What colours can dogs see?

Here are some insights surrounding our dogs’ vision...

4th December 2023

Are our dogs colourblind? Can canines only see in black and white? Do hounds have excellent vision? We have a lot of questions!

Since there are so many myths out there, at some point, most pet parents may wonder which colours their canine companions can see. Luckily, Animal Wellbeing Specialist, Catrin George, has shared some insights surrounding our dogs’ vision and how we can help them feel more comfortable in our homes…

How your dog’s vision different from yours

Our dogs’ super-cute ‘puppy eyes’ are capable of far more than melting human hearts! Catrin explains: 

“While human eyes have three cones that can identify colour combinations of red, blue, and green, dogs have dichromatic colour vision, meaning they possess only two types of cones and can only really see blue and yellow.”

Fun fact: Over the centuries, dogs have evolved their eye shape to allow them to communicate better with humans!

How clutter can confuse your dog

Canines tend to have 20/75 vision (humans without glasses usually have 20/20 vision; they can see 20 feet out of 20 feet clearly), meaning objects become blurry at a distance. So, if your home is very cluttered, your furry best friend may find it difficult to navigate their way around the house. 

Catrin says: 

“For your pooch, a cluttered home can be a dangerous one - making it harder for them to navigate through and increasing their likelihood of slips and trips.”

Find out how to keep clutter from confusing your canine companion, by checking out our five easy steps to pet-proof your home!

How to decorate your home in a dog-friendly style

We’re so fortunate to be able to share our lives, and our homes, with our dogs. However, we often forget about the effects our decorating decisions can have on our pets – which is why we’re here to help! Discover our pet-friendly decorating advice:


Some of the colour combinations we use while decorating our homes can create a less-than-relaxing environment for our furry best friends.  

Catrin gives her advice on the best dog-friendly colours to use in your home: 

“For a canine-friendly colour scheme, look to incorporate bursts of bright blues and yellows throughout your home. Especially consider this when choosing dog-specific accessories, such as their food bowl and toys, so they can easily see, appreciate and engage with these objects.

The one colour we suggest avoiding in your home if decorating with your pooch in mind is red. To your dog, red will appear a dull dark brownish-grey or even black - and won’t add the vivid ‘pop of colour’ to your home that you hope for.

It’s also good to keep in mind the colours which are indistinguishable to your dog - shades of orange and green will all look like varying shades of yellow, while purple and violets become hues of blue.

While dogs are unable to distinguish certain colours from one another, it is believed that their vision is more attuned to contrasts.

An illustration of the colours dogs see

A monochromatic colour scheme may be pleasing to the human eye but buying all your furniture, soft furnishings and accessories in one shade may make it harder for your dog to discern objects from one another.

Instead, play with pairing sharp contrasting colours together. To keep this visually appealing for yourself, as well as your dog, decorate with colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel to maintain balance.”

Canine-friendly Christmas colours

Those who celebrate wintertime festivities are more than likely to decorate their homes with a host of Christmassy colours – most of which aren’t featured for the rest of the year. During the festive season, however, decorating our homes might have an impact on our pets. 

To avoid upsetting your pooch with bright red decorations, Catrin shares her advice on creating a beautiful yet pet-friendly festive display:

“For a canine-friendly Christmas colour scheme, look to incorporate bursts of bright blues and yellows throughout your home. To keep things feeling festive, weave in rich navy and gold accents to give your home a modern and sophisticated winter wonderland theme!”


Cats might get all the credit for being able to see in the dark, but your pooch’s night vision is pretty good, too! 

Thanks to the way light is reflected into their eyes, your dog’s vision is excellent in dim light. However, here’s what top designer, Marlena Kaminska of ValueLights, has to say about your pet’s preferred lighting situation: 

“While dogs can see better in dim lighting than humans, they will still struggle to see in pitch-black conditions. If you leave your dog downstairs at nighttime, it may be a good idea to leave a table lamp on for their comfort.

Dogs have also been found to be more sensitive to the type of flicker produced by LED lights than humans. Avoid twinkling LED lights in any rooms your pet frequents - especially spaces they like to sleep in.”


Your dog’s perspective on texture may not be something you considered while decorating your home. In case you’d like to provide the ulti-mutt canine-friendly experience throughout your home, Catrin suggests:

“Outside of the world of colour, your decor can be made much more interesting to your pup through what they can feel. Incorporating various textures throughout your home can enhance how they experience the space.

Rugs, cushions and blankets are easy to incorporate no matter your existing decor - and are likely to be a big hit with your dog. Why not channel a Christmas in the Scottish Highlands, and deck your home with thick, plush blankets and felt tartan accessories?

From a practical point of view, picking a dark or patterned fabric is more pet-friendly, as this will better disguise any paw prints, scratch marks or pet hair.”

Thanks to these great tips, we hope that your dog-friendly home will be ready for your pooch to properly enjoy!


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