Tipp vet challenges recent survey that says dogs can cry tears of joy

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A Tipperary vet is sceptical of a recent study that says dogs cry tears of joy.

In response to the study that said dogs can well up with happiness when their owners come home, Mairead Leahy of Arra Vets Tipp Town said she thinks this is adrenaline rather than oxytocin, which the article attributes the tears to.

She says, in her experience, dogs tend to get excited when reuniting with their owners, and oxytocin would produce a more relaxed emotional state.

Mairead says people often tend to “humanise” dogs and forget that they are more “black and white” about things than humans.

“I think we can humanise. I don’t think they experience emotions like that, like we do. They’re very black and white. They’re not at home thinking, “oh I’m going to pee in her room because she’s gone away”.

“I don’t believe that myself. Now, there is ‘jealousy’ between dogs, but I wouldn’t describe it as jealousy. They’re both fighting for the same source; they both want your love; they want your food.

“I don’t think they plot and plan. We would let dogs go home here an awful lot; we’d see the waggy bum and the pure happiness, but I haven’t experienced that.”