Why Do Dogs Cry After Eating?

I have always wondered why my dog cries after eating, and I’m sure many other dog owners have too. It’s a peculiar behavior that can leave us feeling puzzled and concerned. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind why dogs cry after eating. By understanding the underlying causes, we can provide the best care and support for our furry friends. So, let’s dive into this fascinating topic and uncover the secrets behind our dog’s post-meal tears.

Physical Discomfort


As a dog owner, I have noticed that overeating can sometimes lead to physical discomfort for our furry friends. Just like us humans, dogs can easily indulge in a little too much food, especially if it’s exceptionally tasty or if they have easy access to their food bowls throughout the day. This can leave them feeling bloated, lethargic, and uncomfortable.

To prevent overeating, it is crucial to establish a regular and balanced feeding schedule for our dogs. It is recommended to divide their daily food portions into multiple meals throughout the day rather than leaving a large amount of food available for their constant snacking. By doing so, we can ensure that they are getting the right amount of nutrition without overindulging and experiencing physical discomfort afterward.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Another common cause of physical discomfort for dogs after eating is gastrointestinal issues. Just like humans, dogs can experience various digestive problems such as indigestion, gas, and upset stomachs. These issues can lead to discomfort, abdominal pain, and sometimes even diarrhea or vomiting.

To help alleviate these problems, it is essential to take notice of any specific food ingredients that may be causing digestive issues for our furry friends. Dogs can have food allergies or intolerances, just like humans, so it’s crucial to identify and eliminate any problematic foods from their diet. Additionally, it’s always a wise idea to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying gastrointestinal conditions that may require further treatment or dietary changes.

Emotional Distress

Why Do Dogs Cry After Eating?

Separation Anxiety

Sometimes, a dog’s tears after eating may be more related to their emotional state rather than physical discomfort. Dogs are social animals, and separation anxiety can be a common issue, especially when they are left alone for extended periods. For some dogs, the simple act of eating alone can trigger anxiety, leading to tears or whining.

To address separation anxiety, it’s essential to gradually accustom your dog to being alone and create positive associations with their alone time. Building a routine, leaving them with engaging toys or puzzles, and practicing brief absences can help them become more comfortable with eating on their own. Additionally, providing a safe and cozy space for them to eat in peace can also help alleviate any anxiety they may be experiencing.

Food Frustration

Another emotional aspect that can lead to tears or distress during mealtime is food frustration. Dogs are incredibly food-driven, and sometimes their excitement or anticipation for their meals can become overwhelming. This can result in whining, crying, or even pacing around the food bowl.

To address food frustration, it’s important to teach our dogs patience and impulse control during mealtime. Using training techniques such as ‘sit’ or ‘wait’ before allowing them access to their food can help redirect their excitement and prevent any distressing behaviors. Additionally, providing mentally stimulating toys or slow-feeders can not only prolong their mealtime but also divert their focus from the anticipation and provide a more enjoyable eating experience.

Food Allergies or Intolerances

Food allergies or intolerances can also be a significant factor contributing to a dog’s tears after eating. Just like humans, dogs can develop sensitivities or allergies to certain ingredients in their food. These reactions can range from mild discomfort to more severe symptoms such as itching, skin rashes, or gastrointestinal disturbances.

To identify any potential food allergies or intolerances, it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian who can guide us through an elimination diet or recommend specific hypoallergenic foods. This process involves gradually removing potential allergens from their diet and reintroducing them one-by-one to pinpoint the specific ingredient causing the reaction. By addressing and avoiding these trigger ingredients, we can help alleviate any discomfort or tears our furry friends may experience after eating.


Why Do Dogs Cry After Eating?

Rapid Eating

Sometimes, a dog’s tears after eating may simply be due to indigestion caused by their eating habits. Dogs are known for their enthusiastic approach to mealtimes, and some may gobble down their food too quickly. This rapid eating can lead to swallowing large air bubbles, which can result in burping, hiccuping, or discomfort after meals.

To address rapid eating, there are a few strategies we can implement. One option is to use specialized slow-feed bowls or puzzle feeders that require dogs to work for their food, slowing down their eating pace. Another approach is to divide their food into smaller portions and scatter it around the house or yard. This not only encourages physical activity but also slows down their eating by making them search for their food. By promoting slower eating habits, we can help reduce the chances of indigestion and the resulting discomfort.

Inappropriate Diet

Dogs, just like humans, have specific dietary needs, and feeding them an inappropriate diet can lead to indigestion and discomfort. It is crucial to ensure that our canine companions are receiving a balanced and nutritionally appropriate diet for their age, breed, and health condition.

If a dog’s tears after eating persist, it may be necessary to reevaluate their diet and consult with a veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist. They can help determine if any dietary changes, such as switching to a different brand or ensuring a proper balance of protein and fiber, need to be made. By providing them with a suitable diet, we can minimize the chances of indigestion and promote their overall well-being.

Oral Health Issues

Maintaining good oral health is essential for dogs, and neglecting their dental hygiene can lead to oral health issues that may cause discomfort or tears after eating. Just like humans, dogs can develop dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, or infections.

Regular dental care is essential to prevent these issues. This includes brushing their teeth regularly using dog-specific toothpaste, providing them with dental chews or toys designed to promote oral health, and scheduling regular professional dental cleanings by a veterinarian. By keeping their teeth and gums healthy, we can ensure that our furry friends can enjoy their meals without any discomfort or tears.

Behavioral Issues

Why Do Dogs Cry After Eating?

Attention Seeking

Sometimes, a dog’s tears after eating can be a behavioral issue tied to attention-seeking behavior. Dogs are intelligent creatures, and they quickly learn that certain behaviors, such as crying or whining, can attract our attention and result in extra care or affection.

To address attention-seeking behavior during mealtime, it’s important to establish clear boundaries and consistently reinforce them. Encouraging them to remain calm and patient during meals by using commands such as ‘stay’ or ‘wait’ can help reduce any attention-seeking behaviors. Additionally, ensuring that they receive ample attention and affection outside of mealtimes can help curb their need for attention during meals.

Learned Behavior

In some cases, a dog’s tears after eating may be a learned behavior that has been reinforced over time. For example, if we unintentionally reward their crying by giving them extra treats or food, they may continue the behavior as they have learned it leads to positive outcomes.

To break this cycle, it’s crucial to avoid reinforcing the crying behavior and instead reward calm and patient behavior during meals. Additionally, implementing consistent and positive reinforcement training techniques can help guide them towards more desirable behaviors during mealtime. By addressing and redirecting the learned behavior, we can help our furry friends have a more pleasant eating experience.

Abdominal Pain

Why Do Dogs Cry After Eating?


Gastritis, the inflammation of the stomach lining, can be a painful condition that may cause tears or distress after eating. Dogs with gastritis may experience symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, or abdominal pain.

If a dog’s tears are accompanied by signs of discomfort or other symptoms, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. Gastritis can have various underlying causes, including dietary indiscretion, bacterial infections, or certain medications. Once the cause is identified, appropriate medication to reduce inflammation and supportive care can be prescribed to alleviate the abdominal pain and discomfort.


Pancreatitis is another condition that can cause abdominal pain and discomfort in dogs. It is characterized by inflammation of the pancreas and can be triggered by dietary factors, such as high-fat meals or feeding inappropriate human food.

If a dog’s tears are accompanied by persistent abdominal pain, vomiting, or a hunched posture, it is imperative to seek immediate veterinary attention. Pancreatitis can be a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that requires medical intervention. Treatment usually involves supportive care, such as intravenous fluids and pain management, while addressing the underlying cause and making necessary dietary adjustments.

Food Bowl Sensitivity

Why Do Dogs Cry After Eating?

Dislike for the Bowl

Believe it or not, some dogs may have an aversion or sensitivity to their food bowls, which can lead to tears or discomfort during meals. If a dog shows signs of reluctance or avoidance behaviors towards their food bowl, it’s essential to investigate if the bowl itself is the issue.

Switching to a different type of bowl, such as stainless steel or ceramic, may help alleviate any sensitivity or discomfort caused by plastic bowls. Additionally, ensuring that the bowl is clean, free from any residue or odors, and positioned in a quiet and calm area can create a more pleasant eating environment for our furry friends.

Slippery Surface

The type of surface on which a dog’s food bowl is placed can also contribute to their discomfort and tears after eating. Some dogs may struggle to maintain their balance on slippery surfaces, causing them to feel uneasy or anxious during meals.

To address this issue, it is recommended to place a rubber mat or a non-slip surface under the food bowl to provide stability. This can help to alleviate any anxiety or discomfort associated with slipping or sliding while eating. By creating a secure and stable dining area, we can ensure that our dogs can enjoy their meals without any unnecessary tears or distress.

Ingestion of Foreign Objects


Dogs are known for their curious nature, and sometimes this curiosity can lead them to ingest foreign objects accidentally. Common culprits include small toys, socks, or even pieces of plastic that may find their way into their food bowls or nearby areas.

If a dog’s tears or discomfort after eating are accompanied by symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, or restlessness, it could indicate a potential blockage. In such cases, it is essential to seek immediate veterinary attention. Blockages can be potentially life-threatening, and surgery may be necessary to remove the foreign object and alleviate the associated discomfort.


Ingestion of foreign objects that are not large enough to cause a blockage can still be irritating to a dog’s digestive tract, leading to tears or discomfort after eating. These objects may scrape or irritate their esophagus, stomach, or intestines, resulting in discomfort or a mild inflammatory response.

To prevent the ingestion of foreign objects, it’s crucial to create a safe environment for our dogs and ensure that potential hazards are out of their reach. Regularly inspecting their eating areas, securing loose objects, and providing appropriate chew toys can help redirect their curiosity and prevent accidental ingestion. By minimizing the chances of irritation from foreign objects, we can help ensure a comfortable and tear-free eating experience for our furry friends.

Medical Conditions


Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, can be a medical condition that leads to tears or discomfort after eating in dogs. It can be caused by various underlying factors, including neurological disorders, throat or esophageal abnormalities, or certain medications.

If a dog consistently shows signs of difficulty swallowing, such as frequent coughing or gagging during or after meals, it is crucial to seek veterinary attention. A thorough examination and diagnostic tests may be required to determine the cause of dysphagia. Treatment options may include medication, dietary adjustments, or in severe cases, supportive feeding methods to ensure proper nutrition without causing distress during meals.


Megaoesophagus is a condition characterized by the enlargement and weakened functionality of the esophagus. This can result in difficulty swallowing and regurgitation of food, leading to tears or discomfort after eating in dogs.

If a dog’s tears are accompanied by frequent regurgitation or difficulty keeping food down, it is important to consult with a veterinarian. Megaoesophagus requires careful management, which may include specific feeding techniques such as elevated feeding positions or specialized diets. In severe cases, additional interventions such as medications or even surgery may be necessary to alleviate the discomfort and ensure proper nutrition.

In conclusion, tears or discomfort after eating in dogs can stem from various causes, including physical discomfort, emotional distress, or underlying medical conditions. By understanding these potential triggers and taking appropriate measures, such as implementing a regular feeding schedule, addressing dietary needs, and providing a comfortable eating environment, we can help our furry friends enjoy their meals without any unnecessary tears. However, it is important to remember that if a dog’s tears persist or are accompanied by other concerning symptoms, seeking veterinary attention is always recommended for proper diagnosis and treatment.






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