Why Do Dogs Wink? All The Things Your Dog’s Eyes Say

In the absence of verbalization, the eyes become very expressive. The “talking eyes” pattern is not only evident in the human population; the canines are also taking up the lead from their human families. Today, we can talk about what is known as the “puppy dog eyes” through which dogs communicate with their human families. So, why do dogs wink?

Winking in dogs can mean a lot of things, from a show of happiness to a display of submission. However, it may sometimes be an indication of something serious like a severe health condition that can lead to blindness. Thus pet parents who observe excessive blinking in their furbabies are advised to call on the vet to rule out serious eye problems such as glaucoma. We explore the various reasons why dogs wink.

Different Reasons Why Dogs Wink

Winking and blinking the eyes might be natural but can also have underlying causes. So, for the sake of your dog’s health, pay attention to the consistency in their blinking habits.

Blinking In Dogs May Be An Attention-seeking Behavior

Most dogs are intelligent thus, they are fast learners. If a particular behavior is often rewarded with praises and treats, an intelligent dog would know that a repetition would bring more rewards. Thus, pet parents that reward a dog when it blinks may likely see a repetition of the behavior just to get your attention and probably more treats.

Your Pooch May Just Be Imitating Your

A good reason for winking in dogs is that they must have observed their owners do the same. Given that the canine population harbors some level of intelligence, they may learn to repeat whatever they observe their owners do. Usually, you may be ignorant of the fact that your pet is imitating your behavior as they follow the same routine as you like resting when you do, sleeping when you do, and getting excited because you are. With time, this tacit imitation may become evident in little gestures.

Such dogs that love to imitate their owners will also wink if the pet parent has the habit of winking. Imitation behaviors have proved to have some benefits, especially when training a dog to imbibe new behaviors. For instance, it works perfectly with rescue dogs that you wish to reintegrate into a new home. Just take the lead and your pooch will follow. It is even better in a multi-pet household where the older dog will become the role model for the rescue dog.

Happiness In A Dog Can Be Expressed Through Winking

When a dog is angry, it is not likely to play, but a pup that is submissive would love to indulge in some playtime and have loads of fun in the process. The happier your furbaby is, the more it will likely wink at you.

Winking As A Sign Of Submission

Among members of the canine population, dominance can be expressed by eye contact. Pet parents who run a muli-pet household will attest to the fact that dog fights are always preceded by intense staring that lasts for a while. Breaking the eye contact among these furry beings is regarded as an act of submission and if neither of the two contending pups deems it necessary to let down their guard, a fight for dominance will ensue.

Conversely, when a dog stares at its owner, its intention is not to fight and when this stare is reciprocated by the parent, your canine companion may either wink at you or look down. This points to the dog’s recognition of the parent as the pack leader. The purpose of the wink is not just to break the stare, it is also a form of keeping the peace

Your Dog May Be Indulging In Some Playtime Activity

Paying is another possible cause of winking in dogs. A submissive dog will often engage in playing and winking may naturally occur. Pups that are more likely to wag their tails and roll on the ground during playtime may wink the most.

Medical Causes

Take a winking dog to vet to rule out serious health conditions image source

When the entire aforementioned are ruled out, another possible reason why your four-legged buddy may take to winking is health issues. An occasional blink may not be taken seriously but when the blinking continues, dog owners should check if it is coming from one eye in particular and also look out for some accompanying discharge.

Another sign that the blinking is not just a form of communication is if your pup begins to rub the eye intermittently. At this point, your bet is to schedule a visit with your local vet.

Some Health Issues Associated With Reasons Dogs Wink

1. Entropion

The most notable eye condition that can lead to constant blinking in dogs is a genetic condition known as entropion. Habitual winking and blinking in several members of the canine population have been laid at the doorstep of entropion and it is commonly seen among pups with short noses and plump faces; the Chow Chow is a good example.

Entropion is an uncomfortable condition that leads to a dog’s eyes flipping inward. The reason for the winking and blinking is usually to assuage accompanying pain, discomfort, as well as irritation. Experts have proved that entropion can come with severe pain which if not treated on time can result in more severe health issues such as ulcerated corneas or at worst blindness.

There is no proven DIY remedy for entropion, thus, a vet should be consulted when pet owners suspect entropion as the condition needs surgery for correction.

Read Also: 10 Outstanding Tricolor Dog Breeds

2. Dry Eyes (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca)

The layman’s term for Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca is the dry eye; this occurs when a dog’s tear gland malfunctions, resulting in lesser production of tears. This is the major reason why KCS occurs. The condition can be evident in one eye or it can affect both, and the natural instinct that follows KCS is blinking.

3. Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Conjunctivitis among the canine population is quite distinct from what the humans experience; however, the symptoms may have similarities. Pink eye can be a resultant effect of several diseases such as viral or bacterial infection, but they are easy to detect and also easy to treat. A quick trip to your local vet will take care of the issue. When a dog’s eye is infected with conjunctivitis, dry eye and itchiness set in and constant winking may be observed on the infected eye.

4. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition where a dog experiences excessive fluid in the eye, leading to pressure in that particular eye. The major symptom of Glaucoma is watery eyes and when the eye is suffused with fluid, the dog tends to wink or blink in a bid to clear the excessive liquid. Glaucoma is a serious condition that may end in blindness, thus, calls for urgent veterinary attention.

5. Irritants In The Eye

When irritants such as dust, dirt, and particles find their way into a dog’s eye, it usually results in blinking.

error: Content is protected !!