Last Updated : November 9, 2022

Why do dogs wink

A wink is probably one of the cutest things that you love the most about your dog. Whatever his breed might be, that tiny flick of his eyelid is enough to make you smile. And maybe you are wondering why your dog does that. Why do dogs wink in the first place?

What is winking?

Your dog is winking if he quickly closes and opens one of his eyes, with the other eye remaining wide open. This is different from blinking where your dog will close and open both of his eyes fast. Blinking is quite common among most dogs and there is nothing special about it. Winking, on the other hand, can be very rare among dogs.

Why do dogs wink

Why do dogs wink at you?

There are many reasons why dogs wink although most of them are joyful. However, there are also other reasons that may require more attention.  

The normal joyful reasons for a dog’s wink shouldn’t cause you any worry. These can include the following:

1. Human imitation

Canines can be very good when it comes to imitating the behavior of others. This means that if you often wink at your dog, you might soon see him winking right back at you!

2. Happiness

Dogs convey their happiness through doing joyful things. Your dog might be winking at you because he feels mentally and physically comfortable.

3. A sign of peace

For dogs that confront each other, a wink is often a symbol of peace. If your dog stares and winks at you, it can symbolize peace and submission.

4. Seeking attention

Dogs and pets, in general, crave the attention of their owners and they can give you different signals, particularly if they are desperate for it. They might wink at you just to get your attention.

Unfortunately, the reasons why dogs wink is not always positive and joyful. For all you know, your dog might be suffering from an eye infection and feels uncomfortable because of it. Here are a few health reasons for winking in dogs that require medical attention right away.

5. Dry eyes

Dry eyes occur when your dog’s tear glands turn dry and fail to produce the necessary tears for watering the eyes. This makes the eyes dry, causing your dog to wink or blink in an uncomfortable way.

6. Entropion

Entropion is a genetic issue common in canines. This is an uncomfortable and painful condition where the dog’s eyelids move inward and rub against each other. This condition begins from a simple inch but can lead to ulcer formation over time. While different dog breeds can suffer from this condition, the most vulnerable one is the brachycephalic breed.

7. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition that is the exact opposite of dry eyes. Once a tear gland of the dog produces excess tears, your pup’s eyes are going to feel watery. As a result, your pet might blink or wink to get rid of excess water from the eyelid. This condition requires immediate treatment or else, this may lead to blindness.

8. Irritants

Dirt or dust can irritate your pet’s eyes and they may start to wink or blink fast when it happens. Dogs tend to sniff a lot and it is why dust sometimes gets into their eyes, causing irritation. 

There are still many serious eye conditions that can be the reason why your dog winks. It is best to visit your vet if the winks have become too constant or you notice other symptoms.  

Why do dogs wink with one eye?

If your dog winked both of his eyes, this won’t be a wink in the first place. Instead, this is going to be a blink.  A blink is winking both eyes while winking only involves one eye. This means that if your pet wants to wink, let him do so. 

Why do dogs sometimes wink?

Why Do Dogs Sometimes Wink

There are several reasons why dogs wink sometimes. The most common one is because dogs want some attention. They know that their owners will praise and coo them if they wink.

Another reason is that this is their way of showing submission. If you hold eye contact with someone else, this is deemed as a way of showing positive emotions. But, if you observe your pets, you will notice that prolonged eye contact is often an indication that they will be pouncing on each other.

This is a behavior common in canines and felines. They have short eye contact, with one jumping and starting the fight. But, if a human sustains eye contact with his dog, the dog often breaks the connection with a wink or blink. It indicates your dog’s submission and deference to you as his owner.

Dogs can also wink sometimes as their way of expressing happiness. It may be a baffling thought but dogs wink because they are happy.  In fact, you might even notice your dog winking sometimes when he plays with you or other pets. It more commonly occurs if a dog feels happier.

Finally, when you and your pet got some good bonding, it is likely for your dog to start imitating some of your actions such as winking.  If you often playfully wink at Fido, you will soon notice him picking up the habit over time.

Why do dogs wink a lot?

More often than not, there is no need for you to worry about your dog’s winks. However, for some dog breeds, winking a lot might be an indication of something more serious, which is entropion.

The eyelids of canines suffering from entropion flip inwards to the eye that can cause irritation, discomfort, and that irresistible urge to wink or blink. Once left untreated, the eyelid’s rubbing on the eye surface may lead to vision problems and ulcers. 

Entropion is one type of hereditary disorder normally affecting puppies under one year of age. However, this can also develop in dogs of all ages, particularly after injury or trauma to the eye area.

Short-nosed and fleshy-faced dog breeds like Pugs and Chow Chows have higher risks of developing entropion. But, many other dog breeds are also prone to this, including Pit Bulls, Poodles, Huskies, and Golden Retrievers.

The good news is that it is easy to correct entropion with a series of a couple of surgeries. The initial surgery is the one that is more invasive and its purpose is to reverse the eyelid’s inward rolling. The second surgery is more minor and this ensures that the eyelid doesn’t roll outward instead.

Now that you know why your dog winks at you, always keep an eye out to ensure that he does it because he is happy, and not because he doesn’t feel well.

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