Dogs May See More Colors Than We Thought

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New research suggests that your pup may not be the kind of colorblind you previously suspected. You'll often hear it suggested that man's best friend may not be able to see many colors on the spectrum, but new research from Italy suggests that the world isn't actually just black and white for our precious pups. Dogs see much more color than just black, white, and grays.


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But they do, in fact, experience a very specific type of color blindness.

Though dogs have the ability to see parts of the larger color spectrum, they seem to have trouble distinguishing between red and green, which is a specific type of color blindness called deuteranopia. Researchers modified the same color blindness tests that humans are given to check their eyes. Only they changed the images from numbers to animations of running cats.


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Researchers discovered that dog eyes may actually have the ability to see plenty of the blue and yellow color spectrums. But distinguishing between red and green is troublesome.

Though the study was admittedly small and more research needs to be done, this preliminary information is helpful for owners to keep in mind. If you throw a red ball into a green field, your pup may have a hard time distinguishing where the ball is. Make that ball blue, however, and you've got an easy target for your doggo to find.


And with the holidays coming up, maybe consider wrapping your pup's present in colors other than traditional reds and greens so they can distinguish that it's something colorful and special just for them.

Would you like to learn more about what you're reading? Scroll through the research about what dogs see when they watch television and then find out how well dogs can see in the dark.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.