Can Dogs See Color?
One of the most common questions a veterinary assistant is asked is “Are dogs really color blind?” The answer to this question is, “Yes, they indeed are.” However, one truly needs to understand the perimeters set to be considered color blind.
Being diagnosed color blind does not mean a dog can only see in black and white. In fact, those known as color blind are not completely blind to all colors. Dogs are still able to see certain colors or the lack of certain colors. It’s commonly referred to as red-green and blue-yellow color blindness, which are determined by what color the dog is having trouble viewing.
Dogs Have Less Color Receptors Than We Do
Found in the eye are color receptors, which are referred to as cones. Cones help the individual distinguish three main colors: red, blue and green. These three receptors are able to blend together to help form the variety of colors humans are able to see in their daily lives. Dogs, on the other hand, only have two color receptors: blue and green. Since they only have two receptors instead of three, dogs find it difficult seeing the color green, which falls into the category of red-green color blindness.
Dogs Can See Some Colors
The big question is which colors do dogs truly have issues seeing? Dogs have trouble distinguishing items in colors, such as red, orange, green, green-blue and some shades of purple. This doesn’t mean dogs are blind to objects in these colors. Could you imagine if a dog were unable to see your lawn? These colors are simply not received by their color receptors so they show up in various shades of grays and blacks.
Color Vision Deficiency
In order for your vet assistant to truly answer this question accordingly, it would be better stated that dogs have color vision deficiency. This means they can see some colors, but are limited to the blue and yellow color receptors. Dogs also don’t have the ability to see anything in the green category as its true color.