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What do dogs see: 5 facts about your dog’s vision

What do dogs see: 5 facts about your dog’s vision

Have you ever asked yourself the question “What do dogs see?” I know I have, many times actually, and I have come to the conclusion that a dog’s eyes are more interesting than you’d think. It’s also interesting how your dog’s eyes are subject to more than just one misconception and myth. This is why you as a dog owner should know all the important facts about your dog’s eyes and eyesight. This will not only help you understand how your dog sees the world but will help you have a better bond with your dog. 

Also read: How Do Dogs See The World

What do dogs see – The facts

You’ve probably wondered at some point in your life as a dog owner “What’s going on inside my dog’s head?” or “How does my dog see the world” and these are great questions! It’s a fact that by getting more acquainted with how your dog sees the world you will gain a deeper understanding of their perceptions. So let’s dive right into a few facts on how and what do dogs see.

1. Your dog is not color blind

Dogs have two types of functioning cone cells in their eyes (one for the color yellow and one for blue) this basically means that they are dichromates. It’s a fact that your dog does have trouble differentiating between some colors, but that doesn’t mean they are completely colorblind. Your dog actually sees the world in shades of blue, yellow, green, and gray! It’s not only black and white.

Also read: Are Dogs Color Blind? Facts And Myths

2. Dogs see in ultraviolet

According to a study published in April 2014, your canine best friend actually sees in ultraviolet! It sounds crazy, I know! But the crazier part is that no one knows why, and they are not even the only ones! Dogs, cats, ferrets, hedgehogs, and okapi, are equipped with special lenses that make them UV sensitive, which allows them to detect a wider spectrum of wavelengths. But it’s still up to experts to find out why this is.

3. Dogs have great peripheral vision

Dogs are actually nearsighted. This means they can see whatever is close to their face, everything that is far away is blurry. But don’t feel sorry for them, their other senses are so developed that their nearsightedness isn’t a problem. Besides this, your dog has great peripheral vision! To put it simply, this is what your eyes can detect on the sides while facing forward. We humans have a field of vision of about 180 degrees, whereas dogs actually have a visual field of about 250 degrees! Isn’t that amazing? This is because your beloved dog’s eyes set farther apart than human eyes.

A picture of a dog wearing glasses
Your dog doesn’t have that perfect 20/20 vision.

4. Your dog has three eyelids

Yep, your dog is an alien, he has three eyelids! Just kidding, well about the alien part anyways. But the fact is that your dog really does have three eyelids. It’s actually called a “nictitating membrane”. Even though it’s not there for vision, the third eyelid plays an important role in your dog’s eye health. Firstly, it protects your dog’s eyes, so any sensation on the cornea will make their third eyelid go up! When your dog is sleeping this third eyelid keeps your pup’s eyes moist and produces tears. 

5. The whiskers around your dog’s eyes are important

Your dog has whiskers above its head, you probably knew that already. But do you know why they are there? They are actually known as supraorbital whiskers, and they are kind of like your dog’s eyebrows. Their main function of these whiskers is to protect your dog’s eyes from being poked and injured by sticks, brush, debris and even an owner’s fingers. When your dog’s whiskers detect something the “blink reflex” will jump into action and will make your dog close its eyes.

Also read: Why do dogs have whiskers?


As you can see your dog’s eyes are really fascinating making the question “What do dogs see” really difficult to answer. The fact is, dogs don’t only see with their eyes, they also see with their nose and ears. This is important, especially because your dog doesn’t have that perfect 20/20 vision so they can use all the help they can get in order to see the world as it really is.