One of the most common concerns and questions that animal guardians will ask is in regards to the character and feel of a dog’s nose. Many animal guardians often feel that their pets must have a cold and wet nose in order to be healthy, and that a dry nose means that their pet is sick. Except in cases of dehydrated dogs (where the nose may occasionally appear dry), there is often no special significance as to whether a pet’s nose is dry or wet.
It is more important to look at other clinical symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite or energy as more important indicators as to whether a pet is sick. In certain cases, particularly of respiratory tract disease, what can be more important regarding signs of illness, is the type of discharge from the nasal passages. For example, in many cases of upper respiratory infections or infectious kennel cough, pets may develop thick yellow or green discharge as part of their clinical history. If these symptoms are noted at home, it is important that a pet be examined by a local veterinarian for the possibility of infection and the likely need for prescription antibiotic therapy.