If you’ve been around a dog for just a few minutes, you can’t deny their complex emotional capabilities. When we come in the front door, even if we only went out to check the mail, our dogs are overflowing with joys with their soulful eyes and wagging tails. Dogs provide us with unconditional love, offering companionship as hiking buddies or someone to curl up with during the latest Netflix show binge. Long story short: dogs are simply the best.
On the flip side of their happy tails, dogs, of course, get anxious and sometimes even sad. For instance, any dog guardian who has taken their pup to the vet can tell you first hand how upsetting it can be for our furry friends (to make your vet visit a bit more pleasant, click here for tips!).
There are also countless stories of dogs waiting for their human to get done with work or school. Such as the story of the loyal dog, Hachiko, who would see his human dad off to work every day. After his guardian passed away, Hachiko continued his routine every day for the next nine years, sitting at the station waiting for the return of his beloved guardian. And of course, there are countless videos of soldiers being reunited with their beloved dogs that will fill any dog lover will heartwarming feelings.
And for the six to eight million animals entering U.S. shelters every year, with only three to four million finding their forever homes, dogs in shelters know sadness all too well. Life in an animal shelter can be understandably terrifying for dogs as their days are filled with loud shelter noises, strange people constantly walking by, and no human to snuggle up with in bed.
The heartbreaking video of the upset dog showed not only the sad side of animal shelters but also showed the emotional depth dogs undoubtedly have.
While it’s clear the dog is distressed, the video begs the question: do dogs truly cry tears like human do?
Humans can cry for emotional reasons, but dogs don’t express sadness through tears. A dog’s tear ducts drain the liquid back towards their throat and nose area, instead of the water coming out of their eyes. Even though the dog in the above video is clearly upset about being left abandoned at an animal shelter, dog’s don’t cry human tears.
But Dogs Do Have Emotions
That’s certainly not to say that dog’s don’t feel sadness. Any dog lover who has to leave for work knows the look their dog gives them, pleading with them to stay just a bit longer.
Dogs are also able to express a variety of emotions. For instance, a dog barking could mean a multitude of things such as “Hey, look at me!” or the bark could be warning you of danger, “Hey, who is this strange person?”
Dogs often whimper or whine, another way dogs attempt to communicate with us. A whimper or a whine could mean they are excited (for instance, my one dog will as we get closer to the dog park!), they want to go outside, they want food, water, a toy or perhaps attention seeking (put down that book and play with me!) or even pain, according to VetStreet.
A whimper or a whine could also be a sign of separation anxiety, so if your dog constantly barks or cries when you leave the house, check out these tips for how to ease their anxiety. Essentially, if your dog is whining or whimpering is their own way of “crying” and is the closest behavior to human tears. You’ll want to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any medical problems if they are constantly whining, such as pain. If the problem is behavioral, it’s best to contact a well-recommended certified trainer or animal behaviorist to get to the root of the problem.
If your dog appears to be crying human-like tears, it could be a sign of a problem.
For instance, dogs can also suffer from allergies that can cause their eyes to water, they could have blocked tear ducts forcing the water to come out of your dog’s eyes, or your dog could have an infection or a scratched cornea. Please take your dog to the vet if you suspect any of these things so you can get medical treatment for your furry friend as soon as possible.
As their guardians, it’s up to us to make sure our dogs are happy and healthy! What do you think, can do cry human-like tears? Share your experiences below in the comments! For more tips on how to keep your cat happy and healthy, click here.
Lead image source: ZH Show/YouTube