Colors Dogs Can See and How it Differs From Our Vision

colors dogs can see in Tewksbury. MA
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Colors Dogs Can See and How it Differs From Our Vision

Did you know that dogs see things in a different way than we humans do? That’s right, their vision is different, and it isn’t just because they are lower to the ground. All dogs can only see a select and limited range of colors, leaving them with vision that is like a human with extreme color blindness.

Dogs mainly see the world in shades of blue, yellow, and grey. This means that they can see some colors that we see as long as they are in this color range. However, other colors like red, green, and purple will appear differently for dogs than they will for us.

In this article, we will be exploring what the world looks like through a dog’s eyes. We will be explaining what colors dogs can see, and also what colors dogs can’t see most likely look like to them!

What Colors Can Dogs See?

Dogs can mainly see the colors yellow and blue. It is also believed that they can see shades of grey and brown. This includes the colors black and white. However, dogs do not exclusively see in black and white like some popular myths suggest.

Colors Dogs Can’t See

So, if dogs can only see shades of yellow, blue, brown, and grey that leaves a lot of colors out. This means there are a lot of colors that dogs cannot see. Here is a list of colors that dogs cannot see in the same way that humans can.

  • Green
  • Red
  • Purple
  • Orange
  • Pink

Instead of seeing these colors as being distinct and unique, they view them as shades of yellow or blue. Occasionally some shades of these colors will appear to be a shade of brown to dogs as well. This vision is very similar to that of a person with red-green color blindness.

colors dogs can see in Tewksbury. MA

What Does Green Look Like to Dogs?

Green can look to be either a shade of yellow or blue depending on what shade of green they are looking at. Shades of green with mostly yellow hues will appear to be a shade of yellow to dogs. Meanwhile, greens that are heavier in blue shades will most likely appear to be a shade of blue to dogs.

What Does Red Look Like to Dogs?

To dogs, red most likely appears to be a shade of yellow. This will most likely appear to be a shade of dark or muddy looking yellow such as a mustard yellow color. Different shades of red most likely appear as just varying shades of yellow.

Can Dogs See Orange?

No, dogs cannot see the color orange in the same way that humans can. The color orange likely looks to be very similar to shades of red for dogs. That is, orange most likely appears to be a shade of yellow for them. This shade of yellow will appear lighter for the color orange than it does for red in dogs, though.

Can Dogs See Purple?

Dogs cannot see the color purple in the same way that people can either. Purple will most likely appear to be a shade of blue for dogs. The darker the shade of purple is the darker the shade of blue will look to dogs.

Can Dogs See the Color Pink?

No, dogs can’t see the color pink. This is because pink is really just a very light shade of red, and dogs cannot see the color red. To dogs, the color pink will just appear to be a very light shade of yellow. For baby pink shade the yellow may be so faint that dogs really see a more cream or white color.

What is a Dog’s Vision Like?

In addition to seeing a different range of colors than humans can see, dogs’ vision may appear to be somewhat fuzzy at times. This is particularly true during the day. This is mainly because dogs’ eyes are built to be able to see well in dim light. As a result, their vision during the day is not as good as the day vision of a human’s, whose eyes are made to see better during the day.

Can Dogs See TV Screens?

It is a common misconception that dogs cannot see television screens. Interestingly, this is not true! Dogs can, in fact, see what is going on TV, tablet, and phone screens. They can only see the colors within the yellow and blue color spectrum, though.

In fact, research shows that dogs do not just have the ability to see TV screens, but some dogs actually enjoy it. Mainly, studies have shown that dogs enjoy watching videos of other dogs and animals like squirrels.

Dogs may also be gravitated to watching the TV when bright blue and yellow shades come onto the screen. This is most likely just because these colors are eye-catching to dogs.

So How Can Dogs Differentiate Color?

You may have seen videos of dogs picking out different colored balls from a box on demand. For instance, the dog’s owner will tell their dog to bring them the red ball, and they will do it correctly. But, how can dogs do this if shades of red appear to be shades of yellow? Wouldn’t they get confused?

While it is true that dogs have red-green color blindness, they can often differentiate color. This is especially true when the colors are very bright and distinct from one another. Dogs can do this because they are picking the different shades of that color. For example, a bright red ball and a bright yellow ball will still appear to be different from dogs. This is because the balls will be different shades of yellow.


We hope you now have a better understanding of dog’s eyesight and the colors they can see. A dog’s eyesight is very similar to a human who has red-green color blindness, but it does not inhibit them from exploring the world around them! While dogs may not have the same color spectrum of sight we do, they are superior in their sense of smell and hearing, so they are still very capable of gaining knowledge of the world around them, even without all the colors.

Shawsheen Animal Hospital is located in Tewksbury, MA and is ready to see you and your pets. If you’re looking to learn more about your canine friend in the Tewksbury area, we can help. Call us today at (978) 851-5558, or Request an Appointment online.

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