Many people are curious, and have asked us, when do puppies open their eyes?
Newborn puppies aren’t as helpless as you might expect.
While it’s true that they can’t see, hear, or walk, they have an excellent sense of smell, even from birth.
They can also crawl and feel.
As they use these abilities, they resemble tiny guided missiles, headed straight for the all important milk bar.
For the first couple weeks of life, puppies eat, and sleep.
The dam (mother dog) will take care of all the puppies needs for the first 3 1/2 to 4 weeks of life.
She will feed them, clean them, help them eliminate by licking their perineal area, and she will keep the whelping box clean.
Some dogs are better at taking on these tasks than others, and some breeds, generally speaking make better mothers than others.
There are always exceptions to this, of course.
Even though mom is cleaning the whelping box, whelping pads should be replaced when needed, and the entire whelping box should be disinfected with a cleaner.
Cleanliness is very important to the health of puppies.
So when do puppies open their eyes?
Puppies begin to open their eyes between 2-3 weeks of age, or roughly 14-21 days.
As note above, newborn puppies are born with both their eyes and ears sealed.
It takes several days for the eyes to be opened fully.
Even after the puppies open their eyes, what they can see is very limited.
Their eyesight will continue to develop and strengthen over the next few weeks. Puppies ears begin to open between 2 1/2 to 3 weeks of age. As dog breeders, this is a very exciting time for us.
Puppies are born with their eyes and ears closed, because they are still developing.
Once the eyes begin to open, it is a slow process. Puppy eyes don’t open fully in one day.
At first you’ll see a tiny slit opening between the eyelids, and the pups ears will appear looser, not closed as tightly as before. (think of a flower opening)
Over the course of 3 to 5 days, you’ll notice a gradual progression of the eyes and ears, until they have opened fully.
Never try to pry open a puppy’s eyes or ears!
Mother nature must take its course, and this process must happen naturally, as not to damage the puppy.
If you are concerned, and feel that your puppies are delayed in opening their eyes, consult your veterinarian immediately.
When puppies eyes first open, they will appear cloudy, or milky. This will pass in about one week.
Puppies have blurred vision initially, but their eyesight will continue to develop and sharpen for the next few weeks.
Now that the puppies have opened their eyes and ears, they will begin to stand. The puppies have been crawling, and building up their muscles. It’s about to pay off as they take those first few steps.
The puppies will be wobbly at first, take a few steps, and fall, but within a short period of time, they will be walking confidently.
Puppies develop very quickly in the first 3 to 4 weeks of life. This is an exciting time, with many milestones to observe.
Do puppies eyes need special care?
No, just make sure the puppy’s eyes are kept clean and free of debris.
Can a puppy get an eye infection?
Yes, if you notice any discharge coming from your puppy’s eyes, promptly consult your vet.
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