Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Human Sight VS. Canine Sight

Human Sight VS. Canine Sight


As the saying goes, a dog is man’s best friend- yet the interesting thing is that although we rely on our canine pets to see for those who can’t; to protect us against those who want to harm us; and to know who their owners are and to love them unconditionally, few of us really know what it is that they actually see on a day to day basis.

For people who take their pets to be a part of their families and lives, it is almost unbelievable that we would not take a wider interest in knowing what and how our pets see the world and how that differs from the human optical world. Knowing these differences may help people to better understand, love and view their furry friends.

While dogs cannot see as much detail as humans can, their field of vision happens to be wider because of the placement of their eyes. Therefore, although your dog may not pay the attention to detail that a human friend would, your dog will be able to spot an intruder far sooner than you would. In addition, dogs are ultra-sensitive to moving objects (and movement in general) and so, will spot any movement up to a mile away - this is precisely what makes them such an invaluable support for the blind and such excellent search and rescue companions (not to mention hunters). It is necessary to add that dogs could be considered far-sighted as their close-up vision is far inferior and they do not and cannot focus at close range and will generally see things as being fuzzy. They also do not have proper depth perception.

Another interesting fact is that while dogs do not have clear day vision, their night vision is far superior to humans. While we head off to the optometrist for glasses to wear at night - like while driving, a dog becomes an even better watch-dog when the sun sets.

Interestingly, in stark contrast to humans, one should know that a dog who becomes blind generally adapts well to his new condition as sight is least strong of his five senses, with smell and sound being the two strongest. Just as humans who become blind will need time to adjust, so too will a dog - they just do so quicker than their human masters. A noticeable similarity between dogs and humans is that both can note down failing eyesight as one of the downsides to the aging process.

For years now, the myth has circulated that dogs are completely color blind and cannot see or distinguish color at all. Studies have disproved this theory and shown that just as humans (mostly males) can be colorblind, and still detect some color, so can dogs. For canines, red and orange are generally the only two indistinguishable colors, while blue and yellow are the most distinguishable. Today, one would describe a dog as being red-green color blind.

Just like humans, dogs also face a possible host of eye problems and conditions - including cataract, pink eye, glaucoma, dry eye, tumors and infections - just to name a few. Moreover, just as humans need to visit their eye doctors when eye disease seems to be lurking; so too should they see to it that their dogs are afforded the same right. Sure signs that they are up for a veterinary visit include them rubbing their eyes, avoiding light and rubbing their faces on the ground. An excess of tears or red eyes are other tip offs.

Where we find solutions for our optical problems, the nature of a dog is to adapt accordingly and use his other senses as compensation. In the end, probably the greatest difference between the visual ability of humans and canines is that where humans have the simple solution of visiting their eye doctor, updating their eyeglasses prescription and choosing to buy glasses which will correct their visual inefficiencies, the same is not available for dogs.


Hillary Glaser is a social networking specialist and expert in cross-media promotion, currently working on promoting prescription eyeglasses. She is the Director of Marketing and Special Projects for - the easiest way to buy glasses online, which now offers free shipping on all US orders with the code FreeShip10.

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