Is Your Dog Really Colorblind?

By December 26 | See Comments

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Most pet owners assume that their dogs are colorblind, an erroneous popular notion that is not really true. While the color vision of your dog is different from yours, they don't exactly view the world in monochrome. Let us take a look at the science behind the color vision of dogs and see what pet owners can do to help them improve their eyesight.

What are the colors they can see?

Color vision is possible due to the cones in the eye, particularly the number of retinal pigment classes. The richness of your color vision depends on the number of cones and the extent to which hey overlap with one another. Humans have trichromatic vision – they have three cone classes. Dogs, on the other hand, have just two cone classes containing photo pigments that make color vision possible.Most humans who are colorblind usually have a missing green or red photo pigment, just as is the case with horses an dogs. The color vision of your dog is similar to that of a human who has a missing green cone. Scientists know that dogs are capable of seeing color, but they have had difficulty documenting it so far. But, it has been observed that dogs are able to pick up toys based on their color even though their ability to discern different shades is not as sharp or acute as human beings.However, it bears noting that event though dogs don't really see color the way we do, it does not negatively affect their survival in any way. Dogs are capable of seeing long wavelengths in conditions of low lighting, which is something that is extremely beneficial for predators that hunt at night.

Can dogs do without color vision?

In all fairness, color vision is a git that dogs don't really need. Their retinas are designed to focus more on movement. If they can focus on a moving prey, it does not really matter whether it is blue, brown or green. Moreover, they have such a strong sense of smell that it supersedes any visual cues they get. Pet owners know how to use this sense when offering their dogs treats or food for training, but you can also employ visual cues to make playtime more fun. Balls and toys with

high color contrast

, like neon or orange, are excellent if you want to keep your dog stimulated during playtime.However, the best way to preserve your dog's vision is to make sure that he is on a

healthy, balanced diet

and gets regular exercise. There is some evidence of antioxidants boosting the retinal health of dogs. You can talk to your dog's vet to see if that is a good option for him.

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