Summary: In this blog, learn why dogs wink and what it means when a dog winks at you…
Why Do Dogs Wink?
If you’ve caught your dog winking at you (where one eye closes temporarily, but the other stays open), this can be for a variety of reasons:
The eyelid has temporarily spasmed; the technical term is “canine blepharospasm” and may appear as a wink, a quick twitch, or a blink.
The eye may be irritated; if some dust, dirt, or a chemical is in their eye, they may appear to be winking quite frequently. If it’s very uncomfortable for your dog, they may even attempt to rub it on furniture or with their paws. They should see a vet if this is happening so your vet can help clean and clear the eye of the irritant.
It may be entropion; if the dog in question is a flat-faced breed (for example, a Boston Terrier or Pug), it could be entropion. Entropion is where the upper or lower eyelid flips inward and in turn, this results in the eyelashes rubbing against the eyeball. This is most common in brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds as their eyes tend to bulge more. They will need professional veterinary intervention if this happens.
They’re being submissive; when two dogs stare at each other this is considered a sign of imminent aggressive behavior. However, if you and your dog are staring at each other and they break eye contact by blinking, turning away, or winking, this may be them acknowledging that you’re their master and they want you to know they don’t want to be aggressive toward you.
They’re attention seeking; if you’ve made a fuss of them for winking at you before, they may have learned that they get a reward of attention for winking and may be doing it again to reap the same reaction! Alternatively, because dogs are very smart, they may be simply copying you, as this can be a common thing dogs do – perhaps you’ve seen your dog yawn when you yawn or want to eat when you eat? The same thing could be happening here.
If your dog is winking excessively, or their eye appears sore or irritated in any way, they should see a vet. But, if it’s just the occasional wink, you probably have nothing to worry about!
Author Kirk, Jess DVM “Do Dogs Wink?” Vet Explains Pets https://vetexplainspets.com/why-do-dogs-wink/