Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by Fumipets
Puppies need a lot of time and effort to care for at any age, but they are more challenging when they are young. There are many things to be on the lookout for, particularly in the weeks just after delivery. After birth, puppies continue to grow, therefore it’s important to make sure they do so at a healthy pace.
Puppies’ eyes cannot open when they are born and are closed. They keep their eyelids closed to shield the retinas of their eyes from light as they are still creating and growing. So when do puppies open their eyes and begin to look around them? Continue reading to see how pups’ eyes grow and when they begin to open:
Birth to 2 Weeks: From Closed to Open Eyes
Puppies’ eyes, which are still growing after birth, are always closed at birth. They are unable to open them at birth since they don’t immediately need eyesight. The most crucial sense for infants to develop is hearing since their bodies are immobile and the mother is usually nearby to feed them. Newborn pups are born with closed ears in addition to closed eyes.
The eyes typically open between 10 and 14 days after birth, or at roughly two weeks of age. While it may seem like a long time, this is a normal and essential aspect of a puppy’s development. Yet 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 to 6 Weeks: Vision Starts to Develop
Puppies progress from being almost blind when they first open their eyes to being somewhat able to see by the time they are around 6 weeks old. While they won’t see much, their eyesight starts to alter and sharpen in on the near range. Their visual talents are entirely nearsighted since their capacity to look far away doesn’t develop until later.
While puppies’ eyes are particularly sensitive to strong illumination, the next few weeks are critical for optimal eye development. Puppies should remain in a room with low illumination to prevent any injury or problems with visual development. They may start to observe their surroundings if their eyes are used to being open and absorbing light.
6 to 8 Weeks: Clearer Focus 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 may still be uncomfortable. At this age, puppies will begin to distinguish their mother and the other puppies in the litter, although they are already used to their odours.
As pups reach the 8-week mark, their ability to perceive distant objects will improve. Their close-up eyesight is usually finished growing, but their long-distance vision is still becoming less hazy. Puppies often go on sale as early as 8 weeks because they can begin to recognize faces.
8 Weeks and Older: Fully Matured Vision
Puppies will start to have completely functional eyesight at 8 weeks and older. Their distant vision begins to get more acute, 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 My 3-Week-Old Puppy’s Eyes are Still Closed?
While pups should be able to open their eyes by day 14, some may 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. In order to make sure everything is progressing normally, keep an eye out for any swelling, lumps, or discharge.
Puppies’ eyes may open at two weeks, however it may be difficult to detect whether they are open at first. An open eye may seem to be closed because they may not open them all the way. Keep a check on their eyelids for any squinting or movement that might indicate a blink or an opening.
Things to Check Once your Puppy’s Eyes are Open
You should look for any indications of vision impairment or eye disorders from the moment your puppy’s eyes open and continuing through the final week of growth. Even though it may first be challenging to determine, it’s crucial to examine. A puppy’s eyelid should never be forced to open, particularly before the eyes have fully opened.
These are some warning signals that need a vet visit for a diagnosis:
Milky, white film over the eyes
Cloudy, smoky spots
Discharge and swollen eyelids
Swollen tear ducts