In this article, we go over Doggy Night Vision and explore How your dog sees in the dark.

You might need night vision goggles if you take your dog out for a late-night bathroom break, but what about them? How well do dogs see in low light? Quite surprisingly, yes. Their low-light vision is superior than ours, yet neither of us can see clearly in complete darkness.

Although a precise figure is often elusive, studies have shown that canines can see in light levels five times lower than human eyes can. Another difference between dogs and humans is the size of their peripheral vision, or field of sight. Their ability to sense motion is enhanced by this. Unfortunately, their depth perception isn’t up to par with ours, which impacts the quality of the images.

As a general rule, dogs can only see 20 feet in front of them in order to see objects that humans can see 75 feet away. One explanation for this is that the tapetum lucidum, instead of focusing light on the photoreceptors, scatters it. Another reason is that they don’t have binocular vision like humans, which makes it harder for them to perceive depth.

Dogs may not have perfect eyesight, but they more than compensate with their acute sense of smell (which has over 100 million scent receptors) and hearing (which can be purposely tuned out by manipulating 18 muscles in the ears) to focus in on certain noises.

Photoreceptors known as rods and cones are present in the retinas of canines and humans alike. Daytime vision acuity and color perception are both enabled by cones. According to Georgina Ushi Phillips, DVM, rods aid in low-light adaptation, which in turn aids in night vision, grayscale perception, and tracking motion.

We may learn a lot about our dog’s vision (and lack thereof) by counting the number of cones and rods in their eyes and comparing the results to our own.

In contrast to humans, which have nine rods for every cone, canines have around twenty rods for every cone. Because of this, dogs have superior night vision in low light, whereas humans have superior color vision. (However, the claim that dogs cannot see red or green is inaccurate; in fact, they can see various colors of yellow and blue.) Pupils in dogs are bigger and can take in more light.

A dog’s tapetum lucidum is another structure that aids with its night vision. They have something that acts like a mirror behind their eyes, reflecting and amplifying light when it’s dark outside. This is the mechanism behind eyeshine, the phenomena wherein a dog’s eyes light up when it’s dark. Equine, ferrets, cats, deer, and cattle all possess this reflective coating.