Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

After a particularly good and relaxing belly rub, the dog can hit the person with your nose as a form of thanks. Often, in this “touch”, the person may feel their pet’s nose cold and wetBut, is it normal for a dog’s nose to be like this? The answer is yes, it is normal. But so is a warm nose, especially after sleeping. When a dog is asleep, his nose becomes hot and, at the same time, dry. That’s when the dog wakes up, licks his nose and it’s cold again. One of the possible answers is that the cold nose of the dog could help you regulate your body temperature. However, the nose is so small that you probably can’t contribute significantly to overall thermal regulation of the body. Therefore, to investigate a little more, an international team of scientists measured the temperature of the nose of many animals, including a horse, a dog, and a moose. Before beginning the investigation itself, the team had already discovered that the tips of the nose of dogs and carnivorous animals are usually cooler than those of herbivores. Then, Can a colder nose be an advantage in nature?
The team carried out two experimentsone in which they observed behavior and another in which they looked at the brain, to see if a cold rhinarium could improve heat detection. In the first experiment, the team successfully trained three domestic dogs to choose a warmer object, at approximately the same temperature as the potential prey, on an object at room temperature. The results indicated that dogs can detect weak thermal radiation from a distance similar to that of hunting prey. In the second investigation, focused on the brain, the scientists presented a box that contained warm water and an insulated door to 13 domestic dogs trained to lie still in an fMRI scanner. The dogs’ brains had a higher response when the insulating door was open, revealing the warmer surface, compared to neutral. The region that lit up on the MRI was located only in the left hemisphere. This side of the brain interests scientists because tends to process responses to food and, in turn, has been associated with predatory activity in many vertebrates. In fact, the specific region that lit up in dogs, known as the somatosensory association cortex, helps bring together different sensations, such as vision, body position, and heat. This part of the brain combines these senses simultaneously to plan an action toward a goal, such as pointing at an object. Since this left-sided neural region lit up when the tip of the nose was exposed to a warm surface, it’s possible that dogs, and possibly other cold-nosed animals, may be using a heat-sensing sense, along with other senses, when searching for prey. Although the study is too small to close the cold nose case, the researchers do say that a cold nose may be more sensitive to temperature differences. Then, Why is a dog’s nose cold? The team continues to search for answers to this question. In fact, they are now investigating what distance could this type of estrus detection be useful. For now, only the dog’s nose knows.

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