Do Dogs Cry Silently?

Tears, in the emotional sense, are unique to humans. Dogs and other animals don’t shed tears due to sadness or strong emotions. However, dogs do produce tears. These tears serve to lubricate and protect their eyes, much like humans. They also have tear ducts that drain excess tears away.

a dog with tears in his eyes due to allergies

Why Do Dogs Have Tears?

  • Basal Tears: Basal tears are continuous tears produced to keep the cornea moist and healthy. They are always present in your dog’s eyes, ensuring that the eyes stay lubricated and free from dust and debris.
  • Reactive Tears: Reactive tears are produced in response to irritants like dust, smoke, allergies, or foreign objects in the eye. These tears help to wash away the irritants and protect the eye from potential damage.

So, while dogs don’t cry silently in the emotional sense, they might have tears in their eyes for other reasons. It’s important to understand these reasons to ensure your dog’s eye health.

Signs to Watch Out For

It’s essential to monitor your dog’s eyes for any unusual tearing or signs of discomfort. Here are some signs to watch out for:

  • Excessive Tearing: If your dog’s eyes are watering more than usual, it could be a sign of an underlying condition like allergies, dry eye, or a scratched cornea. Persistent tearing might indicate a problem that requires attention.
  • Redness or Squinting: Along with excessive tearing, redness or squinting in the eyes could indicate irritation or discomfort. These signs suggest that something may be irritating your dog’s eyes, and it could be anything from dust to an infection.
  • Pawing at the Face: If your dog is pawing at their face or rubbing their eyes frequently, it’s a sign they’re bothered by something in their eye. This behavior can indicate discomfort or pain, and it’s crucial to address the issue promptly.

When to Consult Your Veterinarian

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to determine the cause and get proper treatment for your dog. Eye issues can escalate quickly, and early intervention is key to preventing more serious problems.


While dogs don’t cry out of sadness, their tears are essential for maintaining eye health. By understanding the different types of tears and the signs of potential eye issues, you can ensure that your dog’s eyes stay healthy and comfortable. Always consult your veterinarian if you notice any unusual symptoms to provide the best care for your furry friend.

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