What's the Best Color for Dog Toys?
Dogs are not color blind, but they do see fewer colors than humans. The brightest colors in a dog's world are blue and yellow, making these the best choice when it comes to choosing a toy for your pup. And it's why our range of Rascals and Pro Fit fetch toys come primarily in blue and yellow.
The Science of How Dogs See in a Nutshell
All animals see the world around them thanks to two types of nerve cells in their eyes. Rods detect light levels and motion. Cones differentiate between different colors. On top of that, there are different types of cones, each corresponding to different colors.
Most mammals are dichromatic -- meaning they only have two cone types. Humans are among the few that have three (blue, red, and green).
Dogs have just two, though instead of the blue and green that most other mammals see, dogs see blue and yellow.
Which animals have the most types of cones?
That'd be birds, fish, and some insects and reptiles, which typically have four (or more!) types of cone cells. The butterfly, for instance, has six!
Do Dogs Live in a Blue & Yellow World?
No, but neither do they live in a black and white world, which was the prevalent thought among dog experts until the late 2000s.
Instead, dogs see various shades of black, gray, yellow, and blue. The latter two colors fall mostly into light yellow, dark yellow, light blue, and dark blue categories.
What does this mean for your dog?
Well, have you ever thrown a ball into a field for your dog and he couldn't find it? Even when it was right in front of him? If the ball was red and you threw it into a green field, there's a good chance he honestly didn't see it.
But throw a blue frisbee and your pup will spot it immediately.
That's why Coastal Pet limits its Rascals Fetch and Pro Fit toys to blue and yellow.
By providing toys in colors your dog can see, it makes a game of fetch more fun for both of you. Just imagine how frustrating it would be to know your human threw a ball for you but you can't find it!
When to Use Each Color
Because your dog sees the world in various shades of the same four colors, there are times when using a blue toy vs. a yellow toy will make more sense.
For instance, grass is likely to look yellowish-gray, so a yellow tennis ball could be more difficult for your dog to find.
(Because a dog's sense of smell is so strong, throwing a well-used tennis ball won't be a problem. She'll sniff it right out.)
In outdoor settings, blue toys often make the most sense. The Pro Fit Flying Jack in blue is a great option for outdoor games of fetch. As is the Rascals Fetch Toy Duck, which has the double benefit of being cute and likely to get compliments from other dog owners.
Indoors, you can typically use more colors (even those your dog can't see). The main exception to this is if you've got brightly colored carpeting that can render colorful toys harder to see.