What’s The Best Color For A Dog Toy?

Written by: Deanna deBara

November 28, 2018

So you’re looking for colorful dog toys for your pup…

When you, as a human, want to choose the best color for something—whether it’s a wall in your living room or a sweater to wear to work—you choose based on preference. So, for example, maybe you prefer red sweaters to blue sweaters or think a navy accent wall will look better in your living room than a green one.

And that’s a fine way to choose colors for you. But when it comes to figuring out the best color for a dog toy, choosing based on preference just isn’t the right strategy for your pup.

So, how do you go about choosing colors for dog toys? Which colors are going to be easy for your pup to see—and which are going to be more challenging? And what, exactly, is the best color for a dog toy?

Understanding Dogs And Colors

Matching mom and dog

Before we dive into which color is best for a dog toy, it’s important to understand how dogs experience color—and how that differs from humans.

Many people think that dogs can only see black, white, and various shades of gray, but that’s not true. Dogs can see colors, just fewer colors than their human counterparts. And the reason? They don’t have as many cones.

Cones are photoreceptor cells in the eye that allow you to see color. Humans have three cone cells in the eye, which allows us to see red, yellow, green, and blue wavelengths. But dogs only have two cones that allow them to see blue and yellow wavelengths—which means, for all intents and purposes, they’re red-green color blind.

Why Color Is Important When Choosing A Dog Toy

Dog with purple toy

Understanding how a dog experiences color—and which colors they’re unable to detect—is super important when choosing the color for your dog toy.

So, for example, let’s say you want to buy a Fetch Toy for your dog to play with at the big, grassy dog park down the street and you see a red ball on sale at the pet store. Should you buy it?

The answer is no. Or at least, it’s ‘no’ if you’re concerned about your dog detecting the color. Remember how dogs are red-green color blind? That means their eyes can’t detect either red or green—and, as a result, both colors will appear as a yellowish-gray. So when you throw a red ball across a green grass, it’s going to be impossible for your dog to distinguish the red ball from the green grass.

Not exactly fun for your four-legged pal.

But if you throw a blue ball, like the “Orbee Globe Ball,” it will stand out against the green (or, as they see it, yellowish-gray) and make it easy for them to spot, chase, and play with—which makes it a solid color choice for your dog’s next ball.

What Is The Best Color For A Dog Toy?

Dog with blue ball

So, it all comes down to the million dollar question: what is the best color for a dog toy?

If you’re playing with a toy outside, definitely go with blue, which will create a good contrast with the grass, making it easier for your dog to see. If you’re playing inside, you have a little more wiggle room and can go with any colors your dog is able to see—like blue, yellow, or purple (which your dog will register as a darker blue).

Get Plenty Of Toys With BarkBox

Bulldog with BarkBox

Want to make sure your pup has plenty of toys (in the right color) to keep them busy? Then you’ll definitely want to check out BarkBox. With this monthly subscription box, you’ll get 2 carefully curated dog toys, 2 bags of yummy treats, and a long-lasting chew delivered to your door every month. Plenty to keep your pup entertained all month long! Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. <– This deal is worth up to $120 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription! 🙂

Written by: Deanna deBara

November 28, 2018

Toothbrush-free dental care for dogs.

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A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.