We all know that dogs just don’t see the world in quite the same way that we do. Some people think that dogs have extremely good vision, while many other people think that just the opposite is true. How do you think your dog sees the world?
Well, how about we dig in a little bit and learn all about a dog’s vision and what exactly they are seeing when they are so alert and looking all around them. If you have been wanting to learn all about how your dog sees, you have come to the right place, my friends. Are you intrigued yet?
Table of Contents
- 1 How your dog sees the world?
- 1.1 Do dogs have perfect vision?
- 1.2 Do dogs really have a third eyelid?
- 1.3 Do dogs have night vision?
- 1.4 Can dogs’ eyes tell you how healthy they are?
- 1.5 Do dogs have a wide field of vision?
- 1.6 Are dogs color blind?
- 1.7 What symptoms should be watched for with dogs for their eye health?
- 1.8 How to strengthen your dog’s eyesight and eye health
How your dog sees the world?
Do dogs have perfect vision?
No, dogs do not have perfect vision, or what would be considered 20/20 vision for humans. Dogs’ vision tends to lean toward the nearsighted spectrum. While they can see clearly, they don’t see things very well from far away, and the things that they do see are far more grainy than human vision would be.
It’s hard to really assess visual acuity vision in dogs but the general consensus is that dogs have visual acuity between 20/45 and 20/85.
So, if you are standing still and far away in a field, your dog probably won’t really see you clearly. Once you start moving, they may recognize specific movements that they associate with you (and of course they have great senses of smell and hearing so they may recognize you from either of those before sight).
Do dogs really have a third eyelid?
I’m sure you have heard this asked before, so let’s get it out of the way.
Yes, dogs really do have a third eyelid, but it is not used in their actual vision. This third eyelid is specifically used to protect the eyes, as well as in the production of tears.
Dylan’s third eye tends to stick out a bit especially when he’s tired, which the vet assured me is normal for him. Rainey is even creepier as she she will sleep with her eyelids slightly open but her third eye closed, so, it looks like she has empty eye sockets.
Do dogs have night vision?
If you have ever wondered if dogs can see better at night than humans, wonder no longer. Dogs, on average, have seven times stronger vision than humans. This is because they have a reflective layer in the back of their retina that is there to help them see better at night.
Can dogs’ eyes tell you how healthy they are?
There is an old wives’ tale that says you can look into a dog’s eyes and see just how healthy or unhealthy they are.
There is some truth to this as you can see some health issues through your dog’s eyes. The following unique eye appearances in your dog can indicate a health issue:
- Yellowing in the whites of the eyes. If the whites of your dog’s eyes appear to be yellow or jaundice, this could be indicative of liver disease in your dog.
- Paleness on the outer layer of the eyes. This can be a sign of severely low iron levels and anemia. Anemia in dogs can often be related to an internal bleeding or kidney problems, so this needs to be investigated.
- Pupil size changes. Be sure to pay attention to your dog’s pupil sizes. If your dog’s pupils are smaller than typical, this often indicates that your dog is dealing with pain, either in their eyes or elsewhere in their body. If your dog’s pupils are two different sizes, this indicates head trauma.
- Blood in the eye. If you detect blood in your dog’s eye, this could be a symptom of poisoning.
- White blotches or “cloudy” appearance. This can indicate trauma, infection, cataracts, or a list of other issues.
All of these symptoms may be serious and warrant an immediate visit to the veterinarian.
Do dogs have a wide field of vision?
Dogs have a much wider field of vision than we humans do. The human eye typically has a 180 degree field of vision, whereas a dog’s field of vision is closer to 240 degrees. This, of course, varies depending on the dog breed.
This wide field of vision stems from the nature of canines to hunt and need to see as much of the horizon as possible while looking for prey.
Are dogs color blind?
You may have heard before that dogs are color blind. In fact, scientists actually used to believe that they were.
However, new research has shown that dogs are not technically color blind, but they do see fewer colors than humans do. This is because dogs’ retinas have fewer color sensitive cone receptors than we do.
It has been discovered that dogs’ eyes are more leaned toward the red/green spectrum, so they see very muted shades of red and green.
If you interested in deciphering how your dog sees, Wolfram|Alpha has a fun dog vision simulator widget.
What symptoms should be watched for with dogs for their eye health?
The following symptoms need to be watched for in your dog’s eyes. These symptoms are not indicative of as serious of a condition as the symptoms we talked about earlier, however, when it comes to eye health itself, these are the symptoms that you should be watching for:
- Red eyes or eyelids
- Heavy eyelids
- Swelling in the eyelids or around the eyes
- Scratching the eyes
- Rapid blinking
- Watery eyes
- Goop or mucus-like matter on the eyes or eyelids
How to strengthen your dog’s eyesight and eye health
There are things that we can do in order to prevent many eye health concerns. You can follow these tips to strengthen dog’s eyesight and eye health:
Be sure to look at their eyes on a regular basis. Familiarize yourself with what is typical and what isn’t. This way if there are any issues, you will catch them right away.
Avoid getting soap or other irritants in their eyes
When bathing, or wiping down your dog, be sure to avoid getting soap or shampoo in their eyes. Additionally, when you are using cleaning products in your home, make sure to keep the dog in a different area to prevent irritants from getting into their eyes while it is in the air from being sprayed.
Keep them groomed
Keeping your dog groomed can help prevent eye injuries. How, you ask? Well, when you keep your dog groomed regularly, it will prevent long, unruly hairs from getting into their eyes. While this may not seem like a big deal, these hairs can also often transport dirt and other foreign objects into the eyes which is not good for your dog’s eye health. Also, how your dog ever sees anything will be a mystery if his eyes are covered with too much long fur?!
Clean their eyes regularly
Just like you and I, dogs need their eyes cleaned regularly. The difference though is that we can clean our own eyes, they cannot. To keep their eyes clean, regularly but carefully wipe the corner of their eyes down with a warm cotton ball or washcloth.
Dog’s eyes tell us a lot about them, you just have to know what you are looking for.