Do dogs cry ? Here is what experts say about this

do dogs cry - can dogs cry - do dog cry with tears

Have you heard the phrase – like a dog with two tails? It means to be extremely happy. The phrase quotes an always happy and carefree creature because there is no better display of happiness than that of a happy dog. Our fur babies wag their tails and roll onto their backs to get their bellies scratched. But if you’re a dog parent or caregiver, you might have noticed that dogs also have other emotions. They can be scared after a sudden noise like fireworks, guilty after doing something wrong, or sad after you have left them alone. But do dogs cry? If yes, can dogs cry with tears?

Read on to know if your buddy actually cries the way you do.

Do dogs have emotions ?

Dogs are sensitive animals and feel a range of emotions like we do. They are excited and happy almost always, and they express it through barking, howling, wagging their tails, and licking the humans they love.

While irritated with their siblings or constantly annoying human beings, dogs can get snappy at times. They can also experience fear during loud or sudden noises such as crackers, loud music, traffic sounds, or a balloon bursting.

Our four-legged friends can show signs of guilt when caught red-handed at a crime scene, like for the hundredth time ‘chewing a shoe’. As they are questioned, they lower their ears, bow their head, raise their guilty-eyes, and act totally innocent.

So, yes, dogs have emotions and they express them vocally or through body language.

Can dogs feel sadness ?

Yes, dogs do feel sad at times and they have their reasons.

For instance, every time you leave the house or can’t make time for them on a busy day, they lie miserably in a corner of the house. Your absence makes your little doggo really sad. And, as soon as you return, a mere glance of you makes them go crazily happy.

Many a times, dogs howl after many hours of staying away from their humans. They lay quiet when you’re home because they are still sad.

So, yes a dog does feel sad and can express sadness in many ways – some obvious, others not so obvious. Typically, sadness in a dog is communicated by a myriad of common behaviours such as whining and whimpering, howling, trembling, being clingy, or doing just the opposite – ignoring you!

Just like humans, dogs can voice their sadness in a several many and responsible dog parents can easily understand what their fur babies are trying to ‘say.’

What causes sadness in a dog ?

Separation, loss of a dog sibling or family member, missing an old toy, no play sessions, are some reasons that cause sadness in a dog, say experts. For instance, some dogs believe that their parents have abandoned them every time they go to work and so they experience extreme separation anxiety.

Apart from separation and loss, dogs may feel sad for the same reasons we humans feel sad. Just consider this, you feel really sad and then in the next moment you notice your dog behave in a sympathetic way. Can you relate to this? Your dog might not know what’s bothering you but he can give a compassionate reaction to comfort you.

Scientists have a conjecture that dogs have the mental abilities as well as emotions almost like a 2-year-old child. Now, though that’s a small range of emotional skills, it’s really impressive. 

Do dogs cry ?

Like you and me, dogs have tear ducts too. But when a dog is sad, can his brain connect with his tear ducts and make him cry like we do?

Though dogs are known to express their emotions vocally, there is no scientific evidence to prove that dogs bring out tears as a reaction to their sadness. Researchers seem to have no substantial proof to verify that canines are capable of breaking into emotional tears.

However, studies do show that comforting may be built-in into dogs. Be it just a dog lover or an experienced dog parent, we all know that our furry best friends can exhibit empathic, compassionate, and caring responses when we find ourselves sad, especially when we are crying.  

So, do dogs cry with tears? No, but dogs do feel sad and express their sadness using a number of vocalizations during puppyhood and adulthood. 

As little puppies, they whine or whimper when they are hungry, cold, or simply want to get their mommy’s attention. This doggy behavior is sometimes seen in adulthood where your dog may cry to let you know his needs such as food, water, potty break, or just to get a belly rub from you.

Of course, you have fallen for those sad eyes and heart-breaking whimper every single time.

So now that you know dogs do not cry with tears, there is something you need to look out for. If you see tears in your dog’s eyes or any kind of fluid or mucous, something serious could be going on and you need to get him checked by a vet.

What are the reasons for dog tears ?

Tear ducts are responsible to keep the eyes lubricated, clean, and working properly, but watery eyes can be a sign of a medical issue.

But, what do tears in a dog’s eyes mean and how serious it is? Here are some reasons for dog tears.

  • Allergies – A runny eye may mean your dog has a sensitive or allergic reaction to things like dust, pollen, a food ingredient, smoke, dander, or any other animal or bird at home.
  • Cornea Abrasion – Accidentally scratching the cornea of the eye, is a very common thing in active dogs. It may happen while your dog comes in contact with something sharp like his own nails, thorny plants, etc. Not only will his eyes tear, but he may also paw at his eye, blink more, or have a slight redness around the eye.
  • Blocked tear duct – When a tear duct is blocked it irritates your dog’s eyes and causes it to be damp or watery all the time.
  • Infection – A watery and irritated eye can also be a sign of an eye infection. Look if the eye is watery along with a yellow discharge or bloody fluid. The presence of such things can possibly be a symptom of an infection. Other symptoms of an eye infection can include irritated, red, or swollen eyes.
  • Presence of dirt – There could be a speck of dirt or a foreign particle like hair or an insect in his eye. Such cases are very common and are mostly temporary. If your dog keeps pawing and looks uncomfortable, do not wait, please consult your vet.


If your four legged baby is experiencing teary eyes along with frequent pawing, it is best to consult your veterinarian and get it evaluated at the earliest. Though your dog may not cry, but he might be in pain.

So, do dogs cry with tears? Short answer, no. But, if by crying we mean whining, whimpering, barking, howling, sighing, or mewling, then yes, we can say dogs most certainly do cry.

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Share this very informative article with all the dog lovers out there.

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