fbpx Skip to Content

Do Dogs Have Night Vision?

Do Dogs Have Night Vision?
Do Dogs Have Night Vision

Dogs mostly rely on their sense of smell which is one of the best in the animal kingdom. However, they also have good eyesight. It’s not as good as humans’ eyesight, but it’s good enough. In fact, dogs’ sight is, in some aspects, better than humans’. According to popular belief, dogs have night vision and can see in the dark.

Today we will talk about dogs’ ability to see in the dark and the differences between canine and dog vision.

Human vs Dog Vision

To better understand your dog’s vision, you need to understand the differences between canine and human vision.

The very structure of our eyes is different from that of dogs’ eyes.

The light-sensitive part of the eyes or retina has a different structure in dogs. The color and perception-sensitive cells, called cones dominate structure of human retina.

On the other hand, motion detection and cells that enable vision in dim light dominate the structure of the dog’s retina.

Therefore, humans can see the full-color spectrum, while dogs have a vision similar to red/green color blind humans.

Dogs can recognize blue and violet, while they can’t see yellow, green, orange, and red colors.

Also, the dog’s eyes are set at around a 20-degree angle. This enables them to have a wider peripheral field of vision than humans. Dog’s field of vision will range between 240 and 270 degrees based on the breed. 

However, because human eyes are straightforward, we have better binocular vision and depth perception.

Do Dogs Have Night Vision?

Dogs can see in dim light. It is estimated that dogs can see in light five times dimmer than humans can see in. However, dogs still need some light to see, thus they can’t see in total darkness.

Motion detection cells and cells that enable dim light vision dominate the structure of the dog’s retina. Dogs also have larger pupils so that they can catch more light. Dog’s eye also contains a mirror-like structure called the tapetum.

This structure reflects light and gives the retina another chance to catch the light that entered the eye, thus improving the dog’s vision in dim light conditions.


Our furry friends can see in dim light conditions five times better than we do. However, dogs don’t have night vision in a sense they can see in total darkness.