Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Angela. Angela Wonders, “Why are dog noses wet?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Angela!
Today's Wonder of the Day is really for the dogs…and those who love them! If you have a dog, then you probably understand why they're called “man's best friend."
There's nothing quite like coming home to a dog's loyal greeting. You'll likely be greeted with a bark or two and a wildly wagging tail. You may even get a few playful licks that all dog owners know are the same thing as puppy kisses.
Dogs' noses are often cold and wet. Why is that? Many people believe that dogs' noses should always be cold and wet and, if it's not, it's a sign that they're sick.
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. And a cold, wet nose isn't necessarily a sign of health. Veterinarians will tell you that a cold, runny nose can be a sign of illness. On the other hand, a warm, dry nose isn't necessarily a sign of illness.
One main reason is that dogs tend to lick their noses a lot. Many dogs lick their noses to help keep themselves cool. A wet nose can also help them pick up scents better when they smell their environment.
Of course, if your nose was as long as many dogs' noses are, you'd probably need to lick it quite often, too. For example, when dogs eat, their long noses often get involved in the process. When they're finished, licking the nose is just part of the clean-up process!
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!