Color Blindness in Animals

If a friend tells you they’re color blind, this generally means they have trouble differentiating certain colors from others. For example, some people with color blindness can look at shades of red and see green and yellow shades. But what does it mean if you hear an animal is color blind?

Your dog’s vision 

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For decades, scientists have known that the vision of a dog is about eight times worse than that of a human. This led many to believe dogs couldn’t see colors at all, and only saw the world in shades of black, white, and grey. However, recent research suggests that dogs can distinguish different colors! One reason their vision may be worse than the average human’s is that they experience red-green color blindness, also known as deuteranopia.

How Fluffy sees the worldpet-1282309_1920.jpg

What about your cat? It turns out a cat’s vision is about six times worse than our vision in terms of how much detail they can decipher. In fact, if your vision was as bad as a cat’s vision, you would be considered legally blind. However, they are much better equipped to see in the dark than humans are.

Equine vision horses-2962718_1920.jpg

Unlike dogs and cats, studies have shown that a horse’s distance and depth perception appear to be comparable to a human’s. Like a cat, however, horses have better vision than humans once it starts to get dark outside. Horses also seem to have the same red-green color blindness common in other mammals, like dogs and cats. Less information is available about the vision of horses simply because their eyes are located on the sides of their head, as opposed to the front like in other animals. This makes testing a horse’s vision difficult for scientists.

What about your vision?

Have you ever wondered whether you have one of the three most common forms of color blindness? You can test your color perception for free with our quick online color blind test!

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