It is common for us to ask ourselves about the feelings of our pets: do dogs cry for sadness? There is no doubt that dogs have the ability to feel various emotions. Until now, Science has demonstrated the ability of dogs to feel joy, fear, anger and disgust.
Currently, experts have not demonstrated in dogs the ability to manifest more complex emotions such as shame, pride and guilt.
The production of tears in dogs
Apart from science, we who have pets know without a doubt that dogs and cats have real feelings, as powerful as ours.
Having said that, it should be noted that Dogs anatomically possess all the tissue necessary to produce tears. Similar to all mammals, dogs’ eyes need tears to bathe the surface to help their eyes function properly.
In dogs, the tear ducts drain the fluid into the throat and nose area instead of spilling.
In this way, The shedding of tears does not occur in response to strong emotions. Instead, dogs shed tears as a natural reaction to the irritants in their eyes. So, if a dog seems to be crying, there may be something wrong that needs a veterinarian to check.
Dogs do not cry in the sense that they shed tears for emotions, but their eyes have the ability to produce tears when they are irritated.
What do watery eyes mean in the dog?
If we see that the eyes of the dogs cry, we must bear in mind that it can happen as a result of several medical conditions. The medical term for excessive tear outbreak is ‘epiphora’; It happens, for example, if a dog’s tear ducts become clogged and therefore tears are shed.
Excessive tears may also be the result of eye trauma from rubbing the eyelashes in the dog’s eye or perhaps from a scratch on the cornea.
How do dogs express emotions?
Dogs use other means to express their emotions, such as a happy tail that wiggles or show sad and trimmed ears. Some dogs also have the strange ability to show sad faces.
As many of us know, Puppies cry, but in the form of different vocalizations – with whining more like distress calls – when they are very young and need the care of their mother. This ‘crying’ has also been demonstrated in rat pups.
As the puppies grow, they can still ‘cry’ in childhood in the form of whining. Apparently, these vocalizations have proven adaptive and useful to the point of being preserved until adulthood.
In adult dogs, these moans often turn to us. No wonder that many canine behavior professionals feel that the whining of Dogs suffering from separation anxiety mimic the crying of puppies that feel separated from the mother.
The canine vocal repertoire for complaints
In the dogs, whimpers and howls may also have had a evolutionary advantage. For example, to prevent parents from moving away; or in cases of games between members of a litter, if any of them play too roughly, their playmate may ‘cry’ screaming and abruptly withdraw from the game, while the partner, in response, learns to resort to less harsh tactics when it comes to play
The ethical side of considering animal emotions
While common sense should make us recognize that animals can think, feel and suffer, Until today scientists have always denied that we can know what animals are experiencing.
This has led to an arrogant attitude towards animal use, animal pain and the moral questions they pose. As a result, not only the animals used in scientific research have suffered, but also the same science, because not paying enough attention to the feelings of the animals can distort the results of the experiments in which they are used.
Fortunately, the increase in social concern for animals, including the scientific sector, at least in some parts of the world, is forcing science to return to the vision of common sense. Beyond science, recognizing animal suffering has been key to understanding the dimension of the problem of abandonment and animal abuse.
We tell you details of a device that, attached to the hairy tail, works as an emotion translator for dogs. Read more “