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How well is your pet eyesight?

A “Look” at Pet Vision

Have you ever wondered just how well your pet can see?  It differs from one pet to another. Amazingly, the size of your cat or dog actually has an impact on how well it can see, simply because a pet that is lower to the ground cannot see as far as a pet that is taller.

  • The Impressive Vision of Pets

When it comes to the ability to see objects in the dark, cats and dogs are far superior to humans.  In fact, cats need about 85% less light than humans in order to see.  Dogs have flickering detection above 60Hz.  For this reason, watching television may be quite a bit less enjoyable for your pets because they most likely see the flickering images on the screen that human eyes do not even notice.

Your pets are better capable of distinguishing among shades of gray than you are.  Dog has higher depth of field vision its eyes are set further apart, resulting in a field of view of about 240 degrees. By contrast, human field of vision is 180 degrees.


  • The Not-So-Impressive Vision of Pets

On the other hand, pets are not nearly as capable of distinguishing colors as humans.  Humans are trichromatic, which means we can see three primary colors:  blue, red, and yellow.  This allows humans to see thousands of different color variations.  Pets, on the other hand, are dichromatic.  While they are not colorblind, they are only capable of seeing yellow and blue, but not red color.

Some pets have difficulty seeing close up objects.  In fact, some cannot see objects closer than one to two feet from their noses.  By contrast, human babies can see objects as close as three inches from their nose.  This ability does, however, decrease as the human gets older and the lens becomes less flexible.  In addition, pets have the advantage of whiskers to help them identify objects that are close up.

Pets also have limited depth perception, while humans have excellent depth perception.  In addition, the human eye has about 1.2 million optic nerve fibers.  Your pet, on the other hand, has about 150,000 optic nerve fibers.  This means your pet cannot see as clearly or in as much detail as you.