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Through Another’s Eyes: All About Dog Vision

Through Another’s Eyes: All About Dog Vision

Schertz_iStock_000017904978_LargeDo you ever sit back and wonder how your dog sees the world? Is it in black and white? Do they see similarly to us? Or, is it a whole different ballgame? Keep reading to learn how your canine companion sees the world and how dog vision is different from our own.

All About the Rods and Cones

In the back of our eye, we have cells called rods and cones. Cones perceive the different wavelengths of different colors as they enter the eyes, resulting in our ability to see color.

Humans have three kinds of cones in the eye, allowing us to see the difference between red, green, and blue. Dogs, on the other hand, have only two types of cones. This means that they see very similarly to a person with red-green colorblindness. Check out the Dog Vision App to get a better idea of how your pooch sees color.

The Clarity of Dog Vision

Some of us have 20/20 vision, and some of us, well, don’t. Dogs rely on senses other than vision to get them around, and their eyesight has definitely suffered for it.

Optometrists test our vision using that familiar Snell eye chart. You know the one, the list of seemingly random letters that you must rattle off in order to pass? Well, dogs can’t participate in reading off letters, but a similar canine eye chart has revealed that most dogs have a visual acuity of roughly 20/75 (this means that they can hardly recognize at 20 feet something that a person could at 75 feet away). This means your dog’s vision is a lot more blurry than you might have guessed.

A Different Paw-spective

Another thing that must be considered when thinking about how dogs see is their perspective on the world. Obviously this can vary a lot by breed, but chances are that your dog, closer to the ground, sees and notices much different things than we do from five feet plus.

Think about how a field of grass must look to a Yorkie or a towering human to a Chihuahua. Much different than what we are used to seeing for sure.

Dogs eyes are also positioned in their heads differently than ours (again, this varies some by breed). This results in a wide visual field, in fact one that is estimated to be about 250 degrees (60 to 70 degrees more than ours). People, however, have the advantage when it comes to overlap of the eyes. This results in our having greater depth perception than our puppy pals.

Dog vision is much different from our own in many ways, but it is an important part of our pooches functioning in day to day life. Now that you understand a little bit better what your pet sees, it is easier to have an appreciation for them! Their world may look a little different, but we are all here enjoying it together.

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