Whether you’re a new pet parent or a longtime expert, a sad pooch can tug at anyone’s heartstrings. But do dogs cry in the same way that humans do? Unfortunately, dogs can’t talk (yet), so it’s essential for owners to know when their furry friend is distressed. We also need to have a plan of action in case our dogs start crying.
Do they need to go to the vet or just some comforting cuddles? This article will explain why dogs cry, what it looks like, when you should be concerned, and what to do. Dogs’ tears can mean many things, so let’s learn more about crying canines!
Why Do Some Canines Have Tears?
Dogs can produce tears, but they don’t do it out of sadness. Tears lubricate canines’ eyes and help remove irritants like dirt, dust, or hairs. Some dogs may tear up more often than others, but this doesn’t mean they’re down in the dumps. So, what do excessive tears mean? Several factors can result in a teary-eyed pooch, including:
- Blocked tear duct
- Irritant in the eye
- A scratch on its cornea
Many pet owners may immediately worry that their furry friend has an eye infection, but tears aren’t the only indication of this issue. If you also notice a thick, mucus-like substance (possibly yellow) coming from your dog’s eye, the problem is likely an infection.
How Do Dogs Cry?
Dogs may not shed tears like humans, but they do show similar body language to us when they’re feeling down. A sad dog can appear slow, “out of it,” and unenthusiastic. Dogs cry through body language, such as:
- Pinning their ears against their head
- Tucking their tails between their legs
- Crouching or getting their body as low to the ground as possible
- Avoiding eye contact
These are indications that the dog is not feeling like its usual self. If the cause of the depression is severe enough, the pet may even stop eating and drinking. Determining the reason for the animal’s mood is a significant step towards fixing the issue.
Why Do Dogs Cry & How Can You Stop It?
The most straightforward method for getting a dog to stop crying is identifying the cause and fixing it. Of course, this can often be easier said than done. Keep an eye out for any area of your dog’s life that can be improved, and make it clear that you’re there for your pet. If your dog is shedding tears, the issue could be physical discomfort rather than depression.
Rapid blinking, pawing at the eyes, and excessive tears are good causes for a trip to your veterinarian. On the other hand, if your dog is mentally upset, its surroundings could be causing it grief. Try introducing your dog to a new park, walking route, or move its bed to a new area. There may be something negative in your dog’s environment that you just can’t spot.
Moving the animal to a new location could help your pooch rediscover its energy. Some dogs can get upset when a new pet or person enters the home. Introduce your dog to new pets and people slowly, going at the animal’s pace, to ensure the canine doesn’t feel excluded or timid. If you have trouble with this, consider consulting a professional dog trainer.
Your dog’s crying could also be due to boredom. A restless canine can occasionally show destructive behavior. There is a fine line between rewarding your dog’s bad behavior with treats (so that it calms down) and making the problem worse through punishment (yelling at the dog). It is crucial that you only reward your dog when it shows good behavior.
Even if a treat causes your furry friend to stop barking, it shouldn’t teach your pet that whining = treats. Comfort your pet and use a firm voice to tell them to stop whining. Once the dog stops, give it a healthy treat.
Does Your Dog Need to Go to the Vet?
If you’ve tried everything and your dog is still depressed (or if its eyes keep tearing up), we recommend that you seek out a veterinarian. While you can try several potential solutions at home for a whining or depressed dog, physical tears should only be addressed by a professional. A trip to the vet is absolutely necessary in cases where medication or infection is involved.
Signs of infection should be addressed early on. The earlier you spot these issues, the less time your dog will experience pain. If the problem is mental, you should already have a good idea of your pet’s emotions and habits. Though, if you can’t cheer them up, pet therapy is an option.
Final Thoughts: Why Do Dogs Cry?
Dogs may not cry exactly like us, but they can shed tears. Now that we know the distinction between an upset pooch and one that is experiencing physical discomfort, we can adequately ease their pain. Remember to keep an eye on all aspects of your dog’s daily routine so that any problems can be addressed as soon as possible.
Our pets may not be able to talk, but when we learn to pay attention, they can certainly communicate with us!