Our service dogs can’t tell us when they aren’t feeling well, so it is entirely dependent upon us as dog owners to pay very (VERY) close attention to the way our dogs are acting, behaving, and any other signs and symptoms they are showing us that things aren’t quite the way they should be.
Most of us know when our dogs aren’t eating, aren’t drinking water, and aren’t running around in playing the way that they usually do. These are super obvious signs and symptoms that we all need to pay attention to regarding dog health, and if something seems out of place it almost always is.
At the same time, we all need to spend a little bit more time focusing on the not so obvious signs and symptoms that our furry little family members aren’t feeling all that well. Their body will tell you when they aren’t in the best shape or are feeling under the weather – and one of the best ways to tell whether or not your dog is healthy is to check their nose!
Dogs noses should almost always be wet and cold:
If your dog is feeling well, the odds are good that their nose is going to be moist, a little bit cold, and isn’t going to show obvious signs of cracking or discoloration. This is 100% normal and symptomatic of a dog that regularly licks their nose to keep it moist and healthy, and it also helps them to better smell – one of the most powerful senses that a dog possesses.
If your dog has a dry nose, however, they may be dealing with an illness or a health situation that needs to be addressed. You’ll want to look into the reason behind why their noses are dry in the first place.
Not all dry noses are bad:
Right out of the gate, however, it’s important for us to explain to you that not all dry nose situations are going to mean underlying health concerns you should be nervous about.
When dogs sleep they aren’t going to be licking their nose as frequently as they would have been when they are awake. While they’re asleep their noses are obviously going to dry out a little bit. Now, if your dog is walking around all day with a nose that isn’t wet your dog may have something that you need to look into. But, if they’ve been asleep for quite a while the odds are pretty good that nothing is wrong. In either case, you should continue to monitor the situation and be mindful of your dog’s nose dryness.
On top of that, some dog breeds are going to naturally have a much drier nose than other dog breeds. Bulldogs in particular (in all there are many varieties) have dry noses on a more regular basis than say a Labrador, for example. This is because of the way that their noses are set, their respiratory system in general, and a whole host of other biological factors that make determining whether or not they are sick because of a dry nose rather difficult.
Environmental factors will also have a big impact on the moistness of a dog’s nose. Dogs that live in dry and arid climates are likely to have noses that aren’t quite as moist as you might expect.
With these things in mind, you’ll be able to better understand exactly what kind of health situation your dogs are dealing with depending upon how their noses are looking and feeling at any one particular point time.
Here’s what to do if your dog is dealing with a dry nose:
Right out of the gate, you’re going to want to pay attention to anything and everything else that might seem out of place for your dog on top of the dry nose that they are dealing with.
You’ll want to try and determine whether or not your dogs noses drive because of unique circumstances or a potential illness, or if the noses dry during certain times of day or year, or because they are just waking up. Seasonal issues, dehydration, allergies, and more can all have a huge impact on the dryness of your dog’s nose as well as the overall dog health of your furry little family member.
You are also going to want to make sure that you get rid of all possible allergens, as this can lead to a significantly dry nose for your dog. Allergens can cause them pain, hindering their ability to breathe, and making it a lot more challenging for them to smell (a big part of how they navigate their world).
Possible allergens include food, environmental issues, plastic (especially plastic food and water containers), and a whole host of other factors that you’ll want to narrow down and eliminate ASAP.
If the dry nose is a serious issue, you should contact SDWR before you contact your veterinarian. We’ll be able to better diagnose the situation and recommend to you the next steps you’ll want to take to help restore the overall health and well-being of your service dog.
There are a variety of different products available on the market today that can help you to moisten up your dog’s nose and provided with instant relief. Many of these solutions are very affordable, though you’ll want to be sure that you are choosing options that are 100% safe as far as dog health is concerned – especially for consumption, has your dog is likely going to spend at least a little bit of time licking their nose after something has been applied.
If you ever have any questions or concerns about your service dog’s health, feel free to reach out to us at (540) 543-2307 or email us at any time.