Can Your Dog See Colors?

Can Your Dog See Colors?

The popular notion that dogs only see in black and white is false. While dogs can't see the entire rainbow of colors as we do, they can see certain colors such as yellow, blue, and shades of gray.

The colors humans and dogs see are determined by nerve cells on the retina, known as cones. Three types of cone cells in the human eye process and interpret combinations of red, green, and blue. On the other hand, the canine eye has only two cones that identify shades of blue and yellow.

Although dogs have fewer cone cells than we do, making their vision less bright and vibrant than ours, they have more rod cells in their retinas than we do. Rod cells are photoreceptor cells in the retina responsible for vision at low light levels and motion detection. Because dogs have more rod cells than we do, they can see better in darker lighting and notice small movements we may miss.

If you'd like to help your dog see their toys clearer and brighter, opt for shades of blue or yellow since those are the colors they see best. For instance, if you are playing fetch with your dog in the yard with a red ball, they will have a harder time finding the ball because the grass and the red ball could appear grayish to them. However, they can spot it easily if you play with a blue or yellow ball.

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