Recently, our Rover Reporter spoke with animal opthalmologist, Dr. Noelle McNabb about canine vision in our podcast. A few questions came in after the broadcast and Dr. McNabb was kind enough to bring some answers.
Teri asked: Do dogs see in color?
Dr. McNabb: Yes, dogs do see in color. The visual spectrum in dogs is divided into two hues. One is in the violet and blue-violet range, and one is in the greenish-yellow, yellow, and red range. Dogs see shades of blue and yellow most intensely, providing dichromatic vision. Dogs cannot well distinguish yellow-orange, red and green, making them red-green color blind.
Beth has two dogs and two cats, and inquired: Do dogs see as well as cats? What about in the dark?
Dr. McNabb: Visual acuity (ability of the eye to generate a precisely focused image) is similar between dogs and cats. However, cats can focus in the near-field much better than dogs. Dogs can focus 33-50cm, but image is blurred if nearer. Both dogs and cats have superior vision in dim light compared to human beings. They have the ability to differentiate shades of gray and ability to detect motion that far surpasses our own. This is due to a much higher density of rods, which are visual receptor cells in the retina sensitive to dim light.
Thanks Dr. McNabb! Need a New York City Veterinarian that specializes in opthalmalogy? Visit Blue Pearl New York.
Interested in learning more about dogs, their vision and how they think? Check out our interview with Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of A Dog.
If you have questions about your dog’s vision, drop us a note at [email protected], we’ll do our best to find your answers.