What Does My Dog or Cat See?

We see using the rods and cones at the back of our eyes that receive light. The cones are responsible for our color Vision. People have 3 types of cones: blue, red and green. Humans have at least 7X as many cones as dogs and cats making our Vision much richer than that of our pets. Dogs and cats have two types of cones, blue (blue-Violet) & yellow (yellow-green). This makes their Vision similar to color blind people who cannot distinguish between red and green.

What We See: What your dog sees:
 what we see  what your dog sees

Is My Pet’s Vision 26/ 20?

Most people wonder if their pet’s vision is 20/20 like people. Actually, our “visual acuity” or clarity of how we see things is better than theirs. Here’s a little comparison:
20/ 2 Hawk’s Vision
20/20 Normal Human Vision
20/40 Vision required to obtain a driver’s liscence
20/75 Dog’s vision
20/100-150 Cat’s Vision
20/200 Legally Blind

If you input “dog vision” on the website www.wolframalpha.com , there is an example of a picture
adjusted for both color and acuity. It clearly shows you what you see compared to what your pet sees.

Can My Pet Watch TV?

The answer is it’s probably too irritating for him to watch TV! A TV flickers at 60Hz. We can only detect flickering up to 45Hz, so the TV picture appears continuous to us, but to our pets who can perceive
flickering up to 80Hz, it would be quite difficult to watch. Although most TV’s are 60 Hz, some newer models are 120Hz enabling the pet to watch without picking up on the flickering lights. Watch the videos below to see “Peanut” incensed by what he sees on TV!


1.”Vision in the Animal Kingdom”, World Small animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2009 Ron Ofri, DVM, PHD, DECVO Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Rehovot, Israel

2. Pictures compliments of Tom Pike, University of Lincoln, United Kingdom.

3. “Vision – ‘What Does My Patient See?'”, 65th Convention of Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, 2013. Chantale L. Pinard, DVM, MSc, DDACVO

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