Do Dogs Cry Like Us?

When dogs get upset, do they cry real tears like we do? Do they even have tear ducts? Our dog’s language is extremely intriguing. And, although they don’t talk the same language as us, they still have ways to communicate their feelings.

We all know when our dog is happy… but do they cry when they’re upset? Do their feelings get hurt?

A Dog’s Tear Ducts

Yes, dogs do have tear ducts like us. And, anyone who has a Maltese, or a Poodle, can attest to that. They are particularly apparent if your dog is pure white. Dog lovers who have a Maltese or Poodle are continuously wiping off the corner of their dog’s eyes due to their tear staining.


Other breeds may also have excessive drainage from their eyes. In technical terms, this phenomenon is known as epiphora.

Tear Types and the Emotions

There are two types of tears humans and dogs share. These tears are known as basal tears and reflexive tears. Basal tears are continuously produced to keep the eye moist. Reflexive tears protect the eyes from allergens or any type of irritant.

Then, there are emotional tears. Dogs don’t share these with us. Emotional tears begin when we (humans) are overwhelmed, frustrated, or generally emotional. A dog’s tear ducts do not allow them to produce emotional tears. But, even though dogs don’t cry ‘tears’ when they’re upset, they still have their own way of letting us know.

Why Does My Dog Look Like She’s Crying?

If your dog looks as if she is crying, this could be due to a medical condition. The causes of ‘dog tears’ include the following:

  • Allergies: Allergies can cause a dog’s eye(s) to water… just like us. If your dog has allergies, your veterinarian should be contacted so you’re able to determine what she or he is allergic to.
  • Blocked Tear Ducts: If your dog’s tear ducts are blocked, you may notice what appears to be tears leaving his eyes.
  • Scratched Cornea: If your dog is active, there’s a possibility she may be ‘crying’ due to a scratched cornea. If your dog has a scratched cornea, she might also be blinking excessively.
  • Irritants: There could be a speck of dirt in your dog’s eye, or some other type of irritant, causing tears.

Do Dogs Understand When We Cry?

Yes, research has found dogs respond to our tears. They know when we’re upset based on our facial expressions and the tone of our voice. Research has gone so far to say many dogs can understand how we’re feeling without even seeing us in person. They’re able to tell by a picture.

The Bottom Line

Even though it might look as if your dog is sad, and crying emotional tears, your dog isn’t truly ‘crying’ the way do. If you notice tears coming from your dog’s eyes, make an appointment with your veterinarian to find out the cause.

Be Prepared: Make a First Aid Kit for Your Dog

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month, Canine Companions would like to help pet parents prepare for the unexpected, and we have a few tips to share with you.


Taking care of your dog in the case of an emergency can be challenging, frustrating, and all around overwhelming. Most families view their dog as an important member of the family, and seeing them in pain is heartbreaking.

Putting together a pet emergency kit can help tremendously in the event something should happen.

Supplies and Phone Numbers Every Dog Owner Should Have

There are certain supplies every dog owner should have in case of an emergency. First, before you put together all of the necessary materials, jot down all of the important phone numbers. Write down your veterinarian’s phone number, the phone number for the American Poison Control Center (888-426-4435), and don’t forget to write down any important medical history.

Most veterinarians will recommend the following in your dog’s first aid kit:

  • Gauze for wrapping wounds, cuts, etc.
  • Milk of magnesia
  • Active charcoal
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Adhesive tape
  • Nonstick bandages
  • An eye dropper
  • Digital thermometer
  • Muzzle
  • Blanket
  • Dog leash

You should also make sure the information on your dog’s collar is correct. And, microchipping your dog is a great idea should he run away or get lost somehow. In cases of emergency, like a natural disaster, your dog could easily become lost. A microchip will provide a pet professional with your information so your dog can quickly be returned home to you.

Don’t Take it Personal

A dog who is in pain isn’t likely to act like himself or herself. A dog in pain might nip, growl, and show other forms of aggression. It’s absolutely crucial not to take these behaviors personally.

Think about when you’re in pain. Are you irritable? Most people who are in pain are irritable, they don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings. They’re just not feeling well. It’s the same with our dogs.

Learn More About Pet First Aid

You can learn more first-aid procedures at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s website by clicking here. The AVMA has detailed instructions on how to take care of the following:

  • Poison and exposure to toxins
  • Seizures
  • Fractures
  • Bleeding
  • Burns
  • Choking
  • Heatstroke
  • Shock

Being fully prepared is critical to your dog’s well-being. And, if you’re reading this article, you’re in the right place.

Unexpected Christmas Dangers for Dogs

There holidays are fun, and we love to include our dogs in our Christmas festivities! But, there could be some unexpected dangers we don’t usually think about… the main danger… batteries!


With all of those Christmas presents, some of them probably require batteries. Batteries are sometimes left on the floor. Or taken out of our children’s toys. Or awaiting placement inside a toy. But, this makes them easier for our dogs to get ahold of.

If your dog eats a battery, you’re likely going to be looking at surgery during the holidays. On top of being a foreign object in your dog’s body, there is a moderate to severe level of toxicity associated with batteries.

Then… there’s another scenario. What if your dog chews them up? The battery acid could result in chemical burns in your dog’s esophagus.

If you do have any type of poison emergency, you should call your veterinarian and/or the ASPCA hotline at 855-764-7661.

Chocolate is Toxic to Dogs

We all know there’s plenty of chocolate around at Christmas time. And although it affects all dogs differently, we don’t want to take the chance that our dog will be the one it affects.

There’s a chemical called theobromine in chocolate. It’s toxic to dogs. And, can cause complications even from consuming the smallest amount.

The darker the chocolate, the higher the theobromine content.

Xylitol in Many Sweets

Chocolate isn’t the only candy that presents a danger. Other sweets may contain a common sweetener known as Xylitol. It’s not harmful to us, but can be extremely toxic to our dogs.

Sweets, chewing gums, mouthwashes and toothpaste all contain Xylitol.

Xylitol stimulates the release of excess insulin from the pancreas resulting in low blood sugar, and even liver damage.

Signs of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, lethargic behavior or coma. The signs might not be immediately noticeable.

Extra Tips

  • If you have a natural Christmas tree, don’t let your dog drink the water in the stand. The pine sap in the water can be dangerous if ingested.
  • The tinsel can also be dangerous. If your dog ingests tinsel, there are all kinds of complications that could occur.
  • Don’t leave candles lying around. The candles could easily be knocked over when your dog is playing… or even just walking by.
  • Keep your dogs away from the poinsettias as they can cause upset stomach and vomiting if ingested.

War Dog: A Soldier’s Best Friend

Channing Tatum has released his documentary, “War Dog: A Soldier’s Best Friend,” just in time for Veteran’s Day November 11, 2017. The documentary is set to be released on HBO for all who are waiting to watch.

The purpose of the documentary is to help more people develop more appreciation for the bond war dogs and their handlers share. The bond is unlike any other, and it goes beyond taking on tasks… they save each other’s lives.

Tatum showed scenes of dogs in combat, as well as personal in-depth interviews with their handlers, to help watchers understand what really happens ‘behind the scenes.’

One of the featured guests is Dave Nielson, a former Delta Force operator, whose war dog went missing in Iraq, and is still MIA years later.

To learn more, click here.