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Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses?

Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses?

There’s a Christian legend that says dogs’ cold, wet noses are a gift from God. Supposedly, God gave dogs cold, wet noses as a gift of thanks for saving Noah’s Ark from sinking. According to the story, the ark sprung a leak and a dog quickly stuck his nose into the small hole to keep the ship from flooding.

This cute legend may or may not contain any truth, but there are several other reasons why dogs’ noses are often cold and wet.

A dog’s nose contains sweat glands, which is why the nose is usually wet. When the moisture evaporates, a dog’s nose gets cooled. Dogs also lick their noses to keep them moist. A moist nose helps a dog to smell. Odors are carried through the air by tiny particles called molecules.

Moisture in a dog’s nose helps trap the odor molecules. However, don’t depend on the cool, wet nose test to determine whether or not your dog is healthy. The noses of perfectly healthy dogs are often dry and hot, while seriously sick dogs can still have cool, wet noses.

When dogs spend time outdoors, they often dedicate a lot of time to sniffing their surroundings. As they sniff, it’s natural for their noses to pick up moisture from the ground, grasses, plants and other parts of their environment. This helps keep their noses cold and wet, too.

Like humans have unique characteristics, so do dogs. Some dogs just tend to have cold, wet noses, while other dogs might tend to have warmer, drier noses. It’s just the way they’re born!

Content for this question contributed by Robbie Rocha, resident of Martinez, Contra Costa County, California, USA