Can dogs see spirits

Can Dogs See Spirits?

Why your dog may be acting weird

One of the most intriguing questions for pet owners and paranormal enthusiasts alike is whether dogs can see spirits.

Over the years, there have been numerous anecdotal accounts of dogs reacting strangely to seemingly empty spaces or staring intently at areas where nothing is visible to the human eye.

This has led many to believe that dogs have a heightened ability to detect ghosts, spirits or other supernatural beings. While some argue that dogs possess this extraordinary ability, others contend that there may be more rational explanations for their behaviour.

Dogs’ Abilities to Detect Spirits

Heightened Senses

Dogs possess a variety of heightened senses that enable them to perceive their surroundings in ways that humans cannot.

Their ability to see in low-light conditions is far superior to ours, thanks to a layer in their eyes called the tapetum lucidum which improves their night vision (source).

Animals such as dogs and cats have also been known to be sensitive to subtle changes in air pressure or vibrations in their environment (source).

This heightened sensitivity might enable them to detect certain types of energies or phenomenon that humans cannot readily perceive.

Historical Beliefs

Throughout history, there have been countless stories and beliefs about animals, particularly dogs, being able to see or sense spirits and other supernatural beings (source).

In some cultures, dogs have even been attributed with the ability to see the Angel of Death or other similar entities (source).

While many of these stories and beliefs are rooted in folklore, they demonstrate the longstanding notion that dogs are uniquely capable of perceiving otherworldly beings.

Sceptical Perspective

Though some people believe that dogs and other animals can see spirits, there are several explanations and viewpoints that remain sceptical of this claim.

Scientific Explanations

Dogs have heightened senses compared to humans, which may lead them to detect things that people cannot. They have a wider field of vision and better low-light vision, as well as a sense of smell that is several orders of magnitude stronger than ours (American Kennel Club).

Furthermore, dogs can hear frequencies up to 45,000 hertz, while adult humans can typically only detect up to 20,000 hertz (The Dodo).

Due to these heightened senses, dogs may react to stimuli that appear supernatural to humans, when in fact there is a scientific explanation.

For example, a dog may react to sounds from electronic devices, vibrations from pipes, or scents that humans cannot perceive.

Lack of Evidence

Although some people report instances of their animals reacting to unseen entities, there is no concrete evidence supporting the claim that dogs or other animals can see spirits or ghosts.

Whilst anecdotal accounts exist, they lack scientific rigour and can be subject to misinterpretation or confirmation bias.

To definitively prove the existence of spirits and animals’ ability to sense them, controlled experiments would be required. However, research on this topic is scarce, and what has been conducted is often met with scepticism by the scientific community (Psychology Today).

As such, claims that dogs can see spirits remain inconclusive and open to interpretation.

Other Animals with Spiritual Sensitivities

While dogs are often thought to be able to see spirits, they are not the only animals that are believed to possess this ability.

Cats, birds, and horses also display behaviours that may indicate spiritual sensitivities.


Cats are well-known for their mysterious and intuitive nature. They have long been associated with the paranormal, with many people believing that they can see ghosts or sense other spiritual entities.

According to LiveAbout, cats have been observed staring at seemingly empty spaces or reacting to invisible presences.

One theory suggests that cats’ heightened senses, such as their ability to detect subtle changes in air pressure or to see in low light conditions, may contribute to their supposed spiritual awareness. Furthermore, their keen sense of smell might enable them to pick up on scents left by spiritual entities.


Birds, such as crows and ravens, are often regarded as spiritual messengers in various cultures. These intelligent creatures have acute senses, including highly developed eyesight and a keen sense of hearing, which could potentially lead them to detect spirits.

There is a general belief that birds are sensitive to spiritual energies and may respond to them through their behaviour – for example, by acting agitated or by suddenly taking flight in the absence of any obvious threat.


Horses possess a unique sensitivity to their environment, as well as to the emotions of the humans around them. This sensitivity, combined with their strong senses of hearing and smell, could contribute to their ability to detect spiritual presences.

There are many anecdotal reports of horses reacting to unseen entities, such as refusing to enter certain areas or displaying signs of fear or agitation. This behaviour may be attributed to their heightened awareness of energies or spiritual beings.

It is important to note that while there is evidence to suggest that animals like dogs, cats, birds, and horses may possess heightened sensitivities, there is still much debate surrounding the topic of animal spirituality and their ability to detect spirits.

So, can dogs see ghosts?

Whilst some anecdotes and beliefs suggest that dogs possess the ability to sense supernatural beings, like ghosts and spirits, there’s still no definitive scientific proof of their existence or detection ability by dogs (Purina).

On the other hand, dogs have an exceptional range of senses, such as a heightened sense of smell and a superior ability to see in low-light conditions (American Kennel Club).

Some experts believe that these heightened senses contribute to their perceived ability to sense the paranormal. However, its important to remember that it’s possible that dogs could be reacting to something we’re not yet able to detect, rather than the presence of spirits or ghosts.

While there are arguments on both sides of this debate, the scientific community has yet to provide solid evidence proving or disproving the ability of dogs, or other animals, to see spirits.

As such, the belief in their ability to do so remains rooted primarily in individual experiences and cultural beliefs.

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