What Does it Mean When A Dog Winks At You?

In this blog, learn why dogs wink and what it means when a dog winks at you.

Oct 10, 2023·3 min read
What Does it Mean When A Dog Winks At You?

We know dogs can stare at you occasionally, and we know dogs follow you sometimes for a variety of reasons, but what does it mean when your 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.  

A white Akita puppy winking

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. 

Dog Winking 

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/  

Sarah MiltonS

Sarah Milton

Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!

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The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
*In Amazon Pet Health Category in 2022
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