When do newborn puppies open their eyes?

An important milestone for newborn puppies is the opening of their eyes, around 10 to 14 days of age. That is, some early-maturing pups may open their eye slits as early as 7 days old, while later-maturing pups may wait until closer to 20 days. While the difference may be alarming, a wide range may be normal if there is no discharge and the eye does not appear puffy.

Puppy Eyes One Step at a Time

Puppies don’t go directly from closed eyes to wide eyes. The eyes will first appear as a small slit and then gradually open to full size. You should not force your eyes open. Although uncommon, puppies can become infected with their eyes closed, which is why anything unusual should be reported to your veterinarian immediately.

Note that eye color in adult dogs may not be discernible in the early stages. While blue eyes are usually noticeable, brown tones don’t become clear until several weeks later.

Vision and opening eyes

Even when open, a puppy’s eyes are not fully developed. Normal vision is usually achieved by 10 to 12 weeks of age. Therefore, don’t expect your 3-week-old puppy to reliably track objects. That puppy still relies on its nose for most of its sensory input. NOTE: Most puppies leave their mothers at 8 weeks of age. Some breeds live even longer, such as small breeds, which can live up to 12 weeks.

Protect your puppy’s eyes

It’s also important to pay attention to lighting. Puppies’ immature eyes should be protected from strong, bright light. There are no bright lights in the area where the puppy is, and avoid using flash for any photos or videos.

If you notice any eye discharge, especially any purulent material (such as pus), your puppy should see your veterinarian. If he starts squinting after fully opening his eyes, seek veterinary help.

Just like adult dogs, puppies can develop corneal abrasions and irritations. Redness and inflammation of the conjunctiva is another reason to visit the veterinarian.