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Progressive Eye Disease Super Support

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Understanding How Dogs See the World: Canine Vision Insights

Vet Talks 3 min read
Photo of a yellow lab dog on the beach squinting the eyes because of the sun to illustrate how dogs see the world.

Have you ever wondered how dogs see the world around them? With their keen senses, dogs provide us with unconditional love and companionship. In this blog, I will delve into the fascinating topic of how pups perceive their surroundings, addressing common questions about their vision and exploring ways to protect their precious eyesight. So, let’s embark on this eye-opening journey!

Your Pup’s Unique View of Life 

The five senses of smell, hearing, touch, sight, and taste help your dog perceive the world. Just like humans, canines rely heavily on their vision to navigate their surroundings. 

A dog’s eye health is sensitive, and as pet parents, we should be proactive in safeguarding their vision.

The location of the eyes in the dog’s face, and even the size of their nose, can affect how they see the world. But most dogs have remarkable peripheral vision, compromising their depth perception and visual acuity. On average, canine vision is estimated to be around 20/75, meaning they can see at 20 feet what a human with normal vision can see at 75 feet. 

But there are so many differences in how our dogs see the world, as compared to us or even our feline friends: 

Sharp Vision for Tracking

As interesting as it is to understand how dogs see the world, knowing the why is just as important. Your pup’s acute sense of sight helps them detect movement, track objects, and identify their pet parents from a distance. 

Do Dogs See in Black and White? 

While dogs do not perceive colors in the same way as humans, it is a myth that they only see black and white. They can still see a range of colors, however, in a more limited spectrum. Dogs’ color vision is often described as similar to that of a person with red-green color blindness. 

How Dogs See the World at Night

Dogs have a unique adaptation which is called the tapetum lucidum, a reflective layer behind the retina that enhances their night vision. This allows dogs to see in dimly lit environments more effectively than humans. 

Protecting Your Pup’s Eye Health

Photo of a Jack Russell Terrier-looking dog with red goopy eyes being handled by a vet to talk about eye health and how dogs see the world.

A dog’s eye health is sensitive, and as pet parents, we should be proactive in safeguarding their vision. Regular vet visits, diligent cleaning of tear stains, and avoiding exposure to harmful irritants are essential. 

Just like humans, our furry companions can also experience discomfort from bright sunlight and intense glare. Exposure to prolonged sunlight without proper eye protection can lead to conditions like photokeratitis or cataracts. It is crucial to shield their eyes with pet-specific sunglasses or provide shaded areas to rest on sunny days.

Balanced nutrition is one of the easiest ways to promote healthy eyes and vision in your little one. If you are looking for a customized diet that prioritizes your pup’s eye health, I can help you with that here. 

The use of natural supplements can also help. Our vet-formulated NHV PetOmega 3 is packed with omega-3 fatty acids known for their anti-inflammatory properties that support eye health.

NHV OcuLove was specifically designed to promote eye function and keep them healthy. The ingredients in the formula have beneficial properties that proactively support eye health and aid with discomfort and inflammation in and around the eye.

Lastly, NHV Ey-Eas can be used topically in cases of active eye inflammation and infections. Just make sure your pet doesn’t have an eye ulcer before applying the herbal eye drops. 

In conclusion, we can proactively protect our pup’s eye health by understanding how dogs see the world, providing the right diet, and utilizing supplements like PetOmega 3, OcuLove, and Ey-Eas. Their eyes are not just windows to the world but also mirrors of their health, so let us help you provide them with the care they deserve.  

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda completed her undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine in 2010 and graduate studies in veterinary pathology (MVSc. 2012 and PhD 2016) at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine – University of Saskatchewan in 2018. Dr. Nascimento will be hosting her own blog series and sharing her knowledge with our extended NHV family.

Published: June 12, 2023

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