A puppy with closed eyes and text saying LEARN Puppy Eyes

When Do Puppies Open Their Eyes? (Care Guide)

Are you a dog parent? Then you must know how joyous it is to see the little puppies slowly grow to become full-sized dogs. As your puppy grows, it takes in all its surroundings by watching. You can see your puppy looking out of the windows for hours, watching people, squirrels, and butterflies. Dogs love to watch everything that unfolds in their surroundings. It makes them excited and helps them understand the world a bit better. However, the dogs do not get this gift by birth. There is a considerable difference between dogs and puppies. They are born without the ability to hear or see anything. It takes a certain amount of time to develop the sense of sight and audio to grow. Until then, puppies remain blind to their surroundings. Let’s find out when.

Puppies open their eyes one to two weeks after they are born. This happens because their nerves develop, and each eye will open at a different time within days apart.

Why are puppies born with their eyes closed?

The puppies are born with their eyes still closed because they are not developed during their birth. At birth, the central nervous system of the puppies is not fully grown. That includes the optical nervous system. At the time of delivery, the visual nervous system of a puppy is too delicate to withstand the glare of bright light.

Along with the optical nerves, the puppies’ eyes do not fully develop at birth. That’s why the eyes of the puppies remain closed till the nervous system, as well as their eyes, is fully formed. Having their eyes closed during this developmental phase helps the puppies avoid infection and other developmental diseases. Keeping their eyes shut allows the puppies to grow safely and without any risks.

Puppies are born with only two active senses.

Now that you know the answers to the question, when do puppies open their eyes? It’s time for you to see a couple of other interesting facts. As we have mentioned earlier, the puppies do not possess the sense of audio and vision. Smell and touch are the two senses that a puppy has right after birth. The sense of hearings in the puppies starts to develop once they open their eyes. The teeth of the puppies also begin to grow after they open their eyes. Learn about the teething stages here in an article I have written.

Puppies do not open both eyes at once

It might seem weird, but the puppies do not open both of their eyes simultaneously. Most puppies would open one eye for a couple of days before opening the other one.

Do puppies of all breeds open their eyes at the same time?

As you already know, the answer to the question when puppies open their eyes, you must think that puppies of different breeds take the same time to open their eyes. If you are thinking in this way, let us inform you that the puppies of other dog breeds have different development rates of their eyes. That’s why they may take additional time or less time in opening their eyelids to take a look at the world. For example, the Cocker Spaniel puppies open their eyes sooner than the Fox Terrier Puppies. Bulldog puppies can take as long as three weeks to open their eyes. Compared to the puppies of Golden Retrievers, they only take about 10-14 days to open their eyes for the first time.

Cocker Spaniel Puppy
Cocker Spaniel Puppy

Steps to take after puppies have opened their eyes.

The puppies should not be exposed to glaring lights before they open their eyes for the first time. It would help if you did not put the puppies under the glaring sunlight even after opening their eyes. While the opening of the lids can take place within 10-14 days after the birth, it takes about three to four weeks for the eyes to develop fully. Till then, the puppies experience blurry vision. If the puppies are exposed to bright lights like a camera light during this time, their eyes could get damaged permanently.

A puppy that has just opened his eyes
Be careful of any bright lights.

When do the puppies start to see in the dark?

The puppies start to see clearly in the dark only when the Tapetum Lucidum is formed. It is a membrane that helps the dogs to see in the dark. However, until the eyes of the puppies are fully grown, this membrane does not stop forming.

When to talk to the vets?

While for most of the puppies, opening those little eyes come naturally and easily. However, it would be best if you still kept an eye on them to make sure they were alright. Here are some red flags that indicate something wrong with your puppy’s eyes.

Bulging or Swelling under the Eyelids: If you notice any bulging or swelling under the eyelids of your puppy before they open it, it might be a sign of infection.

Pus or Discharge: If there is any discharge, pus or gunk around or in the eyelids, you should visit the vet as it might indicate infection.

Your puppy is not opening their eyelids: If your puppy does not open its eyelids even after two weeks, you should visit the vet immediately. Not opening the eyes after the expected time might signify some developmental issue.

When can you touch a newborn puppy?

You’ll want to be careful when interacting with the pups. You can only pet or pick them up after they’re three weeks old unless:

  • They don’t look healthy
  • Their mother leaves and abandons them
  • The puppies are orphaned


Always keep a watchful eye on the puppies, and If you see anything out of the ordinary, you should get in touch with your vet. The vet will be able to diagnose whether there are any underlying issues or not. If there are no red flags, keep the puppies in a clean place and leave them be. They will open their eyes and start to explore the surroundings when the time is right.

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