when do puppies open their eyes

Women are pregnant 9 months but dogs are pregnant for just 9 weeks. Like women, dogs can suffer morning sickness but it only last 2 or 3 days. Your dog will also be tired and have hormonal fluctuations.

If you think your pup may be pregnant you can find signs to look for in dog pregnancy gestation 101

Once the pups are born there are several stages of development the most looked for is the pups eyes opening.

How long after puppies are born will their eyes open?

Puppies are born both blind and deaf. It takes about 10 to 14 days for puppy’s eyes to open.

During the two weeks, the puppy’s eyes are closed their optical nerves are still developing. The eyes also are still forming behind the lids.

Being born with their eyelids sealed protects their eyes from light or grit.

This is the reason it is important that you allow the puppy’s eyes to open naturally on their own and not try to hurry or force them open.

Once your pup’s eyes have fully matured, his lids start to open. Thus, it is of high importance letting them open on their own! Some people still try to hurry the process along and force them to open. Please, let the nature do the work!

What can puppies actually see when their eyes first open?

Once the eyes open the puppy can see light and movement.

The inability to see details is due to the corneas having not totally developed.  As well as the irises have not completely developed the typical brown pigment yet which is why their eyes are a bluish color when they first open.

The next noticeable change comes at around 4 to 5 weeks of age. During this time the visual development is quick. The puppies will begin to explore their world and will start to socially play.

At around 7 weeks, the eyesight for puppies has fully developed.  Provided there are no illnesses, injuries, or congenital problems their eye sight will be as developed as that of in adulthood.

white puppy eyes

What to watch for once the pups are born if their eyes do not open like they should?

Once the mother gives birth to the puppies, you will need to pay attention to the puppies and their development.

Their eyes are one of the most important things to pay attention to.

If you notice swelling or pus from the eye before it has begun to open or as it is beginning to open you will need to take prompt action to prevent further issues.

The issues this could cause are;

  • Damage to the lacrimal glands that make tears, this will reduce the production of tears.
  • A dry eye will increase the probability of infection and permanent damage to the eye.

This is why it is important to pay attention to the puppies as they develop after birth. If you notice swelling of the eyes with the lids closed or even slightly open or pus coming from the eye it important you call your veterinarian immediately.

They will either want you to bring the puppy in to examined and provide you with antibiotics and a treatment plan of how to treat this problem over the next several days to weeks.

black puppy eyes

How would a puppy get an eye infection?

There are several scenarios in which a puppy can get an infection. Some of which are;

  • The mother could have a vaginal infection at the time of birth.
  • The area the puppies live in is dirty. Remember when you clean the bedding and area to keep the pups together in a box or closed in area with the mother to keep them from developing hypothermia during the first few weeks as they continue to mature.

What are the signs?

  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye), with swelling, redness, and discharge of the mucous membrane that covers the front of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelids
  • Eyelids are stuck together from dried discharge
  • Eyelids are stuck to the eye
  • Discharge from the eyes that is pus or mucous with some pus
  • Eyelids protrude outward due to inflammation with or a fluid build-up in the socket
  • Shrunken eyeball
  • Sores on the eye due to bacteria eating holes through the cornea

Any of those signs you need to consult your veterinarian immediately.  This will help stop the spread from one puppy to another.

sad puppy eyes

Is eye trauma unusual in pups?

It is not unusual for puppies to have an eye trauma.

These traumas can happen by;

  • Puppies running after toys or chasing a rabbit through a field of weeds without closing their eyes because they are excited
  • Rolling in sawdust or dirt
  • Wrestling with their brothers or sisters

If you notice a puppy squinting or discharge coming from the eye you need to consult your veterinarian.

Congenital defects of the eye

There are only a few which are;

Your vet can check for these things during a visit for checkup and vaccinations.

What are the chances of puppies having eye problems?

Keeping the living area clean including the bedding greatly reduce the chances of puppies having eye infections during the first several weeks.

Change bedding daily.  Replace soiled and wet bedding while the mother is outside. Wash the soiled bedding and dry for the next day. This is also a great time to check the puppies for eye issues.

In Conclusion

As long as you keep the nesting area clean, provide a balanced diet to the mother along with plenty of water the puppies will be healthy.

Regulate the room temperature will also help the puppies stay warm since they have no control of body temperature during the first 2 weeks.

Before you go, have a look at this cute video: