Color Vision In Dogs

Last weekend, I watched the Western Regional Championships for the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge on TV.  I love watching healthy dogs perform and their unabashed joy at flying through the air.  During the “Big Air” segment of Dock Diving, the handler tosses a toy into a pool for their dog to retrieve.  The dog that goes the farthest is the winner.  While it was great to watch the interaction between the handlers and dogs, what really fascinated me was the toys.  Handlers used all different colors of floatable toys including a pink one.

According to veterinary ophthalmologist, Noelle La Croix of the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island, dogs do not possess the correct receptors in their retinas to see orange/red colors.  They see hues of blue/violet and green/yellow. So using a red or orange colored toy is probably not the best choice.  

Before buying a new toy for your pet, check out a unique app by Unwired Innovations called Pet Vision.  Take a picture with your smart phone and then apply the app to see what your dog sees.  The results are surprising. There is also a setting for cats. 

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.

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