When Do Puppies Open Their Eyes Fully After Being Born?

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 06/28/22 •  11 min read
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When Do Puppies Open Their Eyes Fully After Being Born

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Has your dog recently given birth to puppies? What an exciting time this is! Your dog having puppies can be a wonderful experience for you and your dog. Nothing is cuter than newborn puppies!

When puppies are first born, there’s not much you have to do as long as the mother is able to care for them. She knows what the puppies need and how to keep them safe and warm. During the first four weeks of life, healthy puppies are very dependent on their mother. This is because they are small and weak, but also because they aren’t able to see when born.

Puppy Development

How does my dog’s development change as a puppy?

Puppies develop rapidly during the first four weeks of life. The optical nerves that allow them to see start to form during the first two weeks, and their ears open by the third week. By the fourth week, puppies can start to move around and explore their surroundings. Puppies’ nervous system is still developing, so they are easily frightened and may not be able to regulate their own body temperature well.

Pup’s eyes will start to open at around the second week of life. The puppy’s eyelid will gradually become thicker and harder, and the pupil will start to grow. Puppy senses, such as smell and hearing, will also start to develop at this stage.

During the second week to fourth week, puppies are very dependent on their mother. This is because they are small and weak, but also because they aren’t able to see when born. Their mother’s milk provides them with the nutrients they need to grow and develop. Baby teeth start to come in during the fourth week, and by the fifth week, puppies are starting to eat solid dog food.

Different breeds of dogs develop at different rates, but by the fourth week most puppies are developing at a similar rate. Dog owners can help their puppies develop by providing them with plenty of attention, playing with them, and providing them with toys that they can play with. Give them puppy food and water to help them grow and develop properly.

Their sense of smell might not be as developed as their sense of sight at this stage, so it’s important to keep them clean and well-groomed. Puppies also need plenty of exercise to keep them healthy and happy.

When Do Puppies’ Eyes Open?

Newborn puppy’s eyes don’t open until they’re about 10 to 14 days old. Around this time, you may notice the puppy’s eyes begin to open.

The eyelids may only open as slits at first; however, as the days pass by, the eyes will open farther until they’re completely open. You may even notice that one eye opens first and then the second eye. This is completely normal.

The entire process can take about ten days from when the eyes first begin to open fully. At this point, the puppies won’t be able to see very clearly. Their vision doesn’t become clear until they’re about eight weeks old.

It’s very exciting when you see a puppy’s open for the first time!

What is a Puppy’s Eyesight Like at First?

When their eyes first open, puppies don’t see well. They will see everything as blurry; it can take a few weeks for their vision to finally clear up. When their eyes are fully matured, the puppies will have the same eyesight as an adult dog.

Why Are Puppies Born with Closed Eyes?

The reason puppies aren’t born with their eyes open is due to evolution. Wild pregnant canines have a harder time hunting and providing for themselves and their puppies. What would happen if the puppies were born farther developed, with their eyes open? It would mean the mother dog would have to carry the puppies for even longer, putting herself and the puppies in danger.

However, nature has devised a cunning way to manage this problem. Wild and domesticated dogs give birth to puppies that aren’t fully developed. The puppies are developed as far as their body parts and organs working properly. But their eyes and other senses aren’t as developed.

So, puppies are born with closed eyes to help the mother survive and be able to provide for the puppies. What’s more, the puppies are not able to see, which helps them stay put (most of the time!) rather than seeing something and being lured out of their protective den.

The same applies to puppies after their eyes open. They are still more or less bound to their protective den since they can’t see well. At about eight weeks of age, puppies’ eyesight has fully developed. Then the puppies are ready to leave the protection of their den and go outside to learn more about their world.

This is the reason puppies are born with their eyes closed.

How Puppy’s Eyes  Develop

When a puppy’s eyes first open, they may have a milky, bluish color. This will change over time as the puppy matures.

As the puppy’s eye develops, the tapetum lucidum develops at the same time. This is the layer of tissue that is just behind the retina. It helps a dog develop night vision and is the part of the dog’s eye that appears green and glowing in a photograph.

Puppies & Eye Color

All puppies are born with blue eyes; as they age, most puppies’ eyes will turn brown or another color by the time the puppies are about ten weeks old.

However, there are dog breeds that keep their blue eyes for life! How wonderful is that?

Golden Retriever dogs have brown eyes, Labrador Retrievers have black or brown eyes, and Huskies have blue eyes. Breeders sometimes choose to keep the color of a dog’s eyes when breeding them because it can be a signal of dominance or intelligence. One week old puppies have light blue eyes, but as they grow older, their eyes will darken. The puppy’s vision will improve as they grow older, but it may not be perfect at first.

There are many things you can do to help your puppy develop good vision. You can buy eye drops or ointments that are specifically designed to help improve vision in puppies. You can also buy special Puppy Vision Toys that help stimulate a puppy’s development of good vision.

The best way to help your puppy develop good vision is to provide lots of stimulation and care. If you see that your puppy is having difficulty seeing, take him to the veterinarian for a check-up.

Is It Possible for a Puppy’s Eyes to Open Too Soon?

Yes, it is possible for a puppy’s eyes to open too soon. It can happen by accident. For example, a puppy may try to scratch his face and accidentally push open his eye. This can be a problem for the puppy.

The puppy’s eyes are closed to keep the eyes protected as they develop. Opening up too early can lead to problems with the puppy’s eye and eyesight development.

Eye Infections in Puppies

It is possible for a puppy to develop an eye infection before his eyes open. Some puppies develop conjunctivitis, which can lead to permanent blindness if left untreated.

You’ll need to watch for any crusty build-up on the puppy’s eyes. You may also notice the puppy’s eye is swollen.

What Happens If a Puppy’s Eyes Don’t Open?

It can occasionally happen that a puppy’s eyes don’t open when they should. This can be caused by a build-up of birth fluid and other eye gunk, which keeps the eyelids glued shut.

If this happens to one of your puppies, then it’s time to call the vet. The vet can help open your puppy’s eyes, but only if the puppy is old enough and his eyes should be open.

The vet will check to see if there are any problems with the puppy’s eyes. They may look for signs of swelling and infection. If the eyes appear to be OK, then the vet may take a clean cloth soaked in warm water and then use the cloth to clean the gunk from around the puppy’s eye. This may help to soften the eye gunk and help the eye open on its own.

How to Protect a Puppy’s Eyesight as it Develops

It’s best to keep puppies in a dim environment until they are about eight weeks old. This way, their eyes have a chance to develop without bright light, which can be damaging to their developing eyes.

So, there you have it! Puppies are born with their eyes closed for a reason, which has been determined by nature. What’s more, it’s important to allow puppies’ eyes to open naturally. However, if there’s a problem and a puppy doesn’t open his eyes by about 20 days of age, then it’s time to have him checked by the vet.

However, in most cases, the puppies’ eyes will open and develop without any problems!

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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