Does your dog really see in black and white?

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If you’re wondering how your dog sees, TikTok now offers a dog vision filter this allows humans to get a glimpse of the world as their furry companions see it. However, experts are quick to point out that there is much more to be done the dog’s vision than the simple perception of colors.

Source: Insider Technology/YouTube

For decades, the prevailing belief was that dogs saw the world in black and white. This misconception gained popularity in the 1940s when optometrist Gordon Walls published a book suggesting that dogs had minimal to no color vision. It wasn’t until 1989 that ophthalmologist Jay Neitz and his team at the University of California, Santa Barbara debunked this myth. They discovered that dogs can perceive blues and yellows, but are unable to see reds and greens, like some colorblind humans. Dogs have two types of color-detecting receptors, called cones, in their retina, compared to humans who have three.

However, understanding a dog’s vision goes beyond just knowing their limited color perception. Sarah-Elizabeth Byosière, a Animal Behaviorist, points out that dogs rely on other visual cues such as movement, shape, and the way objects reflect light. For example, a green or red ball on the grass may not stand out just by its color, but he can still identify it by these other visual characteristics. Whether this challenge is rewarding or frustrating for your pet depends on their behavior and personality.

If you really want to imagine the world through your dog’s eyes, you also need to consider that their vision is not as clear as ours. Most dogs have 20/75 vision, meaning they need to be 20 feet away from an object to see it as clearly as a human with perfect vision standing 75 feet away. This means that the world seems fuzzier to dogs than it does to us.

Interestingly, dogs have evolved to have excellent vision in low light conditions, both day and night. Although they have fewer color-detecting cones, they have more rods, the cells responsible for night vision. Additionally, dogs have a unique eye structure called the tapetum lucidum, which acts like a mirror and reflects light onto their retina, allowing them to see up to six times less light than humans. This is why your dog’s eyes may appear to glow in photos and in the dark.

But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of a dog’s perception is its sense of smell, which is 10,000 to 100,000 times more powerful than that of an average human. This incredible olfactory ability is shared by all dogs, from chihuahuas to bloodhounds, and they can communicate with each other using chemical signals.

Recent research has shown that dogs have a direct connection between their olfactory bulb (responsible for processing smell) and their occipital lobe (responsible for processing vision). This integration of smell and sight has never been observed in any other animal species before. This raises the intriguing possibility that dogs are capable of “3D smelling,” orienting their sight based on their sense of smell.

So while humans may be captivated by the aesthetic of color, dogs simply aren’t. They live in a world rich in smells and sensory information that we cannot fully appreciate.

We encourage anyone considering getting a pet to adopt instead of buy. Read more animal adoption resources on One Green Planet, including 7 reasons to adopt your next four-legged best friend, 5 reasons why everyone should adopt a petAnd These Heartwarming Before and After Photos of Adopted Rescued Animals Will Make Your Day! Read tips for adopting pets And what to consider before adopting an animal. We recommend using these apps to find shelter dogs near you!

Animals are my favorite people by Tiny Rescue: Animal Collection
Animals are my favorite people by Tiny Rescue: Animal Collection

Animals are my favorite people by Tiny Rescue: Animal Collection

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