How long before newborn puppies see from their newly opened eyes?

Written by a.n. pike
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How long before newborn puppies see from their newly opened eyes?
Puppies are very dependent during the first six weeks after birth. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Caring for newborn puppies is hard work. While newborns are cute, a newborn puppy is also very dependent on its mother and on you. Newborn puppies are not born able to see; during the first two weeks of its life, a puppy's eyes are not open. Even after the eyes open, a puppy does not have full eyesight. Puppies gradually develop eyesight over time. Each week, the puppy's eyesight becomes stronger until eventually eyesight reaches the proper capacity.

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Birth

At birth, before a puppy's eyes open, a puppy is dependent on its mother for everything from feeding to using the bathroom. Around the second week after birth, the eyes of the puppy begin opening. Not all puppies open their eyes at the same time. Typically, puppies open their eyes between two to three weeks after birth. When the puppy opens its eyes, the developing eyeball is a greyish blue colour. If a puppy has not opened its eyes after three weeks, a veterinarians visit is in order. The veterinarian will determine if there is something wrong with the development of the puppy.

Second and Third Weeks

After two to three weeks, most puppies' eyes are open; however, the puppy's eyesight is limited. In this stage, the eyesight begins developing at a quicker pace than during the first two weeks after birth. The puppy is still largely dependent on the mother and surroundings, without full hearing or eyesight. During the early stages of eyesight, it is vital that bright lights are not used around the puppy. Bright lights are damaging to puppies with developing eyes.

Fourth and Fifth Weeks

During the fourth and fifth weeks after birth, a puppy's eyesight is better but still not fully developed. The puppy becomes more aware of its surroundings as its eyesight becomes better. The puppy is less dependent on the mother and more curious about the things it sees. Consider the fourth and fifth weeks as eyesight strengthening weeks. Bright lights must still be avoided during this period.

Six Weeks

At this point, the puppy has nearly reached full eyesight development. The puppy should have no trouble with vision. After six weeks of age, a puppy's eyesight becomes stronger until it reaches the level of adult dog eyesight. The eyeball of the puppy is now a normal white colour. The iris of the eye is normal, as well. Bright lights are no longer as harmful to puppies during this period.

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