Why Dogs Tear Up

Animals, in this case dogs, actually have a lot of physiological reactions in common with human beings. That being said, it's not exactly clear if they actually do it to express their feeling just like humans. 
Why Dogs Tear Up

Last update: 10 September, 2018

If you a first time dog owner and have noticed your dog’s eyes tearing up, you probably don’t know why it happens or what to do. Sometimes insignificant things like this happen to your pet, but it’s normal for you to worry if you are unaware of what’s taking place. So, continue reading to find out why dogs tear up.

Do dogs cry or tear up?

You’ve probably also noticed that your dog isn’t an exception. All dogs have markings under their eyes, which is a sign that they are tearing almost all the time. The question is whether dogs can cry, or if they just naturally tear up.

Even though animal lovers say dogs and all other species have feelingsthat doesn’t mean they show it by tearing up. Human beings are the only species that shed tears when they are sad.

If you think about what “crying” is just the act of shedding tears. While it’s true that dogs also shed tears , they do it without having any feelings. What this means is that dogs don’t cry, they just tear up.

A dog tearing up

Why dogs tear up

Below you can find several of why dogs tear up:

Blocked tear ducts

A lot of dogs are born with blocked tear ducts, which makes it seem like they’re always tearing up. Due to the fact of being incapable to get rid of their tears, the fluid builds up in their eyelids and abruptly overflows.

This is easy to solve with a minor surgerybut a lot of vets don’t recommend it, because it’s common for it happening all over again.


A dog’s breed might be another factor that cause him to tear up because this genetic factor determines the shape of the tears and how much they build up. Dogs with big eyes tear up more than dogs with smaller eyes.  Big dogs require more water, which means their eyes secrete more fluid.

Other breeds with fur on their face can tear up a lot too, because the fur irritates their eyes.

Pink eye

Another reason why your dog’s eyes tear up is conjunctivitis. It’s easy to spot because your dog’s eyes won’t look normal. When your dog naturally tears up, he will still be happy, healthy, and look great. However, if he has pink eye, his eyes will be red, closed up, and he won’t that much energy.

A dog with pink eye


Allergies are another reason why your dog tears up. It can be food-related or take place due to other factor. It’s a bodily reaction that works as a defense mechanism against things that irritate the body. 

Just like pink eye, your dog’s eyes might be red and swollen, but he will likewise experience sneezing and other symptoms. If this is happening to your dog, then you should take him to a vet so he/she can figure out what kind of allergy is bothering him.

What to do if your dog’s eyes tear up

The first thing you should do is clean his eyes with clean water. Once you’ve done that, make sure there’s nothing in his eyes that might be causing him to tear. If there is, you can use cold chamomile tea or a saline solution to deep clean the eye area and bring your dog relief.

Always remember to look out for any changes taking place in your dog. The faster you act the better. It’s your responsibility to take care of your pet and provide him a good quality of life.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.