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See colour through the eyes of your pooch

How your dog sees colour.
September 06, 2020 - 12:00 PM

The BCSPCA published an interesting feature this week offering some insight into the life of our four-legged friends.

They explained that the popular notion that dogs can only see black, white, and various shades of gray is incorrect.

"The truth is, while dogs can’t see the same colours as humans do, they can still see some colours," the SPCA said in a post.

"Both humans and dogs are able to see thanks to two main types of cells in the retina-rods, which detect light levels and motion, and cones that helps us to differentiate colours. Human eyes have three different types of cones, which allows us to identify combinations of red, blue, and green. Dogs, on the other hand, have only two types of cones, which means they can only discern blue and yellow. As a result, dogs are red-green colour blind."

How your dog sees colour.
How your dog sees colour.

Humans have more cones, allowing us to see all the colours of the rainbow in their brightest form. Dogs on the other hand have a higher number of rods, which helps them to see things better in low light or identify moving objects at a faster pace than you.

"This is why your dog might get distracted by a bird flying 40 metres away that you didn’t even notice or will bark at night at a small animal that you’re unable to see," the SPCA said in the post.

They said that because dogs have fewer cones in their eyes, when it comes to distinguishing colour, your dog can’t see the same spectrum of colours that we can see nor can they see them as brightly as we do.

"When a person is red-green colour blind, it means exactly that: they can’t discern between those two colours. The same is true for your dog. For example, red appears as a dark brownish gray hue or even as black to a dog," The BC SPCA said.

"Additionally, shades of yellow, orange, and green all appear as a type of yellowish shade to your canine friend."

To read the full post go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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