Why Do Dog’s Eyes Water When Eating?

If you’re a dog owner, you may have noticed that your furry friend’s eyes tend to water when they eat. While this may seem unusual or concerning, it is actually a common occurrence in many dogs. There are several reasons why dogs’ eyes water when they eat, ranging from simple physiological responses to more serious underlying issues. In this article, we will explore the possible causes of watery eyes in dogs during mealtime and address some frequently asked questions on the topic.

Possible Causes of Watery Eyes in Dogs When Eating:

1. Overproduction of tears: Dogs produce tears to keep their eyes lubricated and protect them from debris. During mealtime, the act of chewing and swallowing can stimulate tear production, leading to watery eyes.

2. Allergies: Just like humans, dogs can have allergies that cause their eyes to water. Some common food allergies in dogs can trigger an allergic reaction, resulting in watery eyes during meals.

3. Blocked tear ducts: If your dog’s tear ducts are partially or completely blocked, tears may not drain properly from the eyes. This can cause excessive tearing during eating.

4. Eye irritation: Certain ingredients or additives in your dog’s food may irritate their eyes, leading to increased tear production. Chemical preservatives or spices can sometimes cause this reaction.

5. Breed predisposition: Some dog breeds, such as Pugs or Shih Tzus, are more prone to watery eyes due to their facial structure. Their shorter snouts can cause tears to overflow more easily, especially during mealtime.

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6. Eye infections: In some cases, watery eyes when eating may be a sign of an eye infection. Conjunctivitis or other eye infections can cause excessive tearing, along with redness and discharge.

7. Dental issues: Dogs with dental problems, such as gum disease or tooth decay, may experience discomfort or pain while eating. This can lead to excessive tearing as a result of irritation.

8. Nasal congestion: If your dog has a respiratory infection or allergy, it may experience nasal congestion. This can cause excess tear production as the eyes and nose are connected.

9. Dry eye syndrome: While less common, some dogs may suffer from a condition called dry eye syndrome, where tear production is insufficient. Paradoxically, this can result in watery eyes when eating.

10. Eye trauma: Injuries to the eye or surrounding area can cause increased tearing, especially when your dog is chewing or swallowing food.

11. Underlying health issues: Occasionally, watery eyes during meals can be indicative of underlying health problems like glaucoma, cataracts, or corneal ulcers. If you notice persistent or severe symptoms, it is essential to consult a veterinarian.

FAQs about Watery Eyes in Dogs When Eating:

1. Is it normal for a dog’s eyes to water while eating?
Yes, it is relatively common for a dog’s eyes to water during mealtime due to tear production stimulation.

2. Are certain breeds more prone to watery eyes when eating?
Yes, certain breeds with shorter snouts, like Pugs or Shih Tzus, are more predisposed to watery eyes due to their facial structure.

3. Should I be concerned if my dog’s eyes water excessively while eating?
If the tearing is excessive, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms, it is best to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying issues.

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4. Can allergies cause watery eyes in dogs when eating?
Yes, allergies, including food allergies, can cause watery eyes in dogs during meals.

5. What should I do if my dog’s eyes water every time they eat?
Monitor the situation and check for any other concerning symptoms. If the tearing continues or worsens, consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

6. Can dental problems cause watery eyes in dogs when eating?
Yes, dental issues can cause discomfort or pain, leading to excessive tearing during meals.

7. How can I prevent my dog’s eyes from watering while eating?
If your dog’s eyes water excessively during meals, try feeding them smaller portions or switching to a different type of food that may be less irritating.

8. Can eye infections cause watery eyes in dogs when eating?
Yes, eye infections can cause increased tearing and other symptoms like redness or discharge.

9. Can watery eyes during meals be a sign of a serious health issue?
In some cases, watery eyes while eating can be a symptom of underlying health problems like glaucoma or corneal ulcers. If you have concerns, consult a veterinarian.

10. Can dry eye syndrome cause watery eyes when eating?
Despite the name, dry eye syndrome can paradoxically cause watery eyes as a result of insufficient tear production.

11. How can I treat my dog’s watery eyes when eating?
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause. Consulting a veterinarian is recommended for proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.


While watery eyes in dogs during mealtime can be concerning, it is often a natural response to various stimuli. However, it is important to keep an eye on the frequency and severity of eye watering, as it can sometimes indicate underlying health issues. By understanding the potential causes and seeking veterinary advice when necessary, you can ensure your furry friend’s eyes stay healthy and comfortable during mealtime.

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