• Puppies

  • Vision Acuity

  • Color Blind

  • Peripheral Vision

  • Night Vision

  • Eye Protection

  • Common Eye Conditions

Puppies are born with their eyes closed and it’s not until the third week during the transition period that the puppy’s eyes and ears open.

A human with good vision would have 20/20 vision. A dog’s vision is typically 20/75, meaning the detail a human can see at 75’ a dog with typical vision needs to be at 20’ to see the same detail.



In good lighting, dogs can see in color but mostly yellows, blues, and combinations of these colors.  This is why an orange ball in the green grass doesn’t stand out to the dog like it does to us. Since they have red-green type colorblindness they do not see the contrast in the way we do. Dogs do have excellent low light vision and seeing differing shades of gray like they do they can detect movement in low light about three times better than us. It is now believed that dogs can see in ultraviolet which means they can see things in low light that are invisible to humans. [4] Compared to us, dogs have poor vision up close and reasonably good vision at a distance. [1]



The average dog has a field of vision between 240 and 250 degrees. This gives the average dog a field of view that is about 60-70 degrees greater than us humans. This is one reason they see things moving before us most of the time. Brachycephalic breeds like the boxer have a broad skull and short muzzle. These dogs have frontally placed eyes giving them a field of vision of about 200 degrees. The narrower the dog’s field of view, the more binocular vision they have which helps with better focus and depth of field straight ahead. Compare the brachycephalic breeds with dolichocephalic breeds like a greyhound where the eyes are set further to the side, they have a field of view of about 270 degrees.  Sight hounds like the greyhound have a much narrower binocular vision when looking straight ahead. The wider field of view adds to their ability to detect peripheral movement.[2] This is also a consideration when walking your dog. A dog like a Boxer with a narrower field of view looking straight ahead can lose sight of you easily if they are out in front. On the other hand an Afghan Hound can keep you in their peripheral vision while they are in front with much less work. (See Walking Your Dog) The greater peripheral vision in turn can fuel the desire to give chase to other animals. Movement can be just as distracting for dogs, as it is for us humans when learning. Ivan Pavlov known for his experiments with dogs using tones and salivation learned that something as simple as a shadow being cast into the room could interfere with learning.[3]

Eye Protection & Sunglasses?

Generally speaking dogs do not need eye protection or sunglasses. But there are dogs that can benefit from eye protection. This is a short article by Dr. Dodds that can help you decide.

Dog Sunglasses: Fashion Statement or a Health Necessity?

By W. Jean Dodds, DVM on July 22, 2019

There are two brands and types that I would consider if eye-wear was needed. Doggles & Rex Specs Dog Goggles









Corneal Ulcers

Distichiasis - eyelash hairs rubbing against the cornea, irritating it.

Dry Eye

Entropion - eyelid is inverted

animal eye vet.png

Marcella Ashton BVSc, DVM, MRCVS, DACVO

6023 Jefferson Ave. Ste. E, Murrieta, CA 92562

Email: info@animaleyevet.net

Phone: (951) 801-6166 

Fax: (951) 304-1018

[1] The Dog’s Mind   Bruce Fogle

[2] The Dog  Its Behavior, Nutrition, and Health  Second Edition  Linda P. Case

[3] Conditioned Reflexes  I.P. Pavlov

[4] https://www.livescience.com/43461-cats-and-dogs-see-in-ultraviolet.html


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