Do Dogs Cry Like Humans?

Dogs are some of the most emotionally healthy animals that you can find. Many owners are found to have a deep, unspoken bond with their dogs, and can even understand what the pet is thinking or feeling at a given point of time. It is often asked whether dogs actually cry like humans. Read on and know the answer.

When Do Dogs Cry?

While dogs are capable of expressing their sadness, it is not that each case of tears from its eyes is caused by some sad reason such as due to loss of his master or death of a close one, injury, sickness or even unhappiness. Based on its breed, a dog can shed moisture from its eyes.

It can express its sadness through whimpering. An audible whimper can indicate various things, and you have to determine why your pet is generating the noise. It could be that it wants you to open the door so that it can get out and relieve itself. It could also be anxious, such as when it senses that you are to leave for work.

Why do dogs “cry”?

According to the VCA Animal Hospital, dogs have tear ducts similar to many other mammals. It can lubricate the eyes and help them function normally. The tear ducts help drain moisture into the throat and the mouth of dogs. However, obstruction of these ducts can make the tears flow out of the eyes and these roll down the cheeks. This is not ‘crying’, although it looks like it. The phenomenon is referred to as epiphora.

Epiphora depends on dog breed, and can arise due to various other causes such as:

  • Sinusitis, where the sinuses are swollen due to conjunctivitis or entry of foreign objects.
  • Scratches to the iris.
  • Ectropion, or the eyelid turning outward.

Big, active breeds such as Great Danes, Spaniels and bloodhounds are especially prone to this condition.

How to Take Care of Teary Dogs?

Although epiphora is generally not a serious problem, and your dog can live with the problem, it might be a symptom of some acute underlying disorder or problem in some cases. The more the moisture that is lost from the eyes of your dog, the less it will be lubricated over the long term. There could be ‘dry eyes’ and you should consult a vet to discuss this issue.

If you find your dog tearing up for more than a day, contact a vet as soon as possible. You may never know whether the tearing is due to some acute condition such as glaucoma or a broken or fractured facial bone.

The epiphora condition could also result from an allergy, such as a specific food or a component in the dish that you have fed him recently. Viscous, yellow or bloody discharge from the eyes could be a sign of more serious problems, and you would want to look for corneal ulcers, swelling or redness. With little maintenance and care, your dog can enjoy a happy ‘tear-free’ life.

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