Can Dogs Cry?

If you’ve looked into your dog’s eyes while being punished after stepping on a thorn or watching you depart for the day, you know they may feel sad and show it. A new study reveals that reunited dogs can shed happy tears. But can dogs cry?

Your adorable doggie may have dog sadness or anxiety, making noises that sound like sobbing to humans, especially when we’re training them not to sleep on our bed at night. We needed to know if that sound meant dogs could cry like humans, so we turned to the experts.

Do Dogs Cry?

Dogs experience joy, grief, loyalty, melancholy, and more. They can express each emotion, but crying isn’t one of them. Dogs don’t show sadness like humans. While it’s entertaining to imagine that dogs have the same cognitive abilities as humans, people often stumble when they “humanize” their canine companions. Dogs’ emotions are simpler than humans.

What Causes Dog Depression?

Pain, isolation, loss, and grief are all things that can make a dog unhappy, just as they might make a human feel sad. Sadness in dogs is usually fleeting, but it can be profound and long-lasting at times. For instance, there are documented cases of dogs waiting by graves for their owners who have passed away, day after day. Keep in mind that your pet may express affection in various ways.

However, these are not the only considerations. Your dog’s empathy for you could also make you feel sad. Dogs typically show melancholy when humans do, even if they don’t know why you’re angry.

One of the many things your dog understands about you is that they are more emotionally sophisticated than you might think, especially related to understanding feelings. They have an extraordinary attunement to our states of mind, the expressions on our faces, and even our physical well-being.

So, while dogs can’t show melancholy the same way humans do, they understand and feel much more than we may believe.

How Do Dogs Cry?

You may have heard a dog weep, and it probably tugged at your heart. Your dog may be trying to communicate joy, displeasure, fear, or discomfort through what may seem like sorrowful sounds to humans. It could be because they are starving or want to go outdoors.

A dog who howls at night without being allowed to sleep in your room is likely wanting to be allowed in. Humans are the only known creatures that shed tears over emotional experiences, so if you notice your dog’s eyes welling up, it’s not because they’re feeling sad. What, though, do those canine tears signify?

Dogs, like humans, need tears for the same reasons we do, like to clean, protect, and lubricate the eyes. But dogs are unique because their tear ducts are designed to redirect the fluid back into the body rather than letting it run down their faces.

If you notice your dog “weeping” tears, it’s probably time to consult with the vet. It may indicate an eye infection, an eye injury, or an obstruction in the tear duct. Be alert for the telltale symptoms that your dog is genuinely unwell.

How Do Sad Dogs Show Their Emotions?

Dogs, like humans, are capable of emotional crying, yet the tears they shed have a different meaning than our own. However, dogs have their unique ways of conveying melancholy. Here are some possible causes for a dog’s tears:

Whimpering Or Whining

Puppies use this sound to “cry out” for their mothers, and it is one of the earliest ways young dogs learn to communicate. Adult animals may still rely on whimpering to communicate with humans, especially if you show them that you understand their plight.

Shaking Or Trembling

Some dogs quiver or shake when they’re scared or angry. It is especially true after the dog has been punished.


The most sensitive dogs may retreat to their crates or beneath beds whenever they’re feeling down. If your pet is experiencing anxiety, you may also observe this pattern. In that situation, you may consider using one of several products designed to calm anxious dogs.

Requesting Further Cuddles

A dog may seek human company to feel better if it suffers from pain, disease, loneliness, or boredom. Your dog may be feeling down if he is acting especially dependent.

Disregarding You

Less sensitive dogs may exhibit sadness by avoiding eye contact, not listening to directions, turning their backs on you, or leaving the room.

Distinct Cues

Some behavior will be unique to humans and their puppies because of the intimate link that develops between the two. It means you are most likely to recognize your dog is upset and know what’s causing it.

Your dog may bring you a blanket or toy, make a unique sound, or create a paw gesture that indicates he is comforting you. You should show him additional love, regardless of how he expresses his unhappiness to you. The best dog owners make it a point to understand their pet’s unique communication mode.

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