This is one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to a dog’s vision. Many people are curious as to whether dogs can see colors. The simple answer that dogs are colorblind is often misinterpreted by people. They believe that dogs don’t see color, but only shades of grey. However, according to a 1995 study done by the American Veterinary Medical Association, this is not true. Dogs can see color-they do have many color-sensitive cones in their eyes- but what they see is not nearly as rich or as many different shades as humans can see.
Explanation of Canine Vision
A dog’s eyes contain special cells that are known as cones- just like humans. These cones catch light and create a response to color. However, there are fewer cones in a dog’s retinas than humans, which means they don’t see nearly as many colors as we can. In addition, the colors they can see are not as vibrant and rich as the colors that we can see. This limitation to their vision is referred to as dichromatic because there are only three types of light-catching cone cells in their retinas.
Colors Dogs Can See
It is true that dogs do not see the full range of colors, but this does not mean that they are not able to see colors at all. They are unable to differentiate between green, yellow, and orange- they all appear to be yellow-ish to a dog. Red appears more as a dark brown/grey or even black.
Dogs can see the color blue, but shades of violet also appear as blue. Shades of blue-green appear to be grey to dogs. Therefore, while science has proven that dogs are not entirely colorblind, they do have partial colorblind that keeps them from being able to see shades of red and green. This is a type of colorblindness that is referred to in the medical community as deuteranopia- and also occurs in humans.
The experts believe that dogs are able to tell the difference in shades of grey that humans cannot see. This is due to the fact that the retinas in dogs have larger numbers of rods, which are responsible for seeing shades of grey. There is less light necessary for proper functioning of rods than cones. Due to this fact, dogs are able to see quite well in situations where the light is dim.
More Information about Dogs Vision
Dogs are much more able than a human to see flickering light. Due to this, they are able to detect smaller amounts of motion than humans would be able to. However, experts do believe that dogs see the TV as a constant flickering than a moving image.
Now that you know that dogs are able to perceive colors, you must also understand that they are also nearsighted. They are unable to focus on shapes. While a human who has perfect vision can see an object from 75 feet- a dog would be unable to see that same object from more than 20 feet away.
Many people believe dogs are colorblind- they can only see shades of gray. This is only partially true. They can distinguish colors- but are also able to see a wider spectrum of grey shades than humans.
While it’s pretty much common sense that you shouldn’t be feeding your dog table scraps, sometimes those sweet puppy-dog eyes get to us and it’s almost impossible to resist sneaking them a little something special from time to time. However, something you must understand is that just because a particular food is healthy and nutritious for us does not necessarily mean it’s safe for consumption by animals- especially dogs. Following, you will find some information on human foods that are acceptable for consumption by dogs as well as a few that you should avoid sharing with your dog. Still, you should keep in mind that all dogs are different- which means these foods should be tried in small amounts and if your dog happens to have a reaction to them, take them to the vet as soon as you are able.
Human Foods Approved for Dog Consumption
Following, you will find 12 foods that have been identified as safe for consumption by animals.
Every now and then, offering your dog a spoon full of unsalted peanut butter is something both of you will be able to enjoy. However, make sure that you take the time to look over the ingredient list and avoid anything that contains xylitol. Unsalted peanut butter is a great source of healthy fats and protein for dogs- and as a bonus, provides you with a great opportunity for some fun photos.
Yogurt is an excellent snack for dogs because it’s very high in both calcium and protein- especially if your dog has sensitive tummy issues. However, be sure that it’s plain yogurt that doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners or added sugars.
Oatmeal is an excellent source of fiber, which makes it perfect for those dogs that have bowel irregularities. In addition, it’s excellent for dogs that have allergies to wheat. However, before you serve it, make sure that you cook it properly and you don’t add any sugar to it.
If your vet has told you that your dog needs some extra protein in his diet, consider adding some unseasoned chicken to his regular food. This is a great way to add some extra protein without adding extra, unwanted fat. In addition, it is an excellent meal replacement if you discover that you’re out of dog food. However- make sure that you cook it- never give it to him raw, as it could cause salmonella poisoning.
In addition to chicken, dogs can reap great benefits from eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon. Therefore, you can slip some cooked (again, don’t give them raw fish) salmon into their bowl for an extra yummy treat- and to give them a coat that is shinier and healthier.
If you give them an overload of broccoli- that is, more than 10 percent of what you give them with their regular food, it can cause gastrointestinal irritation. However, this veggie is rich in vitamin and minerals, which offers a great nutritional boost every now and then for your dog.
Pumpkin- either fresh/raw or from a can- is a great treat to serve your dog. This food gives him a boost of vitamin A and fiber. Keep in mind that if your dog is suffering from problems with digestion, this can be a great addition to their diet to help regulate them.
Green beans are a yummy veggie that is both full of nutritional value and is very low in calories, making them a great choice. They load your dog down with plenty of vitamins and minerals, including iron. However, make sure that you choose fresh beans if at all possible. If you must, canned beans are fine- but make sure they have not added salt. One thing you should keep in mind is that this veggie contains a protein known as lechtins- which has been known to cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting if they are not cooked properly. On the other hand, they typically only contain 10 percent or less the amount that is often found in kidney beans- and most of the time you can eat green beans raw. If you’re still worried about it, you may want to make sure to thoroughly cook your green beans before serving them- whether to your family or your furry friend.
While this food is quite bland, it is also full of protein and calcium. Therefore, it can be an excellent addition to your dog’s diet. However, if your dog has trouble digesting dairy products, you may want to avoid this one.
Cheese, as long as provided in small amounts, are a perfectly wonderful treat for dogs- as long as your dog is not lactose intolerant. While it’s true that this is very rare in dogs, it is something that is quite possible. Make sure that you select the cheeses that are lower in fat, such as mozzarella.
This wonderful veggie is very low in calories, but contains high amounts of vitamins and fiber. In addition, crunching on carrots can be good for the dental health of your dog.
If you find that your dog needs a little bit of extra protein, take some time to scramble an egg for him every now and then for a flavorful and healthy snack. Keep in mind though, that while it’s true that they are high in protein, eggs are also very high in fat. Therefore, you want to avoid giving him too many. In addition, the American Veterinary Medical Association says that you need to avoid giving him eggs that are raw or undercooked, as there is a risk of contracting salmonella poisoning, which can make your dog very sick.
Human Foods You Should Not Give Your Dog
While it’s true that there are plenty of foods (as seen above) that are perfectly safe- and even healthy- for your dog, there are also a few that you should avoid giving him. Here are five of them.
Chances are, you’ve been told- or at least heard, that you’re not supposed to give chocolate to a dog. There’s a very valid reason behind this. While this is yummy for humans, it contains a stimulant that is known as methylxanthines. If it is ingested in large amounts, it can result in conditions such as irregular heartbeat, diarrhea, seizures, vomiting- and even death.
Grapes & Raisins
This fruit is full of nutritional value for humans, but can be toxic to dogs. This fruit can cause a dog’s kidneys to fail.
Onions are likely to make you cry- but can cause your dog to become very sick. Onions damage a dog’s red blood cells.
The bark, fruit, leaves, and seeds of avocados have a toxin in them that is known as persin. This toxin can cause your dog’s stomach to become upset and have difficulty breathing.
Even a very small amount of alcohol can result in your dog becoming intoxicated. This can lead to seizures, vomiting, and death.
As you can see, there are a variety of human foods that can be very beneficial- and even healthy- for your dog. However, there are also foods that people commonly give their dogs that can actually do some serious damage- including death.
One day, you realize that your normally energetic dog is acting listless and withdrawn. Perhaps you’ve recently moved or brought home a new baby. Is it possible that your dog is experiencing depression? According to the experts- yes- and the truth is, depression in dogs is not that much different than it is in people.
If some major life change happens, such as the death of another pet or family member, or if you move to a new location, you may notice that your dog will stop eating and drinking. He may stop wanting to go on walks. He may even resort to hiding somewhere that he feels he is safe. If you notice that your dog is experiencing symptoms of what you feel is depression, be sure to speak with your vet.
According to the experts, they’re not exactly sure if dogs really suffer from depression the way that humans do. After all, since they can’t talk, you can’t really ask them how they are feeling. However, in clinical practice, there are some situations where depression is the only logical explanation. You must understand that while it’s not uncommon for your pet to go through a period of feeling down during changes, it’s very rare that they actually suffer from long-term depression.
Symptoms of Depression in Dogs
The symptoms exhibited by dogs who are experiencing depression are very similar to those exhibited in people, according to the experts. Dogs become withdrawn and inactive. They stop eating as much and start sleeping more. They stop taking part in activities they used to find pleasure in.
However, the experts also warn that some of these symptoms could indicate a major medical problem, so the best thing to do is take him to a vet for a complete checkup. For example, it could be that your pet is moping around and doesn’t want to go for walks because he is suffering from arthritis and walking hurts.
Causes of Depression in Dogs
According to the experts, major changes in the life of a dog could set off depression. This includes things such as moving to a new house, a new child in the household, a new spouse in the household, or even a new pet. Even a change in the typical schedule of the dog can set off depression, such as a formerly stay-at-home owner getting a job outside the home.
However, the two most common depression triggers in dogs are: losing a human companion/owner or losing a companion animal. However, you must be careful that the dog isn’t simply reacting to the behaviors of others in the home. After all, dogs are smart- they pick up on our emotions if someone has passed away and it could be that they are simply responding to the grief of the humans in the house. It’s also possible that he’s getting stressed out because he’s not getting the attention that he’s used to getting.
Treatments for Depression in Dogs
In most cases, dogs will bounce back from depression in a few days or months with just a little bit of extra love and attention. The key is to keep them engaged, keep doing the things they love to do with them, make sure they’re getting plenty of exercise and everything should be fine.
In addition, make sure that you are giving them rewards when they express happiness. If the only thing your dog gets even remotely excited about is going for a car ride, then load him up and take him out each day- and be sure to praise/reward him when he starts to seem happy again. Be cautious that you don’t encourage the negative behavior by giving a depressed dog lots of treats and attention when they are moping. The dog will believe that you are rewarding him for that behavior- and will continue to be that way.
In some cases, if your dog is depressed because he is mourning the loss of an animal companion, it could be that bringing in another pet can be helpful. However, you must be careful with this and keep the needs of your dog and your family in mind.
Medication to Treat Depression in Dogs
If you have tried a variety of treatments, and nothing seems to be helping to get your dog out of his depression, it may be necessary to use medication. According to the experts at the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, the same medications used for depression in humans can also be used for dogs. These include Zoloft, Paxil, and Prozac. In addition, there is a medication that has been approved by the FDA for treatment of separation anxiety in dogs, called Clomicalm.
It is critical that you make sure to deal with the issue at hand before it gets too out of control. Unfortunately, in most cases, once they get to the vet, it’s pretty bad. Therefore, it’s necessary to treat it early on using treatments for behavior modifications and enriching the environment. This way, you don’t reach a point where you need to use medication.
Be aware that if you do need to use medication to treat your dog’s depression, it can take up to 2 months for it to work. However, unlike humans who often stay on the medications for years, in most cases, a dog will be better in 6 months to one year and can be taken off of the medication.
When you make major changes in a dog’s life, they are at risk at becoming depressed and will often act out in that way. They may stop eating and drinking, and even stop playing and doing the things they once enjoyed. If you notice your dog is acting this way and isn’t getting any better, it’s necessary that you take the time to figure out what is going on by taking him to the vet. It may not be depression after all, it could be a more serious medical condition. Always keep a close eye on your pets and if changes need to be made, they should be made gradually so that you don’t throw your pet into a tailspin.
Since there is really no way to communicate with a cat, it’s quite difficult to determine what they are able to see. The only way that we can really describe the way a cat can see is to use modern science as a hitch and examine the eye. While in most cases, cat owners believe that their cat can clearly see them- and can see them in color- the truth is that the cat was not made this way.
We can use modern medical science to learn more information than we ever could before that can tell us what cats can see and why they are only able to see a limited amount of color.
Science of a Cat’s Eye
When it comes to the eye, the main component that is responsible for differentiating colors is the retina. This is an outlet of nerves containing cells known as rods and cones. The cones take in light and turns an image to color. The message will then be sent to the brain, where the concept of color is realized. On the other hand, the rods pull in light through the eye and contrast an image into black and white.
The theory that cats can see color is related to the number of cones and rods that are in their retinas. However, recently, modern science has been able to point out that there is a much higher concentration of rods than cones in the retinas of cats. Therefore, since cats do have some cones in their retina, they can see some color. However, due to the fact that only 20 percent of the cells in a cat’s retina are cones, that leaves 80 percent as rods, which means that while they can see color, they are not really able to differentiate between one color and another.
Why are Cat’s Eyes Important?
When we look back into history as far back as we can trace the cat, they have always been known as hunters. They were able to live and survive in the wilderness by doing their hunting at night and keeping themselves concealed during the daytime. This means that their eyes were a very important asset because they were able to see much better at night, which was critical in order for them to survive.
One of the things you must understand is that a cat’s ability to differentiate colors was never really necessary in order for a cat to survive. In a dark, wooded forest, a cat really didn’t need color. The only thing that was really necessary in order to be a successful hunter was bright contrasts.
As a pet owner, you may wonder if your pet can see colors. As far as cats go, they can see some colors, but not clearly. They can see bright contrasts- but due to the lower concentration of cones versus rods- they are really better able to see in shades of black/white than they are specific colors.