Dog Vision Vs. Human Vision

Have you ever wondered whether dogs have a superior sense of vision to humans? It tickles your interest, don’t you think?

Alternatively, if you are a dog owner, have you ever observed or compared your dog’s vision to yours to better comprehend your beloved pet?

If yes, your hunt for answers has brought you to the ideal location where you may obtain your answers clearly and straightforwardly.

While most people are aware that dogs do not have the same visual abilities as humans, there are several misunderstandings regarding how they see the environment.

First, let us clarify some of the common misconceptions about dogs before going to additional specifics.

Dog Vision Myths

The most widespread myth is that dogs can only perceive two colors: black and white. This misconception has arisen as a result of the fact that dogs are color-blind by nature.

People with just a vague knowledge of color blindness in dogs would immediately associate it with the ability to see solely in black and white, which is incorrect.

Even though dogs only perceive a small number of colors, they can recognize colors the same way as a normal person with color blindness does.

Keep reading to know more about color blindness in dogs.

Vision Of Humans And Dogs

Vision Of Humans And Dogs

Now, let’s take a quick look at some of the most notable human and dog vision aspects.

1. Physical Appearance Of Eyes 

The distinctions in physical appearance between humans and dogs are not black and white (gotcha!).

Black and white signify that they are difficult to discern. Did you get what I was trying to say at first? No, I’m betting you didn’t understand that!

Dogs of all sizes have different-sized eyes, which is comparable to how we people have different-sized eyes.

Human eyes are nearly the same size as those of bigger dog breeds.

  • Iris: Human and dog eyes have identical fundamental structures, but a dog’s cornea width is greater than a human’s, resulting in a larger iris.
  • Reflective Layer:  Another distinction is that humans lack the tapetum lucidum, a reflecting layer beneath the retina. 

This layer reflects light over the retina and out of the eye, giving the animal the eye shine that may be seen when flashing light in its direction at night.

  • Nictitating Membrane: A dog’s eyes are protected not just by the same kinds of eyelids as humans but also by the nictitating membrane, commonly known as the third eyelid. 

It stretches over the eye to protect the eyeball from scratches when necessary.

2. Ocular Muscles

Humans and dogs have a total of nine ocular muscles in common. These common muscles include the following:

  • Superior Rectus: The major function of the superior rectus is to elevate the eye, causing the cornea to shift superiorly; that is, the eye turns to gaze up when the superior rectus contracts.
  • Inferior Rectus: The major activity of the inferior rectus is to depress the eye, causing the cornea and pupil to shift inferiorly; that is, the eye turns to gaze down when the inferior rectus contracts.
  • Medial Rectus: Each medial rectus muscle adducts, or pulls, the eyeball medially as it contracts.
  • Superior Oblique: This muscle turns the eye inward around the eye’s long axis.
  • Inferior Oblique: It turns the eye outwards along the eye’s long axis.
  • Levator Palpebrae: It is responsible for raising and maintaining the upper eyelid position.
  • Ciliary Muscles: It regulates the flow of aqueous humor into Schlemm’s canal and controls accommodation by changing the curvature of the lens.
  • Sphincter pupillae: The pupil is constricted by the sphincter pupillae in bright light.
  • Dilator Pupillae: It dilates the pupil, allowing more light to enter the eye.

Now, in addition to all these common muscles, dogs have one more ocular muscles, which includes:

  • Retractor Bulbs: It is a defensive muscle that forces the third eyelid over the cornea’s surface.

3. Color Blindness In Humans And Dogs

Color Blindness In Humans And Dogs

Many people believe that a person who is color blind cannot perceive any color; however, color blindness comes in many forms.

Similarly, when we think of dogs being color blind, we jump to conclusions and think that they cannot see colors at all.

But, this is not the case. Color blindness in humans can be of three types subdivided into further types, whereas dogs have a particular type. The different variations of color blindness are:

Red-GreenBlue-YellowComplete Color Blindness

Out of these three types, we will briefly discuss red-green color blind as one of the types of red-green color blindness seen in dogs.

Red-green colorblindness is the most prevalent kind of color blindness which, distinguishes between red and green. It has the following types:

  • Deuteranomaly: The most prevalent kind of color blindness is this. It intensifies the redness of green. This kind is modest and does not often interfere with regular activities.
  • Protanomaly: It makes red seem greener and less vibrant.
  • Deuteranopia: It is a kind of green blindness in which green cones are absent, but blue and red cones remain active.

It is a more severe form of deuteranomaly, which dogs have. 

This causes dogs to be dichromatic, meaning they have two kinds of cones in their eyes that can detect only blue and yellow.

  • Protanopia: It is a condition in which the red cones are missing, leaving only the cones that absorb blue and green light.

This type is a more severe form of protanomaly.

4. Highest Vision Acuity

what is a Dog Vision Myths

In humans, the maximum sharpness for vision is in the retina, called the fovea.

The highest acuity for vision in dogs is likewise found in the retina, but it is referred to as a visual streak.

Both fovea and visual streak are retinal specializations.

Which One Has Better Vision?

After understanding all of these facts, you must be eager for me to get to the heart of the matter and answer the most fundamental question about human vs dog vision: do humans see better than dogs, or is it the other way around?

A straightforward answer is that we are winning in this, as we have a better vision than dogs. We can support this fact with the following reasons:

  • Number Of Cones: Humans have a total of 6,000,000 cones; however, dogs only have 1,200,000 cones, which means humans are more sensitive to light than dogs.
  • Types Of Cones: Humans have three kinds of cones that can recognize red, blue, and green; however, dogs only have two types of cones on their retinas, allowing them to see just blue, yellow, and their combinations.
  • Binocular Vision: Dogs have a central binocular field of vision that is about half that of humans.
  • Visual Activity: Humans with 20/20 vision are believed to have a flawless vision, this indicates that at a distance of 20 feet, we can discern letters or objects. 

Dogs’ eyesight is usually 20/75, this implies that what a person can hardly see at 75 feet, a dog can manage to make out at 20 feet.

Even while all of these factors contribute to the notion that humans have significantly better eyesight than dogs, there is one area where dogs outperform us: night vision.

Dogs’ retinas are dominated by rods, allowing them to see well in the dark. Dogs also have stronger motion visibility than humans and improved night vision.


In a nutshell, we can state that there is little variation in the exterior structure of dogs’ and humans’ eyes and some minor variances in the interior structure.

Physiologically, there are significant differences. Humans have stronger eyesight than dogs in general, except for evenings and low light.

You are now aware that dogs’ perceptions are not dissimilar to what a person with a modest visual impairment sees.

I hope this post has given you a greater knowledge of dog and human eyesight than you previously had.

About Tessa Reynolds

Hey, I'm Tessa. I like to do makeup, especially eye makeup. So, I always take inspiration about how I can do better eye makeup that makes my eyes beautiful. Along with makeup, I'm also a big fan of sunglasses, and I always test new glasses that go with my curly hair.