If you’re a dog owner, then you’re probably familiar with the feeling of a dog’s cold, wet nose pressing against your skin. Have you ever wondered ‘Why dogs have wet noses?’ Believe it or not, a wet nose isn’t just for getting your attention, or leaving wet nose prints on every glass surface of your house. Having a wet nose serves a few major functions for a dog.
A dogs sense of smell can be up to 1000,000 times better than a human. Their wet nose contributes to their incredible sense of smell. A dog’s nose secretes its own, thin layer of mucus that aids their sense of smell. When a dog licks his nose, it helps him “smell” even more deeply. In fact, dogs have over 220 million olfactory receptors in their nose, compared to the human’s paltry 5 million.
Another reason is that dogs don’t sweat the same way as humans do. Dogs keep cool by panting and by ‘sweating’ through their paws and noses. A wet nose is a vital part in helping them cool down their body. They have special glands inside their noses that secrete a watery fluid that moistens the inside of the nose and help keep the dog cool.
Here are fun facts about a dogs nose
- A dogs nose can breathe air in and out at the same time.
- Each dog’s nose print is unique, like each human’s fingerprint.
- Dogs have a special part of their noses called the Jacobson’s organ that lets them ignore the smell of poop when they sniff another dog’s rear.
- Short-snouted dogs, like the pug and boxer, are less sensitive to smell because they have have fewer scent-detecting receptors than dogs with longer snouts like the German Shepherd, or Labrador.
- Dogs have a scent receptor in their nose called the vomeronasal organ that’s dedicated solely to sniffing out pheromones. This can help tell them a lot about their environment and why they like to spend so much time sniffing around areas other dogs like to visit.