Here’s What Dogs Really See

Pet owners are always wondering what their dog is thinking or seeing. Scientists are doing their best to figure it out, but it’s pretty difficult when your subject can’t talk to you. One thing that scientists have been able to figure out is the type of eyesight that dogs actually have.

For a while, people believed that dogs could only see in black and white. But this turns out not to be completely true. While dogs don’t have the same degree of color perception that we do, that doesn’t mean their world is completely gray. To explain what dogs really see, we have to get into the science behind our eyesight.

There are two different types of receptors in our eyes: cones and rods. Cones are good for seeing color, while rods are good for seeing in dim light. The human eye has cones that can detect red, green, and blue. Dog eyes, however, have cones that can only detect two colors.

Credit: VetDepot Blog

With only two colors, this means the world is just a little more muted than what we typically see. But don’t worry, a dog’s eyes make up for it in another way. With fewer numbers of cones, this leaves room for more rods. This is what gives dogs their amazing night vision. To take a look at dog vision in action, check out this video from Business Insider.

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Sarah Cookson

Writer/Dog Enthusiast living in New York City. Only goes to parties in hopes there will be a dog there to hang out with. Her resolutions for 2017 were to eat healthier and pet more pups. Bet you can guess which one she stuck with.