Episode 18: Can Your Pet See Colors, and the Owner Gender Difference

So often we want to describe the way our pets see as simply a black and white version of what we see, but that simply is not true. Pets do not see all the colors we do, but dogs can see basically two colors, a blue-violet and a yellow-green, while cats, who can see shades of gray better than dogs, can also see blue and yellow. The pet’s tapetum, which is a reflective surface on the back of the eye, allows pets to see better, though less distinctly, at night. This tapetum also causes the odd colors to appear in pictures. while human’s lack of a reflective tapetum leads to “red eye.”


Su Szu and Nanu Joerss, demonstrating reflective tapetums and humping


Eme and Nyah

Eme and Nyah


Beyond colors, dogs and cats simple process the images differently than we humans do. The first processing center of vision, which is located in front of the retina’s rods and cones (which detect light), are set up differently. While humans are designed to to edges, dogs and cats are designed to see horizontal movement, such as a rabbit running across the ground.



This processing center in humans can be tricked, which is how optical illusions are designed. With complex patterns of colors, we can send these processing cells into a feedback loop, making it look like a picture is moving, even when it is not.




John and Dr. Rumore also discuss how a man’s deeper voice is more suited for reprimanding a pet, while a higher pitched voice is better at praising a pet. These voice tones can lead to trouble men and women train puppies, or even adult dogs.

Subscribe to PetAnswers on iTunes

Listen to Episode 18: Can Your Pet See Colors, and the Owner Gender Difference