What Colors Can Dogs See?

Have you ever wondered what colors your dog can see? Is it true that dogs can’t see the same colors as humans? Many pet owners and dog fans alike find themselves wondering how a dog sees color, and if you’ve been questioning this too, or if you’ve asked yourself “what colors can dogs see?” then we’ve got you covered.

What colors can dogs see

In the article below, you’ll learn more about the colors dogs can see. You’ll also find out a little bit about why dogs see differently from humans and what this means for your own pet. By understanding how your pet sees, you’re sure to feel closer to her overall, too. Read on to learn more!

Do Dogs See Only in Black and White?

The simple answer to this question is no, dogs can see more than just black and white. But how do they do this, and how do we really know what colors dogs can see? To understand this, it’s important to look at the science of how the eye functions.

How a Dog’s Eye Can See Color

Eyes are made up of two types of cells that work together to create sight. Rods are the cells that detect light and darkness, while cones are the cells that tell the difference between colors.

Different animals have different numbers and types of cones and rods in their eyes that cause them to see differently, too. Because of these changes in animal eyes—and because we understand how human eyes function—we can understand roughly how a dog might see, too.

While humans have three types of cones in their eyes, dogs only have two. Humans are able to see colors that combine red, green, and blue, but dogs can only see colors that combine blue and yellow.

So, What Colors Can Dogs Actually See?

Based on what we know about the cones in a dog’s eyes, we can recognize that the colors dogs can see are blue and yellow. However, they can also see colors that are made up of blue and yellow, although they may see those colors differently depending on how much red is present in the color in question.

Dogs can also see black, white, and gray. It is important to understand that the whole world isn’t blue and yellow to a dog, but blues and yellows are much more vivid to dogs. Additionally, colors that contain a lot of blue and yellow may look washed out but still noticeable to a dog, too.

Are Dogs Colorblind?

Along with “what colors can dogs see,” another common question that comes up pretty frequently is, “are dogs colorblind?”

Dogs have what we as humans know as color blindness. We would describe their vision as red-green colorblindness, which means they are not able to see colors that contain a lot of red or green. But these colors aren’t invisible to them; they just look different.

How Red-Green Colorblindness Works in Dogs

If a dog looks at something that we perceive as red, she may see it as a different shade of gray than the other items around her. However, if she looks at something that is purple—which contains blue as well as red—she may see it as washed out, or she may see it as more blue than true purple.

How Dogs See the Majority of Colors

To dogs, the majority of colors are either very washed out or appear in different gray shades. This is why something that is very bright blue or yellow will stand out more to a dog than other colors, and it explains why dogs are more likely to choose toys in these colors, too.

If you want to give your dog the best chance at playing with her toys, pick blue and yellow ones!

What are the Other Differences Between Dog Vision vs. Human Vision?

Although we’ve touched on some of the main differences and similarities between dog vision vs. human vision, there are a couple more differences that are good to know in order to further understand how your dog sees.

Dogs Can More Easily Tell the Difference Between Light and Dark and Can Better Detect Movements

Dogs may have fewer cones in their eyes than humans do, but they have a lot more rods. This means they are able to discern between light and dark better than humans can, and they can detect movement from a long way away, too. This is probably the reason why some people mistakenly believe dogs can see in the dark.

A Dog’s Peripheral Vision is Better Than a Human’s

Although dogs can’t fully see in the dark, they can see better in low light than humans can. They can also notice changes in movement that a human might not notice. Additionally, because dogs’ eyes are positioned differently from humans’, they have better peripheral vision.

In Conclusion, There are Colors Dogs Can See

Understanding how your dog sees color can make it easier for you to choose toys and items that will appeal to her. You can also better recognize why she may dislike or be disinterested in some toys compared to others.

If you have any further questions or concerns about your dog’s vision or overall biology, talk to your veterinarian for more information. The vet can give you more specific information about your dog as an individual and can also help you determine whether or not your dog has any concerning symptoms or changes throughout her life, too.

When asking, “what colors can dogs see,” it’s very interesting to find out not only that they can see color, but also learning more about how their vision works. For instance, dogs see more than black and white and also have what can be described as red-green colorblindness. Contact our team at The Village Vets for more information about your dog’s vision, or if you want to schedule a general wellness visit.

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.

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Recent Posts

A cute young female hound dog sits at her owners feet at the dinner table, giving a longing look while waiting for a scrap of food to drop. Horizontal with copy space.

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Close-up ginger cat with toothbrush in his mouth. Hand with a brush.

Cat Teeth Brushing: Is it Really Needed?

Aggressive dog shows dangerous teeth. German sheperd attack head detail.

Why is My Dog Growling?

About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.