For the longest time, people believed that dogs can only view the world in black and white. But thanks to studies and research, we now know that dogs can see the world in many colors. Still, their vision differs a lot from ours. So, what colors can dogs see? 

Let’s first learn and understand how the dog color vision works:

What Colors Can Dogs See?

Do dogs only see black and white? No, they can see more colors. Their eyes have two cones, which help them do that. But that’s about 20% compared to the number on a human eye. So they have a limited scope of color vision.

Canines can only identify yellow, brown, blue, and shades of gray. That’s similar to dichromatic vision — the human condition known as red-green color blindness

Dogs’ color vision isn’t as clear as ours, so they might not distinguish hues of the blue like dark or light. It’s all just blue to them. 

Can Dogs See Yellow?

Yellow is among the few colors that dogs can see and distinguish clearly. It’s just like you see it. If it’s blended with other colors and shades, a dog will interpret that as yellow with gray hues.

Can Dogs See Red?

Red isn’t among the colors dogs can see. They can’t identify it as a distinct color but in shades of gray and yellow. Red appears to them as yellow with hues of brown or gray. Also, the color orange looks like yellow to dogs.

Can Dogs See Blue?

Yes, that’s among the few colors a dog can distinguish well. They see blue more clearly, even than yellow. But there are many blue color variations, such as dark and light. Dogs see them all as one solid blue color.

Are Dogs Color Blind?

Studies show that the dog color spectrum is unique. Dogs have yellow and blue dichromatic vision, meaning they only see some colors. But they can’t see green grass or red flowers like you.

Red colors appear dark brown or brown grayish in your dog’s eyes. Meanwhile, the green looks yellowish, and a dog can distinguish it well. Other colors, like purple, look like blue, and dogs see them clearly.

So, are dogs color blind? Well, not exactly. Normally, human beings have three cones, letting us see three color combinations — red, yellow, and blue. In contrast, dogs have only two cones. That only allows them to see two-color varieties — yellow and blue. Experts describe the canine vision as dichromatic and not color blind.

How Many Colors Can a Dog See?

Dogs can clearly see only two colors — blue and yellow. Their unique color spectrum indicates that they see different blue, purple, and violet shades as one solid blue color. Green, red, and orange shades appear dark brown or grayish to yellowish. 

What Color Do Dogs Hate?

Dogs don’t hate any color unless there’s a valid reason to react badly to a particular one. For instance, a dog might have had a bad experience in the past, and it can associate a certain color with that. But dogs have other ways of navigating their environment, so they’re not too keen on colors. 

Instead, we can ask: what color is the hardest for dogs to see? That would be red as they struggle to identify it.

Tips for Choosing the Best Toys and Products for Dogs’ Vision

Surprisingly, most dog toys on the market are orange or red. So they’re probably made with owners in mind for easy identification rather than the dogs. Although dogs see color, they can’t identify red and orange. They see them as gray, brownish, or yellowish.

Now that you know which colors dogs can see clearly, you can pick better toys for your pet. If you see your dog running past a toy, understand that it’s not just being stubborn. It might simply be hard to identify. Blue and yellow-colored toys will help your dog have more fun, as it can easily identify them. 

Other than toys, you should consider investing in different dog vitamins for eyes, joints, and hair. They can ensure your dog’s eyesight and general health as your pet ages.

Can Dogs See Color Better Than You?

In some aspects, dogs’ vision is more advantageous than yours. Humans have more cones, meaning we see more colors. But dogs have more rodsthe part of the eye that detects movements and helps them see in low light. Also, their retina can reflect light in the darkness, so they can see shapes better than you.

Your dog might not recognize you from a distance. But it’ll easily tell you apart by your smell or if you make a movement that it recognizes. 

What do dogs see other than colors? Their vision is better than ours in low light or darkness and can easily interpret shapes. So, humans and dogs experience their environment very differently. They can recognize movements better than stationary objects.

Most of the Dogs have Red or Orange toys but they cannot identify them.

Is Interpreting Colors Necessary for Dogs?

Dogs have other more advanced senses than eyesight. Although necessary, they don’t rely on vision as heavily as we do. 

Instead, they use other senses to navigate life:

  • SmellGuide dog stats show us that they have an incredibly advanced sense of smell — up to 100,000 times better than ours. Sometimes what dogs see may not be clear, but they make up for it with their noses. 
  • Hearing — Dogs can hear sounds we cannot and at a higher frequency. Their ear size and the ability to move it in different directions are a massive plus. 
  • Taste and Touch — They help dogs to be aware of their surroundings.

Conclusion

You may not know everything about dogs yet, but you can now tell everyone that they don’t only see in black and white. 

What colors can dogs see? They can primarily see yellow and blue but with more hues like gray and brown. Although they can’t see the world in more colors like us, they have a unique vision that helps them survive.

Dogs also have other superpowers, like the ability to see in low light or their incredibly advanced sense of smell and hearing that compensates for their vision. Take care of your dog’s eyesight with regular checkups and a proper diet. Also, consider getting nutritious senior dog food if you have an older pet that struggles with vision.

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