Most people know dogs can hear and smell things that humans can’t, but did you know there are things you can’t see that your dog can?
Well, dogs have the tremendous ability to see ultraviolet light, meaning their world is only ruffly the same as ours. Because pups can see UV rays, they see a whole lot more than you or I ever could.
Here are 11 things that make your dog’s world a bigger, brighter place than our own.
1. Banana spots
While you see a loaf of banana bread in the making, your dog sees something a tad more psychedelic: spots that glow blue. But will he eat a banana when it’s all spotty? That just depends on how ripe he likes his bananas.
2. Black light anything
Tattoos, T-shirts, toys—if it’s branded as “black light,” your dog doesn’t need a black light to see it. For him, it’s just…light.
3. Layers in paint
Your dog sees an artist’s every mistake and change of heart, again, because of his ability to see UV light. Maybe bring him along to the flea market next time and use his canine vision to help you spot real (and fake) masterpieces.
4. More of the night sky
One of the most incredible things for city folks to witness in the countryside is the night sky. There are so many more stars visible out there! (Stupid light pollution.) Yet your dog sees even more stars and celestial bodies right in the city than you do driving out to the sticks.
5. Security features in money
Your dog would be better at spotting counterfeit money than you—if he had any idea what to look for. Not like he even understands what money is. He thinks treats grow on trees.
6. Human teeth
If you use a lot of fluoride-based products, your dog probably confuses you for the Cheshire Cat because, to him, it looks like your teeth are glowing. Ditto if you have dental prosthetics.
Fingers crossed you’ll never have malaria, which quinine is used to treat. You probably know it from tonic water instead. To dogs, this extract glows blue because of—you guessed it—ultraviolet light.
8. Lint and hairs
You know how you can pick up a sweater and not notice anything’s on it? But, gradually, as you go about your day, lint and pet hairs begin to surface. Well, your pooch knew those suckers were there all along because of his ability to see UV light and just didn’t tell you. What a jerk.
9. Pee marks
OK, obviously we can see a fresh puddle of pee on the floor or ground. What your dog sees is the residue left behind when pee hasn’t been fully cleaned from something. (Yuck.) That’s because urine stains also are on the UV wave length.
10. Their own farts
Really? Yeah, really. (Oh, and this one has nothing to do with UV light.)
11. The Earth’s magnetic field
Your furry friend aligns himself with the north-south axis every time he pees. That’s because he can actually see the Earth’s magnetic field. Talk about metaphysical.