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Pets and their vision by Dispensing Optician Claire Atkinson

Dispensing Optician Claire Atkinson takes a closer look at our pets, their vision and how they see the world around them.

How does your dog see

Here at Allegro Optical, we are all animal lovers and between us have a variety of different pets, so I thought it would be quite interesting to do this blog to look closer at our pets and how they see the world.


When dogs look at us lovingly, what is it they are really seeing? It has been found that nearly all dogs are near sighted to varying degrees depending on the breed. However, they are more sensitive to motion at a distance. It is estimated 10-20 times more than humans are. This means that they are well suited to hunting at dawn and dusk.

Xan and DanDan

Interestingly, their colour vision is limited and is similar to that of a human who has red/green colour blindness. They are less sensitive to variations of grey shades and half as sensitive to brightness changes.

A dog’s stereopsis, (ability to perceive the world in 3 dimensions), is usually affected by the set of their eyes and the length of their nose. Adults performed better than juveniles when testing this.

Steve Sheryl and Dan


Our feline friends have a slightly wider field of view than humans. They have 200 degrees compared to a humans’ 180 degrees. They also have 6-8 more rod cells which are more sensitive to lower light conditions than a humans eyes but humans have 10 times more cones so see a broader spectrum of colour.

Helen and Dolly

Cats eyes glow when light is shined at them due to a reflective structure which is part of the retina known as the tapetum lucidum. This amplifies the light to allow them to see better in the dark. Cows, horses and ferrets also have this.

Cats vision Cat vision (top) is compared with human vision (bottom)*.


Of the 5 senses, eyesight is more acute in parrots. They see the same colours as us but with a more vivid and stark differentiation. They also have the ability to see the UV spectrum (similar to us using a UV light in a dark room).
Humans find it difficult to differentiate the sex of a bird through colour, but to a parrot they look very different.

Claire's Parrot

Males have reflective patches of feathers, not seen by the human eye. It has been found that females prefer males with a stronger reflection.

A parrot can peer into his food bowl and gravitate towards titbits that appear brighter and more colourful to him but which to us look more mundane.


Claire's Rabbit

Rabbits are lateral eyed animals which allows them to have an almost 360-degree view of the world. They do have a small blind spot in front of their nose, under their chin and directly behind them. This prevents them from seeing any real 3D close objects. As with dogs, they have also been found to have a form of colour blindness.

Claire Atkinson - Dispensing Optician Musicians Optician Greenfield Uppermill Saddleworth

Claire Atkinson

Claire is the resident Dispensing Optician in Greenfield and she brings a wealth of experience to the team.

With a fantastic eye for fashion, Claire is the “go to” woman for frame advice. With her encyclopedic knowledge of lens types, she is able to advise on all kinds of vision correction.

Claire is a real animal lover in particular her parrot Peanut and Ralph the cat.