There is an old wives’ tale that states that you are able to tell that your dog is sick because he has a cold nose. The truth is that canine nose temperature can vary from animal to animal, and while one dog may have a consistently warm, moist nose, another’s nose may be considerably cooler.
Another interesting fact to take into account is that your dog’s nose is actually an integral part of his cooling system, helping to regulate his temperature throughout the course of the day. This is because canine’s cool themselves by panting, an action that requires the use of the respiratory system to expel the warm air and drag cool air in instead. The moisture that your pooch is trying to expel evaporates principally from his tongue (hence the panting) and his nose. Therefore, even if it is hot outside, your dog’s nose may feel particularly cool and wet to the touch as he tries to cool himself down.
What temperature range is considered normal for a canine nose?
Since the average temperature of a dog’s nose is variable, it is important to know what is ‘normal’ for your pet and use this as a base line to help establish if he is suffering from any degree of ill health.
A dog’s nose is usually the coolest part of her body, and this is largely because it is moist and lacking in fur. On average, a canine nose will have a temperature of between 101 and 102.5. If your pet’s nose temperature seems to vary wildly from this, you should seek veterinary assistance.
Dry, chapped noses are more common in older dogs, and some specific breeds such as pugs and bulldogs. Sunburn, and sitting too close to a heat course can also cause your dog’s nose to become uncharacteristically warm and dry.
When should I worry about my dog’s nose?
Although it is generally nothing to worry about if your dog’s nose is a little warmer or colder than usual, there are some nose-related symptoms that would suggest that you get your furbaby checked by her veterinarian. These scenarios include:
– Difficulty breathing
– Ongoing high temperature of the nose
– Runny nose of inconsistent color or consistency
– Discoloration of the nose
– High temperature
– Sore, itchy or crusty nose
Any of these problems could indicate that there is an underlying health problem at bay, and you should arrange to get your pet seen by your veterinarian.
In short, a dry, cool nose doesn’t have to mean that there is something wrong with your pet. Nevertheless, if his cold nose is accompanied by other worrying symptoms such as obvious pain, loss of appetite, lethargy or something else out of the ordinary, it is always worth arranging an appointment with your vet for a check-up. Your veterinarian has the knowledge, training and experience necessary to be able to detect subtle changes in your pet’s health or behavior that could indicate there is an underlying condition at play that requires medical attention.
If you are concerned about your pet’s nose, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly, experienced team who will be delighted to help you.