Do Dogs Cry? (The Answer Will Surprise You!)

Every dog owner knows that their pet feels emotions just like they do. They get happy, sad, scared, and frustrated, and learning how to recognize their emotions is an important part of being a dog owner.

When feeling sad, do dogs cry? Do you know if your dog can cry or not?

It’s good to know how your dog shows their sadness and what it might mean if they are “crying.” Let’s take a learn about what dog’s tears are, what they mean, and what you should look out for!


Do Dog’s Cry Tears Like Humans When They Are Sad?

No, they do not!

As much as dogs are emotional and loving creatures, dogs cannot cry when they feel sad in the same way that humans do. Their tear ducts are not signaled to cry at emotional times like ours are.

If your dog seems to be crying tears, there is a different reason for this moisture. Keep reading to find out what the cause could be.

How Do Dogs Express Sadness?

When dogs are sad or upset, they usually make a whimpering noise. Every dog is different in how they express themselves, but this is a very common trait that many dogs share.

A whimpering noise can mean a lot of different things. Some reasons that dogs might start to make a “crying” noise is because:

  • They need to go to the bathroom
  • They’re hungry
  • Something is hurting them
  • They are anxious
  • They want attention

Whimpering unnecessarily is a trait that many people train their dogs to stop doing in the first few months of owning them. Teaching dogs to be quiet can help them to stop making anxious whimpering noises that can be frustrating.

One time you should pay close attention to your dog’s “crying” is when they are just sitting or lying down.

If your pet is whimpering at a time like this, it could mean that they are sick or injured. If this seems to be the case, you should check your dog out carefully and take them to the vet as soon as possible to make sure nothing is wrong with them.

Why Is My Dog Crying Tears?

Dogs have tear ducts, and these tear ducts work to make sure that your dog’s eyes have the right amount of moisture in them.

It’s possible for the tear ducts to become blocked. When this happens, the moisture can run down the face like tears instead of staying in the eyes and throat region. This condition is known as epiphora.

Why Does Epiphora Happen?

There are a number of reasons that the tear ducts on a dog may become blocked or not working properly.

Some breeds of dogs, like pugs and pit bulls, are more susceptible to epiphora. This is because the shape of the eyes and face affect how well liquids can stay in the eye. Epiphora that is caused by face shape is not very serious.

Other breeds such as bulldogs, poodles, and spaniels are just genetically inclined to have poor connections between the eye and the tear drainage system, which leads to a lot of leaking down the face.

Among other causes, these issues could all result in epiphora in a dog:

  • Inflamed sinuses
  • Something is stuck in the dog’s eye
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Allergies
  • Nerve paralysis
  • Scratches on the eye
  • Eye infections
  • ...and many more!

There are a wide number of reasons that your dog’s eye might be watering. Identifying the cause can be trying, but it is important that you do so.

How Is Epiphora Treated?

Epiphora is treated in many different ways. It depends on what is causing the condition!

If the epiphora is being caused by the shape of the face or hereditary conditions, you may need to treat your dog with eye drops to ensure that their eyes have enough moisture. Your vet will be able to advise you about what you need to do.

If the epiphora is caused by scratches on the eye or something being stuck in the eye, you will need to help your dog rinse their eye to get it out. Here’s a sample of how that might be done:

If the cause of epiphora is a disease or an unknown cause, you will have to work with your vet to find the right treatment plan to reduce the severity of their crying.

Is Epiphora Dangerous?

Epiphora is a very normal condition that can affect many dogs. If the cause is simply the structure of your dog’s face or a small scratch, your dog will stop crying in no time with very little monitoring.

If, however, there is a severe scratch on your dog’s eye or they have a serious infection, it can become life-threatening. Always take your dog to the vet if they seem to be “crying” for many days with no cause. It’s important to take action quickly to make sure you can help them.

Should I Dry The Tears?

If your dog is suffering from a tear duct condition, you may want to help make them more comfortable by drying their tears.

Use a wet washcloth to wipe away the film or tears. Do this carefully and keep the washcloth far away from their eyes to prevent any accidental injury.

The more often you do this with your dog, the more comfortable they will be with the process. Doing this simple step can help them to be more comfortable until the epiphora is alleviated!

You can also help care for your dog’s appearance by clearing up their tear stains with these natural remedies:

Pay Attention If Your Dog Cries

Dogs are lovable, caring creatures, and sometimes they even cry! But do dogs cry because they’re sad? No! If your dog is crying, there’s something else going on.

Sometimes the tear ducts in your dog’s eyes will leak tears down their face instead of into their eyes. There are many different reasons for epiphora to happen in dogs. Work with your vet to figure out why your dog is crying and how to help them stop!

Share in the comments about what you think is making your dog cry. Then share with your friends so they can save their dog from crying more tears, too!


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