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When Do Puppies Open Their Eyes? How Do Puppies’ Eyes Develop?

What you will learn from this post:

  • Since newborn puppies aren’t yet ready for the harsh lights of the outer world, their eyelids stay closed until they are more grown.
  • Typically, puppies open their eyes within the first 10 and 14 days, and your puppy occasionally opens one eye before the other.
  • You can understand the eye-opening process and how to take care of your puppies during this time.
  • Call the veterinarian with any inquiries or worries relating to “when do puppies open their eyes?”

When Do Puppies Open Their Eyes?

Although raising a puppy is fun, there is a lot to learn in the beginning. Some of the most important issues are “When do dogs open their eyes?” and “When do puppies start walking and opening their eyes?” 

How old are puppies when they open their eyes?

Due to their extremely sensitive eyes to light, puppies are born with their eyes closed to help protect them. The average time it takes for a newborn puppy to open its eyes is between 10 and 14 days , but it can take up to 21 days

Although some pups open their eyes simultaneously, you can observe that yours opens one eye first and the other a little while later. When the nerves in your puppy’s eyes are ready to open, you’ll notice a sudden shift in the dog’s body language as they start to investigate its surroundings.

What Can Newborn Puppies See?

Even once their eyes are open, you shouldn’t anticipate your newborn puppies to perform well on an eye test. The transition stage, which lasts from week two to week three of a new puppy’s life, is when newborn puppies open their eyes, according to Zazie Todd.

A newborn puppy’s eyes are not particularly good at focusing when they first open and the vision is a little hazy. Additionally, they cannot stand intense light. Therefore, to safeguard their eyes at this young age, you should keep pups in a room with low lighting. Don’t expose them to direct sunlight.

Although puppies’ eyes are particularly sensitive to strong illumination, the following few weeks are critical for optimal eye development. Puppies should stay in a room with low illumination to prevent any injury or problems with visual development. They can start to observe their surroundings if their eyes are used to being open and absorbing light.

How Do Puppies’ Eyes Develop?

A puppy’s eyes are always closed at birth. Because the nerves in a newborn puppy’s eyes are too sensitive and underdeveloped, how soon do puppies open their eyes and how do they develop their eyes? Here is a brief summary of 4 crucial phases in a puppy’s eye development.

0-2 Weeks: From Closed to Open Eyes

Your puppy’s eyelids are closed during the first two weeks of its life to shield it from light. Puppies’ eyes will start to open as their light-sensitive nerves grow less sensitive. Newborn pups are also born with closed ears.

The 2-week dogs can still close their eyes and ears.

Although it may take 2 weeks or more time for a puppy to open its eyes, it is a normal and essential aspect of a puppy’s development. But the development of their eyes is far from complete at this point. They will be able to blink, open, and move their eyes, but their vision will be exceedingly fuzzy both up close and at a distance.

2-6 Weeks: Vision Begins to Develop

After opening their eyes, puppies might take 6 weeks to develop their eyesight with some clarity. Though they won’t see much, their vision starts to alter and sharpen in on the near range. Their visual talents are all nearsighted since their capacity to look far away doesn’t develop until later.

Although puppies’ eyes are particularly sensitive to strong illumination, the following few weeks are critical for optimal eye development. Puppies should stay in a room with low illumination to prevent any injury or problems with visual development. They can start to observe their surroundings if their eyes are used to being open and absorbing light.

6-8 Weeks: Greater Visual Sensitivity and Vision 

Puppies’ eyesight improves and sharpens once they are 6 to 8 weeks old. At this point, they will still have trouble distinguishing objects at a distance, but they can do it up close. Light sensitivity won’t be as big of an issue, although being in excessively bright environments can still be uncomfortable. 

At this age, puppies will begin to distinguish their mother and the other puppies in the litter, although they are already accustomed to their odors.

When pups reach the 8-week mark, their ability to see distant objects will improve. Their close-up eyesight is usually finished developing, but their distance vision is still getting slightly hazy. Puppies often go on sale as early as 8 weeks because they can begin to recognize faces.

More Than 8 Weeks: Totally Developed Vision

Puppies will start to have a completely functional vision at 8 weeks and older. Their distant vision starts to get sharper, however, it may take up to 16 weeks for it to fully mature. The eyes of your dog should have finished growing by the time they are 16 months old. 

Unless there are medical reasons for a delay in development, vision should be clear and no longer hazy in both the distance and up close.

What If Your Puppy’s Eyes Are Still Closed?

As mentioned above, although pups should be able to open their eyes by day 14, some can take longer to mature. Some pups’ eyes may not open for up to 3 weeks, depending on whether a medical problem is to blame or just how their eyes are growing. 

Contact a vet if your pet does not open its eyes after 21 days.

In order to make sure everything is progressing normally, keep an eye out for any swelling, lumps, or discharge. An open eye may appear to be closed because the puppy may not open them all the way. Keep a check on the eyelids for any squinting or movement that might mean a blink of an opening.

If your 3-week-old puppy hasn’t opened its eyes, you should take your pet to the doctor to be certain that your pet doesn’t have a medical issue or isn’t blind.

When to See the Vet for Your Puppy’s Eyes Are Still Closed?

You should look for any indications of vision impairment or eye disorders starting the moment your puppy’s eyes open and continuing through the last week of growth. Even though it may first be challenging to determine, it’s crucial to examine.

Here are some warning signals that necessitate a vet visit for a diagnosis:

  • Hazy, smoky areas;
  • White and milky film covering the eyes;
  • Eyelid swelling and discharge;
  • Abnormally formed pupils;
  • Enlarged tear ducts.

How to Take Care of your Puppy’s Eyes

Take good care of your puppy’s eyes.

A puppy’s eyelid should never be forced to open, especially before the eyes have fully opened. So it is time that you must comprehend the fundamentals of puppy eye care.

The good news is that maintaining the health of your puppy’s eyes doesn’t need much effort on your part. Your puppy’s eyes may be kept clean and soothed from discomfort by wiping the crust away each morning with a wet cloth. 

It is even more critical to maintain your dog’s environment germ-free when this important physical growth is taking place in order to prevent infection. The last thing your dog wants at this crucial time is for conjunctivitis to set in. Conjunctivitis in dogs can result in lifelong blindness if neglected.

You may also visually check your dog’s eyes at this time to make sure they don’t have any other symptoms of a condition, including redness or foreign items in the eyes.

Here are some quick pieces of advice for you:

  • Puppies should be kept inside until they can see.
  • Beware of bright lights.
  • Check eyes often for anomalies.
  • Let the mother dog handle the majority of the childcare.
  • When the eyes become soiled, gently clean them.

To Sum Up

So when do puppies start opening their eyes? Generally, it might take 10 to 14 days. If your pet does not open its eyes after 3 weeks, you need to ask your veterinarian about the puppy’s growing schedule to have the best diagnoses and the most suitable solutions.

Because puppies’ eyes are so vulnerable, receiving the right treatment as soon as possible helps ensure that their eyes are not harmed later in life.

Camp Canine Florida
Camp Canine Florida
We are special people who love pets, especially dogs. Over the past 3 years, we have accumulated a lot of experience in how to care for and train dogs. Now, what we're doing is building an in-depth blog to share knowledge that will help you get to know your dogs better, making you and your dog best friends.

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