When you’re walking your dog in the neighborhood, and she suddenly stops to investigate a specific spot, do you ever wonder what your dog actually sees? Do you wonder what’s going on when your dog spots something specific in the backyard, runs over and smells it? But when you look at the same spot, it seems to be invisible. Yes, dogs have a powerful sense of smell but they also see ultraviolet colors too.
What Is UVB light?
When watching your favorite forensics TV show, an actor investigates a dark room with a black light. As he scans the room, the black light uncovers white patterns emerging on flooring, bedding and walls. Blood and fluids literally glow in bright fluorescent bluish purple colors against a dark backdrop. Humans are unable to view the UVB spectrum, so using a black light exposes specific materials that were previously hidden. Science has proven that many animals, including insects such as bees, see UVB spectrums. Scorpions glow brightly when exposed to a black light, yet science has not figured out exactly why.
What Does This Mean To Dogs?
Dogs see better in low light, compared to humans. Plus, due their ocular makeup, dogs see in shades of greys, blue and yellows plus ultraviolet. Because urine contains phosphorus, it has a fluoresce glow when viewed using a black light. It’s very likely that dogs see urine as bright bluish purple colors, that stand out brightly, when viewed on plants. As humans, we know that white materials glow brightly under black lights, especially white material such as clothing, plastic and teeth. That’s something to think about when your dog moves away from veterinary staff wearing long white lab coats.
Take a peek into your dog’s world, grab a black light (available online) and walk around your backyard in the dark. Even better, walk through a dark room at night, only using a black light. Warning, fluorescent colors are very bright!