The anatomy of a dog’s eye is very much like ours in many ways. They have a cornea, iris, pupil, and sclera. Their eye is designed to let light in and then focus that light on the retina at the back of their eye. Just like humans, their pupils dilate in low-light conditions to make it easier for them to see and constrict in bright light to protect the retina from getting damaged. Here are 12 facts about dogs’ eyes you never knew!
1. Dogs do not see color the way we do
Dog eyes can detect all colors, but science has shown that dogs actually only see shades of yellow and blue. They have fewer cones than we do in their retina, which is what lets us see a wider spectrum of colors than just yellow and blue, so it’s possible that they do not see color at all.
2. Dogs eyes are more sensitive than humans
One reason dogs may be able to see colors is that their retina has 200% more light-sensitive cells than humans, which helps them detect differences in shades of light better. It also makes it harder for them to stare directly into the sun like some humans are known to do without hurting their eyes.
3. Dogs have better night vision than humans
There is a membrane in the back of dogs’ eyes that, while transparent during the day, becomes reflective at night. This helps them gather more light and see even better when it’s dark outside. It helps us, too! We call it the tapetum lucidum.
4. Dogs can see better than humans in dim light and total darkness
All of that extra membrane behind their retina helps them gather more light, but it also results in a larger blind spot. If you’ve ever watched a dog’s eyes when they’re running at night, they will start to run into things because their blind spot is bigger than ours.
5. Dogs have a wider peripheral vision than humans
On average, dogs have about a 240-degree field of view, while humans only have 180 degrees. This is why dogs seem to be aware of things going on around them that we can’t see.
Their eyes are constantly moving and taking in more of their surroundings.
6. Dogs are nearsighted
We all know that dogs can see things that are far away, but they also have trouble seeing things up close that are right in front of their eyes. They cannot read! This is why it’s important to teach your dog not to pull on walks—they have trouble seeing what’s up close and could trip over things.
7. Dogs have a narrow depth perception
Dogs have a hard time judging depth because they don’t have stereoscopic vision as we do. If you’ve ever watched a dog try to catch a ball, you know that they usually miss—it’s because they can only see it from far away, so their eyes can’t judge the distance between it and themselves.
8. Dogs cannot see behind them
Their eyes are on the sides of their heads, so their blind spot is behind them which makes it hard to see things coming up from behind. This is why it’s so easy for your dog to get away with anything—they can’t really tell what’s going on behind them!
9. Dogs can detect slight movements really well
Dogs can see movement much better than humans because their vision is based more on movement. It’s also why they often bark at nothing—their eyes are picking up light changes that our eyes don’t.
10. The slightest bit of light bothers the sensitive parts of a dog’s eyes
While we have eyelids that protect our eyes from bright lights, dogs do not. In addition to direct sunlight causing discomfort for their retinas, even the smallest bit of light can cause problems for them. Keep this in mind if you’re going to take your dog out.
11. Dogs are really good at focusing on things
They can focus much better than humans—they have to be able to in order to read canine body language when they’re communicating with other dogs. This also makes it easier for them to see us, usually!
12. Dogs eyes get dry just like ours do
Dogs need just as much tear production as we do in order to keep their eyes from drying out. This is why it’s important to make sure your dog has a constant supply of water and that you keep his bedding clean—you don’t want him sleeping on dirty sheets!
Dogs are amazing creatures with a lot of unique characteristics that make them different from humans. Some facts about dog eyes you probably didn’t know include their ability to see better in dim light, nearsightedness, and narrower depth perception. If you pick up on your dog’s body language, you’ll know better how to communicate with him. They have to have tear production just as much as we do in order to see properly, you can use any one of the healthy dog eye drops so it’s important to keep their eyes moist and clean!
All content as is, no warranty. You can use the information provided on this website for research and education purposes only. Always check with your health care provider before making any changes to your dog’s diet or lifestyle. The author is not a vet and this article was not written by a vet.