In the Eyes of the Dogs

While having a pet brought us happiness, especially dogs, there’s still more things we need to understand about them. When I started owning my furbaby, I really did a lot of research on everything I need to learn about dogs, from the responsibilities up to their behaviors and characteristics.  At first I thought that dog’s vision is just like ours, humans. And in that belief, I was totally wrong.

photo from petmd.com

Humans can see the world in all colors (well, except for those color blind), dog’s color vision is somewhat limited, but they aren’t color blind. They do see colors more than black, white and gray. However, the range of color they perceive is limited compared to the spectrum we see. Their vison of colors consists mostly of yellow, blue and shades of gray. The other colors human can see like orange, green and red are not distinguishable to dogs, instead it appears on their yellow to blue spectrum.

The reason? It’s because dogs’ eyes have only two types of photoreceptors also know as ‘cones’ which means they are dichromatic, unlike humans who are trichromatic, which means they have three cones. Each cones is sensitive to a different wavelength (color) of light. Human’s three cones can transmit various signals for all the colors by detecting different quantities of each wavelength and combining them.

Human’s color vision vs. Dog’s color vision

On the other hand, dogs have only two cones, so their ability to see colors is quite limited and they are missing the red-green cones. Therefore, dog’s color vision is similar to that of a person who has red-green color blindness. They can only make out of yellow and blue color and the combination of those.

Learning this fact definitely make sense for all the dog’s lovers, like me. It can help to choose products for our furbabies that feature the colors they can see. When I learned about this, what I bought for my dog were blue and yellow toys. His favorites are his blue bone chew toy and his friend winnie the pooh stuffed toy.