Can Dogs See Better in The Dark? 3 Key Reasons Why Dogs Can See Better in The Dark

can dogs see better in the dark

Dogs are said to see in the dark better than humans do, but does this mean they can see things like cats? Can Dogs See Better In The Dark? The answer is complicated. Most dogs can see in the dark better than humans, but the theory behind whether they can see things like cats in the dark isn’t so straightforward. What exactly is it that makes dogs better than humans at seeing in the dark? Read on to find out!

How Can Dogs See Better In The Dark?

Dogs have a few special tricks up their sleeves that allow them to see better in the dark. We’ll discuss this in the list below.

  1. First, their eyes use a higher concentration of rods, the photoreceptor cells responsible for low-light vision.
  2. Second, a layer of tissue called the tapetum lucidum at the back of a dog’s eye reflects light back on itself to improve vision in dark environments.
  3. And third, dogs’ pupils dilate more than those of humans and most other mammals during nighttime hours which allows even more light into their eyes.

All of these factors combined allow dogs to see better in the dark than humans. Additionally, dogs can detect movement better in the dark thanks to their wider field of vision and the lack of fovea in their eyes.

Also check out: Can Dogs See in The Dark?

Can Dogs See in The Dark Better Than Cats?

While dogs can see better in the dark than humans, they aren’t quite as good as cats are. Cats have a much higher concentration of rods in their eyes compared to dogs, so they are able to see even better than dogs in the dark. However, dogs can still see better than humans. A professor of comparative ophthalmology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Paul Miller estimates that a dog can see in light five times dimmer than what the human eye needs. (Cats need about one-sixth of the light humans need to see in darkness.)

Thus, cats are a step ahead of dogs when it comes to night vision.

Also, check out How Do Dogs See In The Dark?


So, while it is true that most dogs can see better in the dark than humans, they do not see in total darkness. A dog’s vision is limited to very low light conditions only; meaning that although they may be able to easily navigate your living room at night, you won’t be able to take them outside for a walk in the middle of the night. Even on the darkest of nights, a dog’s eyes will be limited to seeing at least some light. So, although dogs may be able to see better in the dark than humans, they still can’t see as well as cats can.

Thank you for reading the article.

Explore more dog vision-related articles that you might be interested in here.

Did you already know that dogs can see better than humans in the dark? Have you ever made your dog your guidepost when the lights were out? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community by leaving a comment below!

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