Owners urged to check their dog’s noses as temperatures reach 30C

As temperatures reach 30C in parts of the UK, pet owners are being urged to check their dog’s noses after spending time with them outside.

Although a dry nose isn’t always a cause for concern, it can be a sign of dehydration or sunburn.

St Francis Veterinary Hospital, in Ohio, America, has urged owners to invest in a dog-safe sunscreen as temperatures soar this summer.

A statement reads: “We often forget that most furry animals, such as our four-legged companions, have skin.

“Especially the dog breeds that tend to have thin, light coats and pink or pale noses, paw pads, eyelids, and ears, are more susceptible to sunburn.

“If your pooch gets sunburn, it’ll cause his nose to dry out and possibly crack, depending on the severity.

“If you own one of these thin-skinned breeds, be sure to invest in dog-safe sunscreen for those long outdoor play days.”

Dogs can also get dry noses through dehydration, especially after strenuous exercise on warm days.

The statement adds: “Think about it, when you work out and sweat a lot, you become dehydrated. The same goes for your faithful friend.

“If you’ve just taken him for a run, or he was running around with his playmates at the park all day, he’s going to become dehydrated too. His nose will be proof of that.

“Once he rehydrates, his nose will return to its moistened state.”

However, a dry nose isn’t always a warning sign as older dogs, certain breeds and those with allergies can have them on a regular basis while still being fit and healthy dogs.

“Dogs have a highly developed sense of smell that they depend on to make sense of the world. Just like any other working machine, a dog’s nose needs lubrication to work properly because scent particles adhere to moist surfaces much more efficiently,” the statement adds.

“That lubrication generally comes from mucus-producing glands that provide the needed moisture. It also produces a clear watery fluid that interestingly enough, regulates Fido’s body temperature. It’s like a built-in cooling system that keeps a dry cracking dog nose at bay.

“You may also notice that your dog licks his (or her) nose consistently. They do this to clean it from dirt, debris, or other particles. It’s also a means to interpret scent particles through taste.

“So, when a dog’s nose is dry and warm, it’s interpreted by us humans as a sign that something is wrong. While a dry dog nose can mean that something’s wrong, there are several other common and non-health related reasons for it.”