Why do Chihuahuas cry?
We discovered that our Chihuahua Bella cried real tears each time we returned home after a long trip and after we picked her up from the pet hostel.
The moment we brought her home, she would snuggle close to my husband, look at him with watery eyes, and make a sound deep in her throat that indicated sobbing or crying.
Yes, some Chihuahuas actually cry and they even produce tears. However, not all types of crying is ‘emotional’. Sometimes, Chis could have eye issues, blocked tear duct, and other health problems that could lead to crying real tears.
Let us find out various reasons behind why do Chihuahuas cry.
Why Do Chihuahuas Cry? The Short Answer
First of all, do Chihuahuas (and dogs in general) cry?
Yes, there have been numerous videos showing dogs crying. So yes, Chihuahuas can cry too and it usually is an indication of sorrow. Sometimes though, the crying could be a sign of relief or joy.
However, not all ‘tears in dogs’ are indicative of emotions. Some Chihuahuas cry when they have some health issues – especially vision problems. The tears help remove foreign objects or lubricate the eyes.
In the next section, I will discuss the reasons why Chihuahuas cry.
Why Do Chihuahuas Cry? The Long Answer
Chihuahuas could cry and produce real tears for the following reasons mainly related to their vision:
1. Blocked tear ducts
If you find your adult Chihuahua crying and producing tears, then it could be an eye discharge due to blocked tear ducts.
In this case, your Chihuahua’s eyes might water continuously due to a blockage and that might even help remove the foreign body or lubricate dry eyes. A trip to the vet can help resolve the issue and stop these ‘tears’.
Many times, Chihuahuas with allergies could have constant tears spilling out of their eyes. As a pet owner, you will notice this right away since your dog will appear to cry without reason.
Allergies can also manifest in other different ways so the tears could be accompanied by red eyes, colored eye discharge, eye boogers, itchy skin, and so on.
3. Eye infections or abnormalities
In dogs, certain eye infections can also lead to teary eyes. These include conjunctivitis, epiphora, eyelid entropion, dry eye, cherry eye, etc.
See your vet right away if you suspect an infection to be the cause of your pet’s crying.
4. Scratched cornea
In addition to tears, if you see your Chihuahua constantly pawing its eye, scratching it, or there is redness, then it could be a result of scratched cornea.
Scratched cornea can occur in any dog although it is more common in active dogs that roam outdoors freely or in case of multi-dog/multi-pet household where another pet might have scratched the cornea during rough play.
5. Speck of dirt or eyelash in the eye
Dirt or a small speck of an eyelash in the eyes can also cause eye-watering or tearing in Chihuahuas. The eyes may be reddish and your pet might try to remove it by pawing its eyes continuously.
This type of watering of the eyes should stop as soon as the debris is out. If it doesn’t stop within a few hours, please see your vet.
Why do Chihuahuas Cry, Howl, and Whine?
Chihuahuas might cry, howl, and whine due to the following reasons:
1. New Chihuahua puppies often cry at night
Often, a new Chihuahua puppy might cry in its crate at night. If you have kept the crate in another room for the purpose of dog training your Chi to sleep by itself through the night, then it is bound to cry the first few nights.
A young puppy may be missing its mum and littermates and that can cause the crying bouts.
Many Chihuahuas also cry due to stress. It can happen due to various reasons such as during training if your pet is tired or even when you leave it home alone.
Stress can also occur due to inadequate exercise and mental stimulation. Both these factors can cause stress hormones to build up leading to tears, whining, shaking, yelping, and howling in Chihuahuas.
Chihuahuas often suffer from insecurity and many of these small dogs also lack self-confidence. This usually occurs in pets that haven’t been exposed to different people, dogs, or situations.
Resultantly, if such a dog is suddenly exposed to a new situation, it could feel insecure or under-confident. This can cause whining or howling although your pet might not produce tears.
Chihuahuas cry when their owners leave them for prolonged periods with a pet sitter or at the dog boarding facility.
This type of dog crying could result in actual tears. However, many experts believe that dogs are not capable of producing real tears. They say that, although dogs do have tear duct, unlike in humans, they do not cause the tears to spill out, instead, they drain it down the throat.
Sorrow can also occur due to the passing away of another house pet, a beloved human, etc.
5. Loneliness and anxiety
Separation anxiety could cause Chihuahuas to cry and whine all day when they are left alone. This may not produce real tears.
It typically occurs in dogs that are not used to being left home alone for prolonged periods of time.
6. Pain or illness
Some Chihuahuas with underlying health issues and chronic pain might also whine or howl at times. However, most dogs usually cry only when they experience an acute or a sharp, shooting pain.
If your otherwise healthy Chi suddenly starts whimpering, see your vet. Do not ignore this type of crying behavior.
7. When it wants something
Many a times, dogs cry when their needs aren’t met. Chihuahuas particularly are always attention-hungry and they want to be with their owners all the time.
If the owner happens to ignore them, they might cry to get their attention. Some other times, your pet might want to go potty or may be hungry or wants its treat. Even a dog that wants to nap might cry and whine if it doesn’t get to rest.
Older Chihuahuas might also cry, whine, or howl due to age-related dementia or senility. This occurs due to cognitive problems that give rise to confusion, anxiety, and stress. Ask a vet to help your pet with some medication.
9. For inviting other dogs
In the wild, dogs live in packs. Resultantly, our domesticated dogs might howl or cry when they want to invite or alert their fellow dogs about something. In case of dogs left alone, their howling and crying hopes to bring you back home!
10. To set their territory
Chihuahuas are extremely territorial and protective about their homes. They might howl and cry to warn other dogs or strangers around them to stay away.
Howling is their way of setting their boundary.
11. When they discover something
Chis might even howl, whine, or cry to alert you to something. This form of tearless crying is used to alert the owner to something they have discovered.
12. Trigger events
In some Chihuahuas, crying and howling might be triggered by some music, some event, certain sounds, etc. Your dog might suddenly howl or start barking when it hears something. It might simply be a form of communication or celebration.
How to Stop Your Chihuahua’s Crying?
Here are some tips to stop your Chihuahuas crying, tears, howling, whimpering, and whining:
1. Crate train your pet
Crate training is one of the best ways to desensitize your pet to staying alone.
A crate provides your fur baby with a quiet and secure place to rest. All dogs like to sleep in secure conditions and a crate is one of the best tools for the job.
Here are some steps for crate training:
- Start crate training with house training
- Make the crate comfortable and secure for your puppy. Add in toys, water, and food bowls, etc.
- In the beginning, crate your pet for small durations. Slowly increase until your Chihuahua is able to stay in the crate for several hours at night.
- Always let your pet relieve itself before crating it.
- Place the crate where you can see it and your pet can see you.
2. Make your pet feel more secure
In case your Chihuahua cries due to insecurities or anxiety, then make it feel more secure by spending time with it when you are home. Snuggle and cuddle with it often. Make it feel safe and take it along with you wherever you can.
3. Exercise and mentally stimulate it
A bored Chihuahua is more susceptible to crying, howling, and whining. If you are unsure whether your pet is getting adequate exercise, check out our guide on how much exercise does a Chihuahua need.
In addition to physical exercise, also stimulate your pet mentally by providing it with puzzles, interactive toys, etc. You can also enroll your buddy in agility classes, obedience school, etc.
4. Remove sources of stress/fear
Make your Chihuahua feel safe and loved. As far as possible, remove sources of stress and fear. If your pet has separation anxiety, try not to leave it home alone for long periods. If need be, hire a pet sitter to watch your pet.
You can also close doors and windows to eliminate loud noises that could scare your tiny dog.
5. Feed it a good diet
A well-fed puppy and adult Chihuahua will not have nutritional deficiencies. Also, a well-fed dog is more likely to have fewer health issues and hence less proclivity to crying.
Check out best dog food for Chihuahua.
6. Treat underlying painful conditions
Prevent your dog’s tears and crying by treating chronic pain. In older dogs, feed your pet luxating patella supplements to improve mobility, reduce pain, and prevent further wear and tear of the joints.
7. Treat eye problems
See your vet for your pet’s constant eye tearing and discharge. In case of scratched cornea, your vet might recommend some medicines to speed up healing.
8. Ignore it when it is attention-seeking
Sometimes, Chihuahuas cry for attention and by giving them attention, you end up encouraging the behavior.
So the best way to prevent your Chihuahua’s crying is by ignoring it (as long as your pet is fed and exercised).
9. Do not punish or scold
Never physically punish, shout, or hit your pet as this would only worsen the crying and howling. Remember: Chihuahuas are sensitive dogs and they are crying for your love, attention, or for wanting something. Punishment will not help the situation.
FAQs on Why do Chihuahuas Cry?
1. Why do Chihuahuas tear so much?
Chihuahuas tend to produce tears due to eye infections, dry eyes, foreign objects or eyelashes in the eye, and even due to underlying health issues, pain, anxiety, or stress.
Sometimes, tears help them improve visual clarity, lubricate their eyes, or prevent their eyes from drying. Please see you vet to evaluate the cause of chronic tearing in Chihuahuas.
2. Why does my Chihuahua look so sad?
Often, a Chihuahua owner might think that his/her dog looks sad. This is usually due to their own guilt and not necessarily because the dog is actually feeling sad. Some dogs have a permanent scowl and their small noses and big eyes might make them look sad although they aren’t necessarily feeling so.
3. Do Chihuahuas get sad when you yell at them?
Yelling at dogs does not solve any problems and yes, it could make your Chihuahua feel sad. Shouting and using an angry tone of voice can also impact dogs longer than the yelling actually lasts.
Also, constant shouting and yelling could make your small dog shy, timid, or even aggressive. It can even cause behavioral issues in pets.
Why do Chihuahuas cry?
Chihuahuas tend to cry to lubricate their eyes or remove a speck of dirt lodged in the eye. Some Chis also cry when they are feeling lonely, sad, or bored.
In dogs, crying real tears is often an indication of an eye issue such as epiphora, entropion, or scratched cornea.
On the other hand, howling, whining, whimpering, and crying could signal want of attention even stress or anxiety. Please see your vet to evaluate the exact cause of crying and tearing in your Chi.