Wet Nose… Warm Heart


January 19, 2015 – Everyone has heard the old adage … “Cold nose – Warm heart,” and equated it with good health in our pets.  The warm heart makes sense, because no one wants a pet that is cold hearted… or dearly departed.  But is a cold nose really a sign of well being, or rather, a reflection of the recycling of water.  There are hordes of dogs and cats with warm noses, and they’re healthy as a horse, and then there’s the cold nosed ones living on their last legs.  So how do we make sense of this cold nose, warm nose dilemma?

We, as humans, would probably swell up without sweat glands; or at best be baking.  But dogs and cats do fine without them; unless you want to give weight to the few on their feet that wet where they walk.  Our pets are built to stay warm, but when it’s too hot, they vaporize water to beat the heat, the same way we do with sweat.  As water evaporates… it cools.  There’s no sweat glands on a panting tongue, or sniffing nose, but when it comes to cooling a pet, they’re as good as it gets (aside from a cold drink), and equally as effective as flapping the ear on an elephant.

The water for the nose comes from a nasal organ, and some tears, and the tongue gets its moisture from the mouth.  So it probably makes more sense to think, “Wet nose (mouth) – Warm heart,” when assessing your pets health, but it doesn’t roll off the tongue as well, old habits are hard to break and a dry nose isn’t always a bad thing.

Bottom line:  Sweat can be sweet when it comes to the heat; but wetter is better for pets.