Dogs do experience emotions although different to us they still go through mixed feelings. A question some ask is, do dogs actually cry? Sometimes we see our dogs with glassy eyes and just looking plain sad, but do they cry?

Dogs are capable of feeling sadness and grief even when they are in a bad mood. If their owner dies or they are given to a new family however they don’t actually cry like us. When they are feeling overwhelmed with sadness, they don’t actually have flowing tears as we do.

Due to our emotional state humans are actually the only animals to be able to shed tears due to overwhelming sadness. Seeing as dogs can’t physically cry does this mean we are imaging our dogs’ emotions?

While they do have tear ducts, these are only used to keep the eyes moist and free of debris. Instead of the wet tears coming from the eye they instead flow back into the nasal cavity. If you find your dog has tears he is in fact not crying. However, there could be a health problem going on.

If your dog has tears there could be a few reasons why:

  • An eye infection
  • Allergies
  • Damage to the eye
  • Blocked tear duct

There could be something sitting on the surface of your dogs’ eye. This needs checking by a local vet as soon as possible to avoid harm to the eye. If left untreated it becomes irritating. The dog can then scratch his eye and cause more damage.


How do dogs express pain and other emotions:

While there is no scientific evidence stating that dogs don’t cry. Although it is just a definition that many believe it is however known they do express other emotions. Dogs are like babies. They know if they cry they will get exactly what they want.

Such things as food, comfort, some attention, etc. Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety. This means they will whimper or whine. Just as they will when they want a treat or a pat. It is hard to get a one by one comparison of human and dog emotions.

We are actually more aware of our emotion and psychological composition. Dogs can be mindful of their feelings. Often, they are just reacting to their impulses or surroundings instead of just going through one big pile of emotions.

Dogs adjust their behavior to suit their particular needs at that time. Dogs can use expressions and their emotions to be manipulative at times. It is merely very innocent. All dog owners will say that dogs are very expressive.

Through their combination of cues, we have learned to identify our individual dogs wants and needs. We can tell you whether they are happy, nervous or sensing danger.


Is whimpering, whining and howling dog crying?

Dog vocals such as howling, whining and whimpering are linked in the imagination of the canine emotional states. Most often it can be connected to the experience of pain as well as the expression of pain too. If you stand on a dog’s paw, its reaction is similar to our let out a yelp and jump back. However, dogs will not do it repeatedly if they are responding to long-term chronic pain. Whining, whimpering and howling is their way of expressing their needs and wants. A dog’s nose is seen more for communicating way rather than emotional communicating.

If they see you with their food bowl, they may start making noises like whining. This is how they tell you they are ready for dinner time.

Dogs can play on these if when they start whining, you give them exactly what they want each and every time. You will then find the behavior will become repetitive in a manipulative way. Whining, whimpering, howling, etc. are similar to human crying but are not always to be interpreted negatively. They can whine in a positive way for excitement.


Do dogs understand what our tears are?

Dogs are brilliant, and they can sense a lot of human emotions. They are very good at detecting fear and when someone is sad. Often dogs may be clingier and cuddlier if they sense you are upset and crying. They may seek distance and leave you alone until you need them.

Dogs are compassionate and very sensitive. When we are blue, they are there for us in how we want them to be. They become more than just a companion. Dogs and humans express their sadness in different ways. However, they still serve the same purpose.

We cry to show our emotion, to gain comfort and to get a feeling of letting it all out. Dogs, however, do it more to vocalize what they want and what will make them feel better. Things like going outside to the toilet or going for a walk.

Dogs still have feelings even though they don’t burst into tears and start babbling all over you. Thank goodness they don’t imagine all those puppy dog eyes crying. We would all be emotional wrecks. There are different causes for watering of the eyes in dogs.

You will need a vet to make the official diagnosis. If you mean does a dog cry by water tears from the tear ducts, then no they don’t cry in this manner. If by crying you mean howling, whining and whimpering then yes of course they cry.



However, it is only humans who have tears that have a connection to the emotional side of things, not your pet dog. We all fall for those sad puppy dog eyes. We do all end up giving into our dogs for extra treats, more time inside and time on the couch for sleep.

Remember dogs will learn their crying and whimpering will get them exactly what they want to try not to get into this habit. Dogs can become very needy when allowed to dominate. While dogs cannot physically cry don’t, you worry they will find other ways to make you feel guilty and give them what they want.


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