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Can dogs cry?

Updated on June 29, 2010

Dogs can really cry! We know that dogs make a variety of sounds. Dogs bark, whine and yelp. But cry? Not many people, even those that have had dogs for years are so lucky to be privy to the crying sound and to the tear fall of a dog. I too am skeptical to the notion that dogs cry until I saw for myself my dog’s eyes brimming with tears. The dog, a Chihuahua was about to be left to the care of a friend. It would be impossible to take the dog to my new assignment. Gosh! I never would want to see the anguished look on the face of a dog again.

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How does Fido Cry?

Dogs cry but they do not cry the way we humans do. Dogs may not even produce tears. The sound of their crying is very similar to whining.

Fido’s tears

Dogs are believed to show behaviors typical to humans. Can this be due to the long association of dog and man? Dogs too have emotions. Dogs feel happy, anxious and sad. A sad dog can cry and shed tears. Dogs have tear glands and tear ducts that allow them to shed tears. The tear ducts’ main purpose is to produce tears that will flush out sand and dirt that enters the eyes.  The eyes may brim with tears but unlike crying humans that have tears flowing down their cheeks, dogs’ tears are seldom seen as they are quickly absorbed by the fur so that canines would normally have tear stains. Scientists though have a notion that dogs are not capable of crying emotional tears as only humans can do that.  Excessive moisture in the eyes can be due to a medical concern. A closed tear duct or a clogged tear duct would make the dog shed tears. A medical procedure is necessary to correct these abnormal conditions.

Why does Fido Cry?

Dogs cry for a variety of reasons. Whining and crying are most common in puppies. Puppies cry when they are cold, hungry or separated from the mother. Puppies would also cry when transferred to a new home. It is possible that the pup is lonely and missing its playmates. Older dogs cry when they are in pain, when they are sick and when they are missing their human families. A dog howling because of a departed master would make your hair stand on end. But one that is pitifully crying because it misses its dead master would make you want to rush out to offer comfort. A hungry and uncomfortable dog would cry as well. By crying, the pet is letting its owner know that it needs attention. The dog may be in pain and the crying is a plea for help. A dog that has lost its mate can withdraw from the human family, hide in a corner and cry.

Stopping Fido from crying

A dogs crying spell can be due to a lot of reasons. However, the most common is to gain the attention of the master. A dog’s incessant whining and crying can be pitiful and it can also be irritating. You need to make the dog stop but punishing or hurting the pet must never be done. Consider the fact that the dog may be hurting or uncomfortable. Harsh reprimands would make the dog cry even more. Comfort the dog instead and use positive reinforcements.

Dog Crying in Sleep

Crying dog

My dog crying/howling


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      Kelly 5 years ago

      My dog gets so excited & her eyes well up with tears. When I cone home she gets extremely happy & excited.

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      Bob 6 years ago

      Several days ago I had to put my elderly dog to sleep. I was comforting her before and during the process and there were tears running down her face although she was silent. I have no doubt that they were from the pain that she was in and because she knew that she was dying.