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Can Dogs See Color in Santa Clarita, CA?

You may have questioned if your dog can see in color. This issue has long been disputed until a 1995 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association disclosed that dog retinas have many color-sensitive cones and can, in fact, see in color.

Dogs can see in color. However, they do not see colors the same way in which we do. They cannot see the full range of the color spectrum, but they recognize specific colors and shades.

Many people believe that a dog’s vision is limited, but that is not true. It is only specific colors they cannot distinguish between. Read on to discover more about whether dogs can see color.

What Colors Do Dogs Like Best?

Dogs and humans do not see and perceive the same colors. This situation is because humans have three different color receptors in the retina of their eyes. On the other hand, dogs have only two color receptors located in the retina. Dogs have more rods than cones in the retina, while the opposite is true for people. This setup affects color perception. Each type of cone displays a different wavelength. For example, there is one for green, which allows us to see the color of grass, which looks totally different to your dog.

Dogs cannot see the difference between orange, yellow, or green. However, they can see the color blue, but shades of violet or light purple appear blue to them. This difference means that they are only partially colorblind. Dogs can also distinguish between shades of gray that humans have trouble recognizing the difference between. Red often appears gray, brown, or black to your dog.

The color variation is due to the fact that your dog’s retina has a more significant number of rod cells that can see different shades of gray. Therefore blue-green shades look like a shade of plain gray to your dog.

Color is seen as light through cones in the eyes, and dogs do not have as many cones as humans. It is because of this that dogs naturally tend to gravitate toward blue and yellow. Blue is incredibly calming to them. Dogs cannot tell the difference between yellow and red. See the chart below to compare what colors a human sees and the colors your pup sees.

COLORS A HUMAN SEES COLORS A DOG SEES
Violet Dark Blue
Blue Light Blue
Blue-Green Gray
Green Light Yellow
Yellow Dark Yellow
Orange Dull Gold
Red Dark Gray

Your dog sees objects differently than you do. They can see blue and yellow almost as well as we can. The other colors are not discernable to your pup. The intensity in which they see or perceive colors is also not as accurate as to how you see them.

Do Dogs See Black and White?

Over the years, researchers have been studying dogs and their eye structure. Because dogs were hunters first, they could seek food in the nighttime hours. Naturally, they had to adapt and be able to see to catch their prey.

Since the eye structure of humans is different from dogs (as dogs have more rods and humans have more cones), there is a difference in color perception. Dogs are missing the cone that is responsible for the red-green spectrum.

This difference explains why dogs often gravitate toward blue or yellow balls and toys instead of red or green ones. They can see these colors much more clearly.

Can a Dog See in The Dark?

Dogs have superior vision in the dark because their retinas are rod dominant, but humans have dominant cone retinas. Dogs also have reflective tissue under their retina, which helps them to utilize light better than humans can. Dogs are able to detect motion much better than humans.

Dogs also have sophisticated peripheral vision. The following variables determine vision in both dogs and people:

  • Visual perspective
  • Field of view
  • Depth perception
  • Visual alertness
  • Perception of color and form
  • Ability to distinguish light and motion

You must remember that dogs evolved from wild canines. They were most active in the evening or at sunrise. They had to be able to see movement in dim light so they could hunt for their meals. Dogs have evolved, but they maintained their ability to see in the dark.

Your dog’s eyes are made of a cornea, pupil, lens, and retina. They have photoreceptors that are made up of rods that absorb light and cones that absorb color and brightness.

They have light-sensitive rods found in the retina that accumulate light. In low light rooms, light is seized by the pupil, which maintains the light in the eyes. Your dog’s retina collects this light, and using a thin tissue behind the retina, it strengthens and reflects the light back to the lens, which your dog uses to see color and objects. Your dog can see in light that is five times dimmer than what humans can see. They can easily maneuver through a dark or dimly lit room without any trouble.

Your dog’s eyes depend on the following for their night vision:

  • Motion detection
  • Light sensitivity
  • Visual perspective
  • Field of view
  • Depth perception
  • Visual acuity
  • Color perception
  • Form

Your dog has the ability to see in the dark because of these variables. They do not have a large number of cones to perceive brightness and color, but they may be able to see better than humans in certain instances.

Conclusion

Over time, it has been determined that dogs can see colors and see some of them quite clearly. They have excellent night vision, as they came from wild canines that would have to chase down their prey at night. Like humans, dogs tend to gravitate to what appeals to them.

Next time you go to the pet store to purchase a toy, keep in mind that your pup would appreciate a blue or yellow toy or ball. They will thank you with kisses for your thoughtful gesture!

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