were sleeping!
Whilst your dog’s nose may usually be wet if you notice your pups nose is on the dry or warm side but your dog otherwise seems perfectly fine then do not panic, it is likely just one of these natural fluctuations and is nothing to be concerned about. However if you do notice that your dog has a dry nose and is acting unusual, or if you notice any changes to the colour, shape or any unusual crusting or scabbing it is a good idea to contact your veterinarian to have your dog checked out.
What can I put on my dog’s nose?
With all the sniffing and exploring they do, is it any surprise that dogs’ noses can get dry? Their skin is constantly exposed to sunlight, allergens and various substances that can cause chapping and cracking.
But don’t worry! There are several safe and natural ingredients that you can apply to help soothe your puppies dry noses and below we have included a list of the best natural moisturizers, some of which you may already have at home:
A staple product in most homes, humans have been using shea butter to soften their dry skin for many years. And guess what? It works just as well on any little dry puppy noses too! It’s completely safe for your dog and can also be used to soothe dry paws and elbows.
Cocoa seed butter
Cocoa seed butter is a great choice for a natural doggy nose moisturizer as it effectively softens dry, cracked and even sunburnt noses. It can also be used on any rough and damaged paw pads or elbows making it another great all round contender.
And don’t worry! Despite having cocoa in the name, it’s completely safe to use as it does not contain any of the dangerous ingredients that makes chocolate toxic to dogs.
Kicking off the first of our oils we have almond. Sweet almond oil is a highly effective and easily absorbed skin softener and conditioner. It contains many important vitamins, minerals and fatty acids to help combat and soothe dry and irritated dog snouts.
Not only is coconut oil one of the safest, most effective moisturizers found in nature but it is jammed packed with vitamins and minerals. With excellent healing properties, these vitamins and minerals help improve skin elasticity as well! Just make sure to choose an organic, extra virgin coconut oil that is 100% natural and unprocessed.
Comprised of around 90% Ricinoleic acid, castor oil is a powerful healer for dry and irritated skin and painful puppy noses. Just be careful as a little castor definitely goes a long way. You don’t want your dog to lick away any excess oil as it can also act as a powerful laxative and no one wants to have to clean up after a sick dog if they don’t have to!
If you have a kitchen then chances are you own a bottle of olive oil. A staple ingredient in everyday cooking but did you know it can also be used to help moisturize your dogs dry noses, paws, and ears? Not only that but you can also add a teaspoon of olive oil to your pup’s meals to help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat!
It’s normal for a dog owner to worry about their pets health and with so many myths and misinformation flying around it can be hard to know what to believe. We now know that the temperature of a dog’s nose is not a reliable way so if your pup has a dry warm nose this is usually nothing to worry about.
But remember, at the end of the day you know your dog better than anyone else in the world so pay attention to their habits and take your cues from them to decide whether they feel fine or not. Your dog’s behaviour is the best indicator of their health that you have.