Dogs are believed to be highly attuned to the feelings of their masters. One of the reasons why dogs are universally dubbed as man’s best friends is because of the comfort these animals offer their human friends. It would seem as if dogs know when the master is feeling down. Do dogs really feel affection? Does the adoring expression on the dog’s face when it looks at the master an expression of love? Are the wet streaks on the dog’s face signs that the dog mourning for the death of the master is crying? Dog owners that have formed a close bond with the pet would attest to the fact that dogs do have emotions - that dogs really cry. However, scientific research refutes the common belief that these animals really do have emotions. Happiness, sadness and other emotions manifested by the dog is attributed to the long association dogs have with humans. Dogs are intelligent animals but they don’t have the capability to view the world in a human’s perspective thus shedding of tears because of an emotional situation is impossible.
Dogs though can cry but the two wet streaks down the pet’s face are not emotional tears. Dogs, like humans produce tears because they have tear glands and tear ducts. Tears’ main function is to lubricate the eyeball to prevent the various mucus membranes of the eyes from drying out. Tears have antibacterial and antiviral agents that protect the eyes from infection. The lacrimal fluid that is continuously being secreted by the glands has another important function, that of washing off micro-organisms and foreign objects from the surface of the dog’s eyeball. Normally, the fluid produced by the lacrimal glands that bathes the eyes should not overflow. From the nasolacrimal duct, the fluid should pass through the nasal chamber. Genetic and environmental factors can prevent the fluid from reaching the opening of the duct so that it would flow from the eyes down to the face of the dog.
Shedding tears can be a genetic concern. Dogs breeds like Pugs and Shih Tzus have more exposed bulging eyes. Prone to eye irritations, these dogs are known to tear excessively. Long haired dogs like Maltese, Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu are also predisposed to excessive tearing because the long fur that can get into the eyes would cause irritation. A dog can be born with a closed tear ducts or tear duct blockage can develop. These conditions that cause excessive tearing can be corrected with surgery. The dog’s excessive tearing can be due to environmental factors. Like humans, dogs too can be affected by pollens, dust and other allergens in the environment. Sensitivity to these allergens will result to itching, clogged nose and watery eyes. Pain associated with ear infections will make a dog very uncomfortable. Excessive tearing can be associated with ear infections.
Tear stains will mar the appearance of the pet. Unsightly tear stains are the common concerns of show dog owners. The brown or reddish tear stains would stand out especially if the dog is white coated. A dog with a tear stained face would not be less affectionate and loyal to the human family. However, pet owners would naturally want to maintain the eye catching appearance of the pet. So how would you remove the tear stains on your pet’s face? The first thing you need to do is to deal with the reason for the dog’s “crying”. The dog may need a surgical procedure to correct a congenital defect. A vet’s prescription for allergies will alleviate the pet’s discomfort caused by allergens. Removing tear stains from the facial hair of the pet can be easily achieved with a variety of tear removal products. Naturally, keeping the dog’s eye area clean and making sure that the eyes of the pet do not harboring foreign bodies will reduce excessive tearing.