Yes, dogs can wink. As a matter of fact, they have been doing this more frequently than you may believe. Why do dogs wink? Well, there is not just one answer and we will have to investigate and explain a few main options. Keep in mind that your dog may do this for a completely different, mysterious reason.
Wink: What Is It?
Why do dogs wink is a common question? But, to understand the answer, you need to know what wink is. Yes, most of you know but let’s define the action. This is a state in which one eye is completely open while the other is closed for a short period of time. This means a lot among humans and it has been present for millenniums. But, in different cultures and different parts of the globe, wink has a completely different meaning.
Dogs wink in order to communicate with you or due to something else, as you shall see below. Anyway, it is an interesting action and most dog owners just love it.
Reasons Why Do Dogs Will Wink
As you may know already, there are a few reasons why dogs wink. These are harmless and they may be caused by your dog wanting to communicate with you or he has a problem. Let’s explain all of the reasons and help you understand why your pet does this.
1. Shows his submission
If your pet is submissive and most probably is (you are an alpha) he will look down when you look at him. But first, he will wink and then he will move the sight away from you. He may look at you in a ‘’stealth’’ way so you don’t see this.
The actual wink here is used to show submission. Maybe it sounds weird and contradictory, but dogs do not use facial expressions in the same way as we do. The best example is looking at the eyes. In humans, it is a sign of respect and it is an engaging expression. In dogs, this is a sign of aggression and dominance. Dogs who do this are likely going to have a fight.
Keep in mind that in order to have a proper relationship with your dog, you must be the alpha and he must be beta. This is mandatory. Only then your pet will obey you and you will have a wonderful dog. If he believes that the situation is the other way around, he won’t obey you. Your pet will believe that you must obey him.
2. He is in pain
Yes, your dog may wink due to pain. In most cases, he will do this when a hair or dust is inside the eye so he wants to remove it. He may also do this when a chemical came in contact with the eye such as bleach. If this is the case, you will see your pet rubbing the affected eye all the time and closing it as long as he can.
There is a condition known as entropion. This happens when the short hair on the eyelid is touching the eye and scratching it. The eyelid itself is affected and it moved inwards. This is a condition where your dog needs help from a vet. If a dog wink all the time, for a long period of time, he needs help.
3. He mimics you
Here is another, interesting reason why some dogs wink at you occasionally. He mimics your behavior. If you have been winking at him all the time in the past, now he will do the same.
Dogs have been experts when it comes to mimicking. They only mimic their owners. You can see certain dogs eating when you do the same or even sleeping when you sleep. They will wink at you for the same reason, even if you don’t do it at the moment. Usually smaller breeds will do this.
4. He needs attention
If your pet wink at you occasionally and you know that he is very smart, this is the explanation. He will wink at you so he gets your attention. He may do this rarely or all the time. In a nutshell, he knows that doing certain things can help him get quality time with you. Basically, you will be thrilled and you will start playing with him. Winking is probably one of the best and simplest ways how your dog can get that attention.
Some dogs have learned that this will behavior will get them a prize. They will wink and do all kinds of things just so they can get a treat all the time. It is certainly appealing behavior and reveals the intelligence of your dog.
What You Should Do If Your Pet Winks All The Time?
You may have a dog who winks at you all the time. He will do this almost every single hour and he may rub his eye, cover it, or something else. He may be depressed or just sad as well.
The first thing you should do is to inspect the eye and make sure there is nothing inside it. If there is, remove it. If you notice redness and weeping are present as well, contact your vet as soon as you can. These may be symptoms of some health-related issues that have affected the eye and professional help is needed. In most cases, it is perfectly harmless and it may be a small injury that will be sorted out within hours. But, in some other cases, it may be a painful condition that will require proper treatment.
The Final Word
Why do dogs wink occasionally? Are they in pain? The bottom line is that they use this as a facial expression, which it is. They are smart and they like impressing their owners. In rare cases winking may be caused by a health issue or an injury and you will need to take him to the vet. Luckily this happens rarely.
If you liked this article, please read my other article Leaving A Blind Dog Alone Safely.