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When Do Puppies Open Their Eyes?

When Do Puppies Open Their Eyes?

Is there anything sweeter than an adorable newborn puppy? Tiny puppy paws, wet snouts and the tiniest ears. Their clumsy walk around the house while their eyes are still closed. However, that phase only lasts a short. In this article we will go over their puppy stage and answer the question — When do puppies open their eyes?

When do puppies open their eyes?

Puppies open their eyes after two weeks. Only from this point on are the central nervous system, the optic nerve and the eyes of the puppy fully developed. Only then do puppies see the world the way they are supposed to. This is the situation for both domesticated and wild dogs.

Occasionally, opening the eyes may begin in the first weeks of life. If you have a larger puppy, they are usually a bit upfront in development than smaller puppies.

First weeks of life for puppies of all breeds 

Newborn puppies need little help from humans. During this time and also afterward, you can do some things that will help your puppy and make sure that his eyes are healthy. That is why rescue centers wait for these first weeks of age to finish, as well as weaning period.

Be sure to consult a qualified veterinarian before making any decisions, especially if signs of swelling or any sign of infection can be seen on your helpless puppies. This transition period asks for special care, and where vision development is happening. Consider your puppies as human babies, be gentle and careful, and try not to touch their eyelids at any time. 

Why the puppies’ eyes are initially closed

When a person is born, he is actually fully developed biologically and ready to explore his environment.

Do newborn the same? Well, not really. Puppies are not yet fully developed at birth and are always born deaf and blind. The dog needs a little time to build up the central nervous system and optic nerve to such an extent that they are operational.

During this developmental phase, the eyes are extremely sensitive to bright light, which is why nature has incorporated this small delay when opening their eyes.

This means that puppies are fully dependent on the help of their mother in the first days of their lives to find their way around.

If you have never seen a puppy open his eyes for the very first time, you have missed something.

I hardly know anything that moves you more and makes your heart jump than this very special moment.

Why you shouldn’t touch the eyes before opening

Not touching the eyes may be a little exaggerated. I have been thinking for a long time whether I should include this warning in the article at all.

Of course, you can touch their eyes very gently. But what you should definitely not do is try to open them by yourself.

There are actually people who want to “help” the puppies open their eyes or cannot curb their curiosity at all. Because it’s so cute.

I have already written above that your dog’s closed eyes have a protective function within the first two weeks of age. They are intended to protect your puppy from being exposed to too strong light, which his optic nerves and eyes cannot cope with at all.

Health issues 

As soon as you try to open your puppy’s eyes with your fingers, you expose him to very great health damage. Not only short-term health consequences, but also long-term consequences that can lead to blindness of your dog or other common issues related to health problems. 

Puppy peacefully sleeping
As soon as you try to open your puppy’s eyes with your fingers, you expose him to very great health damage.

Therefore, under no circumstances should you try to open the eyes of a puppy with your hand. The process of opening is a completely natural mechanism that happens absolutely automatically, it just needs to be given enough time.

We humans do not have to intervene in any way. Puppies of different breeds may need different care but still, try not to intervene without the female dog.

What you can do to make your puppy safe

However, you can do a few little things to give your puppy a safe time until the eyes open.

The most important factor is that you ensure that the puppy always stays as close to his mother as possible. Females know what is best for their children and also take care of the little ones very safely. Just trust the bitch, she has the matter firmly under control and its their entire world.

In addition, you should make sure that the dog bed with the bitch and the other puppies is in a safe environment.

By a safe environment, it means that a puppy must not run the risk of falling down a staircase, for example. Its vision starts to develop but it is still not a good idea to let them wander around with the mother dog.

Make sure that the bed with the bitch and puppy is on a flat surface and that there are no sloping places in the vicinity that could be at risk of injury.

Owner of an absolutely adorable pup wonders <span style=
Normally, the process runs completely smoothly and naturally until the eyes are open. Complications are relatively rare.

This happens as soon as the dog’s eyes are open

As soon as their eyes are open, the development of your puppy is not quite over yet. Puppies still need a little longer for their eyes to be fully developed.

Their vision will probably still be very blurred and you should avoid bright light in the first few days after their eyes open.

Just be a little considerate of the puppies, even if the eyes are already open.

When you should see a veterinarian

Normally, the process runs completely smoothly and naturally until the eyes are open. Complications are relatively rare. Warm water can be of a little help to rinse before turning to the doctor.

Nevertheless, you should observe your puppy well for days and consult a veterinarian if there are certain signs.

These include:

  1. Swelling of eyelids or minor bumps could indicate an infection in the area of the eyes.
  2. Pus or discharge is also an indication of infection.

As already described above, the eyes open in early weeks after being born. If your puppy doesn’t open his eyes during this period, and you have been waiting for quite an amount of time at the moment, I would also recommend a visit to the vet.

My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.