The five major senses are the portal for living creatures into the world, and lacking in any sense radically changes lives. The same goes for dogs, which you likely connect with a strong sense of smell. While dogs are notoriously good smellers, the story with their eyes is a bit different. Your dog’s vision is quite different from yours, and the average distance that your pup can see semi-clearly is 40 meters.
How Do Dogs See?
Unlike humans, dogs obviously do not read or write, so a dog’s eye functions, as well as the capabilities of the eyes, vary considerably from your eyes. A given dog’s motion detection sensitivity is very high when compared to humans, which is part of what makes your dog such a naturally good hunter.
If your mutt suddenly perks up in response to something, it might have detected something in the distance that you did not pick up on. Another feature of a dog’s eyes is the extra-wide field of vision. Your dog has better peripheral vision than humans, roughly 60 degrees better. This helps it see things to the sides and almost behind them, where we humans are more limited in peripheral vision.
Unlike what you might think or have heard from others, dogs are not colorblind. Although a small percentage of dogs are colorblind, just the same as humans, most dogs can see colors. The spectrum of colors that your dog is able to see is short, mostly shades of blue and yellow, which is called dichromatic vision in the eye world.
The dog equivalent of a human vision test score is 20/75, while the normal human vision score is 20/20. Dogs’ vision is not bad for the tasks that a dog performs, however, as heightened motion sensitivity and ultra-effective noses make up for the relatively poor close vision that dogs have. In fact, during the night or in dark places, dogs have superior vision to humans and can capture extra light in the eyes.
The Nose of a Dog
Although your dog’s eyes are not the strongest, it easily makes up for this inadequacy with its exceptional nose and ears. If a dog does not see something far away or simply detects the motion, it will use its smelling and hearing senses to confirm whatever it thinks it sees. Dogs are capable of detecting tiny materials in giant spaces, which is why you often see them in airports smelling bags and people.
One way to think of your dog’s nose is that it uses the nostrils with the eyes to get an idea of what it senses. So, while your dog’s eyes are sub-par, its nose makes up for it. Dogs’ noses are extremely precise and fill in the many gaps in life that the eyes miss out on. Even things that humans are unable to easily detect with our senses, such as cancer body heat, and more, are sniffed by your dog.
Due to the structure of your mutt’s olfactory system, the smelling system, there are streams of odors constantly entering and leaving its nose, both when it inhales and exhales. Another feature of your dog’s brilliant nose is its ability to recognize an incredibly wide variety of smells and chemicals, many of which humans are unable to detect.
The extraordinary noses of dogs are a major part of what makes dogs great service animals. Apart from a dog’s warm presence and comforting personality, it can also sniff out many forms of danger by simply using its nose. A dog’s vision is also very important to prevent leading people into objects or traffic that it cannot see, although the nose’s brilliance cannot be overstated.
How to Tell If Your Dog Is Blind
If you suspect that your dog is blind or is losing its vision, there are a few telltale signs and things to look out for. Discovering your dog’s lack of proper vision will often protect it from extra harm and can cut the risk of further damage. There are signs of blindness in both your dog’s actions and the physical part of your dog’s eyes.
First and foremost, it is important to know that many signs are subtle, and are difficult to detect without prior knowledge. If your canine is acting lethargic or is walking around only in very familiar parts of your house, its sight might be beginning to dwindle. Defensive or aggressive behavior when you approach your dog or try to play with it can also represent decreased vision, which manifests as fear.
You can often discover more obvious signs of vision deterioration and blindness in your dog’s eyes, which might look strange. One of the most common eye abnormalities in blind or soon-to-be-blind dogs is white spots or cloudy eyes. Since this symptom usually develops slowly over time, you might have to look at old photos to see if there are any changes.
Another common test that you can do to see if your dog is going blind or is already blind is by checking out its pupils, specifically whether the pupils dilate. If you put a flashlight up to your dog’s eyes and the pupils do not dilate, that is a telltale sign that its eyes are not working properly. Another sign is a reduction in eye contact with your dog, which means that it no longer looks you in the eyes.
Although it is not a dog’s strongest sense, dogs are capable of seeing about 40 meters’ distance, although at this distance the picture it sees is blurry. Dogs are better suited to see motion, not clarity, and have wider peripheral vision than humans. In the darkness, dogs are also stronger than humans, although the color spectrum that your pooch sees is short.
Your dog’s real specialty is its nose, which is incredibly strong and accurate. When your dog senses something, it will use three main senses, smell, hearing, and vision, to zero in on an object. The nose of your dog certainly makes up for the shortcomings of its eyes, especially when the eyes malfunction.
When your dog goes blind, there are some signs you can look for, both in behavior and in the physical appearance of the eyes. Despite your dog’s eye condition, consider yourself lucky to have one in your life.