Dogs are amazing creatures that can bring so much joy to the lives of humans. They have emotions of joy and sadness and a story we recently heard drives home how our actions can impact their feelings and emotional well-being. Before accepting responsibility for a dog, prospective pet owners should consider the long-term commitment they’re about to make and opt out if they’re unwilling or unable to provide a home for the animal’s lifespan.
Blue King the pitbull’s story
We heard about a pit bull named Blue King that cried when he was dropped off at the shelter. A video shows the heartbroken animal feeling sad as he sat in the cage at the high kill shelter in Gardena, California, as reported by Rumble. The Carson shelter is an alternative that saves as many dogs from unnecessary slaughter as possible. Blue King’s eyes were a window to what he felt inside as he sat there with tears streaming from his eyes. It is a scene that serves as evidence that animals feel love and they also feel intense sadness. The video clip shows Blue King at a low point in his life, but it ends happily with his new pet parents taking him from the shelter after completing the adoption process. Blue King found his forever home and we can see the joy he feels as he’s walked out of the shelter and prepares to go to his new home.
Experts confirm dogs have strong emotions
Emotions increase in complexity as humans age but we’re born with basic emotions that evolve as we age. Experts on dog behaviors explain that dogs experience some of the emotions that humans feel. Modern Magazine confirms that dogs have emotions and travel through developmental stages to achieve a range of emotions that are equivalent to a child under three years old. Some venture that dogs have the basic emotions of love, anger, disgust, joy, and fear, but they counter that canines do not develop complex emotions including shame, guilt, and pride. It’s believed that dogs that appear to show guilt or shame are showing evidence of a fear of punishment versus genuine guilt. Complex emotions are learned in humans later in a child’s development, but dogs don’t get to that level of evolution.
Do dogs cry?
We saw Blue King crying in the video clip posted, but are his tears because of sadness? Parade shares the opinions of veterinarians that explain if dogs can cry and if it is the same response that humans have to sadness. They confirm that dogs are capable of feeling sadness and other negative emotions, but the way that they cry differs from humans. Dogs can shed tears but it’s not because of emotions. Other physical responses cause tears to come from their eyes. The way that dogs cry is far different. They whimper and whine when they’re crying, but sadness does not cause tears to well in their eyes. Canine sadness is pressed through whimpering or whining, a lack of interest in the things they previously enjoyed, and dogs may also hide their faces from you or squint their eyes. If you see tears in your dog’s tear ducts the reason is likely because there is debris in the eyes that need washing away. Crying is a human response that is not common in the animal world. We’re the only species that cries tears.
What to do when your dog cries tears
If your dog’s eyes water frequently, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a vet for a checkup. Your pet could be experiencing allergies or other problems like an eye infection, a scratch or injury to the eye, or even corneal ulcers. Pets Web MD explains that a clear discharge from a dog’s eyes is likely from allergies or dust in his eyes. If the eye discharge comes from just one eye there is likely something in his eyes like dust or some other foreign body. If there is coloring in the fluids coming from his eyes, he may have an infection that has the potential to become dangerous. If his eyes are red or inflamed, he blinks often, or if there is crust in his eyes, it is probably time to take him in for a checkup. Some watering of the eyes is normal and presents no cause for concern. When it becomes consistent, recurring, or leads to other physical symptoms, it needs to be checked out by your animal healthcare professional. Some more serious eye infections can be conjunctivitis, dry eye, tumors, or distemper. Most of the time, the causes are highly treatable conditions. Your vet may prescribe allergy medications or salve for the dog’s eyes to heal infections.
Blue King’s crying video makes us sad for him, but the dog probably wasn’t shedding tears because of the intense sadness he was feeling at the time. Dogs can feel sad and cry, but it doesn’t produce tears like humans. You can hurt your dog’s feelings or make him unhappy. You can even make him cry, but if you see tears in his eyes, it is for a reason other than emotions. Tears are not a canine response to sadness. All animals experience watering eyes for normal and healthy reasons. Dogs, like humans, have tear ducts for keeping the eyes clear and free of debris, but excessive tearing could be a sign of infection or other eye problems. We don’t doubt that Blue King was feeling sad because of the abandonment of his owners, but it likely didn’t cause the tearing of his eyes. In his case, it was a temporary thing that coincided with his sadness, but he wasn’t shedding tears because of sadness.