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Puppies, unlike human infants, do not open their eyes immediately after birth. Because newborn pups are quite immobile and spend the most of their time resting and drinking mother’s milk, they don’t require eyesight immediately. So, when do puppies open their eyes? Let’s learn today.

When Do Puppies Open Their Eyes?

Puppies usually open their eyes seven to fourteen days after they are born. The eyelids are kept closed for the first several weeks for a good reason: the nerves in a newborn puppy’s eyes are still undeveloped and extremely sensitive.

Some puppies open both eyes simultaneously, whereas others open one eye first and then the other.

Even yet, a puppy’s eyesight is blurry from the moment they open their eyes. Over the following several weeks, as the nerves in their eyes continue to mature, their eyesight will improve as well. Puppies don’t have their complete vision until they’re roughly 8 weeks old.

How Do Your Puppy’s Eyes Grow?

When a puppy’s eyes first open, they seem milky and grayish blue, but this fades with time. The eyes of a puppy do not fully grow until it is 8 weeks old.

The tapetum lucidum of a puppy develops as its eyes mature. This is the layer of tissue beneath the retina that aids in the development of night vision in animals. 

Why Do Puppy’s Eyes Remain Shut?

Human newborns are born fully grown and ready to face the challenges of life. With pups, however, this is not the case.

The central nervous system of a puppy, including its visual nerves, is still growing at birth. Because their optical nerves haven’t fully formed, they’re too sensitive to strong light, which is why they keep their eyelids closed until the nerves have matured.

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Not only do nerves take longer to mature, but a puppy’s eye isn’t entirely developed when it is born. With their eyelids closed, the eye can develop safely without the chance of foreign items (such as dirt or dust) entering the eye and causing infection or other developmental difficulties.

What to Expect When a Puppy First Opens Its Eyes

During the first several weeks of a puppy’s existence, a lot happens. They begin to grow physically as soon as their eyes open, so by week two, your puppy should be standing and attempting to climb out of their pen.

By week three, they should be attempting to climb out of their pen. By week four, they should be walking, running, and playing, and by weeks five and six, they should have all their baby teeth. If you see anything out of the ordinary in your puppy’s growth, call your veterinarian to check how they’re doing.

What Should You Do if Your Puppy Doesn’t Open Their Eyes?

The time it takes for puppies to open their eyes varies from one puppy to another. If a puppy is more than two weeks old and still hasn’t opened its eyes, it’s time to take them to the doctor.

Your veterinarian may clean your puppy’s eyes and attempt to physically open them. If an infection is discovered, an antibiotic ointment may be prescribed.

If you can’t get your puppy to the vet immediately, gently massage his or her eyelids with a cotton ball moistened with warm water, but don’t try to force them open. Take them to the vet if their eyelids stay closed. 

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When Should You Consult Your Veterinarian?

Most pups will open their eyes spontaneously and readily, but you should still keep an eye on things to ensure that the process is going well for your dog.

The following are some bad signals that something is amiss with your puppy’s eye development:

  • Under the eyelid is swollen or bulging. It might be an infection if you observe any swelling or bulging under your puppy’s eyes before they open.
  • Pus or a discharge from around the eyes. It’s also a symptom of infection if there’s pus, discharge, or eye muck in or around the eyelid area.

Your puppy’s eyelids do not open until he or she is two weeks old. Some breeds take longer than others to open their eyelids, but if your puppy hasn’t opened their eyes after two weeks, it might be a symptom of a developmental problem.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you observe any of these symptoms. She’ll be able to identify any infections or problems with your puppy’s eyes, as well as suggest the best treatment options.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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