A dog's wet nose is commonly a sign of good health. Dogs with dry noses, however, are not always in poor health. Dog's noses change temperature throughout the day for numerous reasons, many of which are not due to illness. Symptoms in addition to a warm and dry nose, such as nasal discharge or cracked skin, may indicate that your dog needs a checkup with his veterinarian.
The environment plays a large role in the dryness of your dog's nose. Playing fetch outside in warmer temperatures often dries out your dog's nose, or even just lying in the direct sun. Bringing your dog inside should reverse his nose's dryness. Continuous exposure to direct sunlight can cause skin damage on the nose, which dries it out and causes it to crack over time. Poor air circulation with dry air in the wintertime also causes dry noses.
If you are worried that your dog's dry nose is not caused by sunlight or environmental conditions, check for signs of illness. Rectally take your dog's temperature. It should be between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the American Kennel Club. Check your dog's nose for discharge that is not clear, and any redness or flaking of the skin.
Call your veterinarian if your dog is producing bubbly, yellow, black, green or thick discharge from his nose. If you think your dog is running a fever, you should also seek medical attention immediately.
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