When Do Puppies Eyes Open For The First Time?

Puppies’ eyes typically open between 10-14 days after birth. Their vision will be blurry initially, but will improve over the next few weeks. Puppies’ eyes are sealed shut at birth but gradually open over the course of a couple of weeks as they develop. Once open, their eyes appear blue but may change color as they mature. Full vision is usually achieved by around 8 weeks of age.

At what age do puppies’ eyes open? Facts!

As any dog owner knows, puppies melt hearts with their adorable eyes. No matter how long it takes puppies to open their eyes, there’s more to those eyes than just cuteness.  Let’s provide some eye-opening facts about newborn eyes when puppies are born. 

Puppies Have A Unique Ability To Communicate With Their Eyes

Puppies communicate with their eyes and express a wide range of emotions.  For example, when a puppy is happy, its eyes appear bright and relaxed. A puppy’s eyes appear wide and alert when scared or nervous.

Newborn Puppy Has A Third Eyelid.

Puppies, adult cats, and their adult counterparts have a nictitating membrane or third eyelid. A thin, translucent membrane is in the inner corner of the eye. The third eyelid helps protect and lubricate. It also plays a role in spreading tears across the eye’s surface.

Night Vision That Surpasses Humans

Puppies have remarkable night vision that surpasses humans. They have a special reflective layer known as tapetum lucidum behind his retinas. The optical nerves allow them to see better in low-light conditions. This layer reflects light, enhancing their surroundings’ image passing through the retina.  This is why puppies can spot their toys in the dark.

A Wide Range Of Emotions

When puppies are happy, their eyes appear bright and wide. Their pupils dilate when they are scared or anxious, making their eyes look bigger. They can even give you a pleading look when they want something or have done something wrong.

Puppies Have A Better Sense Of Smell Than Sight

Puppies are born blind and deaf, so their sense of smell is even more remarkable. Puppies have a sense of smell up to 10,000 times better than humans.  Dogs have a specialized organ in their noses called the Jacobson’s organ. It allows them to detect even the faintest of scents.

When do puppies eyes change color?

When newborn puppies open their eyes, it is usually blue. As they grow older, their eye color can change. The amount of pigment in their irises increases as they mature. The final color of the dogs eyes can vary depending on its breed and genetics.

Eye Contact Is Essential For Bonding.

Eye contact is essential to bonding between puppies and their dog owners. Making eye contact with your puppy releases oxytocin in your furry friend. The hormone oxytocin encourages social interaction and bonding. Want to strengthen your bond with your puppy? Look into their eyes often.

Why Do Puppies Wait to Open Their Eyes?

Most mammals, including dogs, give birth to their babies at different body and brain developmental stages. Mothers give birth to their babies before their brain reaches maturity.

Puppies, when born, are extremely vulnerable and rely on their mothers till a certain point. Keeping their eyes protects them from several environmental threats. 

However, the puppy will only open its eyes when its brain and body fully develop. While in most cases, it happens around 10-14 days, it may take up to 21 days. 

The gradual development of the eyes occurs even after birth. The retina is still developing while the eyelids are separating. The gradual evolution ensures the visual information is effectively processed.

puppy eyes open
puppies eyes open

When Do Dogs Open Their Eyes First?

Seeing a litter of newborn puppies is a delight for a dog lover.  When puppies open their eyes it is like a proud moment. It is a puppy development milestone. It’s a fascinating process that varies by breed. Understanding can help you better care for your furry friend. Now that you know at what age they open their eyes, let’s dive deeper.

What Newborn Puppy’s Eyes See?

Puppies are born with their eyes shut at birth as a natural way to protect their well-being. It is a common feature among newborn puppies. In the first few days of puppy life, its primary senses are touch, smell, and hearing. Even though they can’t see, they still navigate their environment and find their source of milk. They may feed on their mother for milk or cat cow milk.

How Do Puppies’ Eyes Develop?

They open their dog’s eyes around 10 to 14 days after birth. This can take up to three to four weeks to complete fully. At first, the pup’s eyes are partially open, and they can only see shadows and blurry shapes. They are dependent on their mother. But as their eyesight improves, they can distinguish foreign objects and colors.

Puppy development is a fascinating process. Their eyes are underdeveloped and fragile at birth. Eventually, they become more robust in the first few weeks of the puppy’s life. It is due to the puppy’s development of several important structures, including the:

  • Retina: The eye contains a specialized region known as the retina. It is responsible for detecting bright light and sending signals to the brain. At birth, they have an underdeveloped retina. The optic nerves quickly mature within the first few days of age.
  • Iris: The iris is the pigmented portion of the eye. A newborn puppy has a blue or gray appearance in its eyes. The iris is incomplete in pigmentation.
  • Cornea: The outer layer of the eye, known as the cornea. It is transparent and plays a vital role in focusing the light that enters the eye. In puppies, the cornea is relatively thick and hazy at birth but clears up as they grow.

How Breeds Differ When Opening Their Eyes?

Most puppies open their eyes between 10 to 14 days, the exact timing varies with the breed. Here are some examples of breed-specific eye development and how long it takes for dog breeds and puppies to open their eyes:

  • Toy breeds: Toy breeds, such as Chihuahuas and Pomeranians, tend to open their eyes earlier, around 10- 14 days after birth.
  • Giant dog breeds: On the other end of the spectrum, giant breeds, such as Great Danes, German Shepherds and Mastiffs, may take up to three weeks to open their eyes fully.
  • Bulldogs: Bulldogs are unique because their eyes don’t open fully until about four weeks after birth. It is due to the shape of their heads, which causes their eyelids to fuse temporarily.

A puppy’s eye development is just one aspect of its overall growth and development. Special care and attention during this critical period can set the foundation for your furry friend’s healthy and happy life.

newborn puppy eyes
newborn puppies eyes open

Eye Issues In Puppies

While most will open their eyes between ten to fourteen days after birth, some may experience delays. 

What To Do If A Puppy Does Not Open Their Eyes?

Stay Calm:

The first thing you should do is try to stay calm. Puppies are very perceptive and can pick up on our emotions. If you’re anxious or nervous, your puppy will be too and may develop a body temperature.

Wait It Out:

Sometimes puppies take a little longer to open their eyes than others. If your puppy is still eating and drinking normally, they’re OK. However, if your puppy isn’t eating or drinking, take them to the vet to ensure no underlying issue.

Check For Debris:

If your puppy’s eyes look irritated, some debris or dirt may be in them. To clean their eyes, gently wipe them with a damp clean washcloth.

Consult A Vet:

Getting them to a doctor is crucial if their eyes appear swollen or infected.

What To Expect After A Puppy Opens Their Eyes?

Once your puppy opens their eyes, you may notice changes in its behavior and physical appearance. Here are some things to expect:

Increased Curiosity:

At this stage they are naturally curious, and opening their eyes allows them to explore their environment.  You may notice an increase in their activity level as they become more aware of their surroundings.

Eye Color:

The color of a puppy’s eyes can change as they grow older. They are born with blue eyes, which can change to brown, green, or hazel as they mature.

Puppy’s Vision Development:

When puppies first open their eyes, their vision is not fully developed, just like human babies. It takes several weeks for the puppies eyes to to fully adjust to the light and for the puppy to develop depth perception.

Eye Health:

Monitor your puppy’s eye health, even after opening of its eyes. Here are some signs that may indicate eye issues:

  • Discharge or swelling around the eyes
  • Cloudy or red eyes
  • Squinting or frequent blinking
  • Excessive tearing

When do puppies open their eyes? Development Stages

Ever looked into a puppy’s eyes and felt an instant connection? That’s because puppy eyes are attractive and irresistible.  Even with the eyes closed they look adorable. Dogs communicate with human families with them. Let’s understand the stages to know how long till the open.

Week 2-6

During the first few days of age, its eyes remain closed. And they rely on their sense of smell and touch to navigate the world. However, around the two week mark after the gestation period, their eyes open, and they begin to see the world for the first time. Their eyesight is still blurry, but they can make out shadows and movements.

Eight Weeks Mark

Between weeks 6 and 8, a puppy’s eyesight improves significantly. It is also the time when their eye color starts to develop. At first, their eyes may appear blue or gray, but their true color will become more apparent over time.

At 8 Weeks

When can puppies see clearly? Two months to eight weeks of age. This is when a’s eyes have fully developed. At this point, their eyes are the perfect size for their adorable little faces. Moreover, their facial expressions become more communicative.

Signs Of Poor Eyesight

As a pet parent, keeping an eye on your furry friend’s vision is essential. Just like newborn kittens, puppies can experience poor eyesight, affecting their life. Here are some signs that indicate your puppy might be struggling with their vision:

Kicking Objects

Does your puppy seem to kick or knock over objects in their path? It could indicate they cannot see clearly and struggle to navigate their environment.


Seeing your puppy or mature kittens frequently stumbling or tripping over objects could indicate a poor sense of sight.


If your puppy frequently shakes their head, it could indicate an ear infection or poor eyesight. It is because they may be trying to clear their vision or refocus.

Bumping Into Things

If your puppy bumps into things, it could indicate poor eyesight. They may also be hesitant to move around and explore their surroundings.

Staring At The Ground

If your puppy constantly stares at the ground, it could be a sign of trouble seeing objects at a distance. Observing these symptoms and veterinary care on scheduled visits is crucial if they are detected.

How To Take Care Of Your Puppy’s Eyes?

Little dogs are cute and cuddly. Taking care should be your top priority. One essential aspect of puppy care is eye care. Your puppy’s eyes are delicate and prone to eye infections like conjunctivitis and other eye problems.  Here’s how to prevent puppy eyesight problems and permanent damage:

How To Prevent Puppy Eyesight Problems?

Regular Cleaning

Regularly cleaning with clean or warm water and a soft cloth prevents eye problems. Use a different cloth for each eye, and gently wipe away any discharge from your puppy’s eyes or dirt that accumulates. You may also use a heating source like a heating pad or a heating disk.

Proper Diet

Proper nutrition is essential for your puppy’s or newborn kittens’ overall health and eyesight. Ensure your puppy or newborn kittens get a balanced, dog food diet with sufficient dietary requirements. Give them a solid puppy food diet rich in vitamin A for good vision. You can include special kitten formula.

Avoid Irritants

Puppy eyes are sensitive, and irritants like smoke, dust, and chemicals cause problems. Keep your home free of these irritants. Ensure your puppy is not exposed to them when you take them outside.

Regular Vet Check-ups

Vet check-ups regularly are crucial for your puppy’s health. Your vet can examine your puppy’s eyes and detect any problems early, like body heat, puppy teeth, etc. and preventive care. It prevents them from worsening.

Early Detection and Treatment

Early detection and treatment are vital for preventing severe eye problems. If you notice eye problems, take your puppy to the vet immediately.

puppies eyes not open at 14 days
puppy eye development

How To Care For A Puppy’s Eye Infection In Case It Happens?

Dog eye infections do happen. If left untreated can cause complications. Let me tell how what to do if your puppy’s eye infection worsens.

How Can You Tell If Your Puppy’s Eye Infection Is Getting Worse?

  • Redness: If their eye appears redder than usual, it may indicate that the infection is are spreading.
  • Discharge: Excessive discharge, especially if it’s thick and yellowish-green, is a sign that the infection is worsening.
  • Swelling: If your dog’s eye is swelling, it may be a sign of a severe infection that requires immediate attention.

When To Contact Your Vet?

Persistent Symptoms:

Call your vet for an accurate diagnosis if your dog’s symptoms don’t improve after a day or two of treatment.

Severe Symptoms:

If your dog is experiencing severe symptoms such as extreme pain or vision loss, contact your vet.

Recurring Infection:

If your puppy’s eye infection keeps returning, it may indicate a deeper underlying issue your vet needs to address. The vet checks and wellness exams will help treat the case. It will help prevent permanent scarring.

It is a special and exciting time when a puppy sees with one eye or open eye for the first time. However, it’s just the beginning of its journey toward becoming a happy and healthy adult dog  Enjoy every stage, wait for eyes to fully develop, enforce potty training, and take many pictures! 


When Do Puppies Hear?

They start hearing at around three weeks old. Keep the ears and ear canals clean. Ears are essential

When Do Puppies Smell?

They start to develop their sense of smell right after birth.

When Can Newborn Puppies Walk?

They can’t walk until it is about two weeks old.

Do Puppies From The Same Litter Open Their Eyes At The Same Time?

Pups from the same litter open their eyes within a similar timeframe.

When Do Puppies Start Walking And Open Their Eyes?

They start walking at about three weeks old and typically open their eyes in the first two weeks old.

What Should I Expect From a 1-Week-Old Dog?

Expect a lot of sleeping and feeding with their baby teeth from a puppy at one week of life.

What Can I Expect From a 2-Week-Old Dog?

At two weeks old, puppies become more aware of their surroundings and may begin to play.

Can Eyes Change Color In A Dog?

Yes, a puppy’s eyes can change color as they grow older.

What Happens If A Puppy Is Born Blind?

He may need special care and attention, but it can still lead a happy life with the proper care.

Are Dogs Colorblind?

Yes, dogs are colorblind. However, it does not mean they only see black and white. Dogs possess two cones and mostly discern between blue and yellow.

Author Profile

Aritra Sen
Aritra SenSite Owner And Planning Specialist
Aritra, the founder of Labradorandyou.com, is a lifelong dog lover whose passion ignited for Labradors for their loyalty and intelligence. With extensive research and personal experiences, Aritra has become a Labrador expert, offering a rich resource on the breed. Labradorandyou.com provides reliable, timely, and evidence-based information, including Labrador-specific product reviews, training techniques, and care tips.

Labradorandyou.com was born out of Aritra's passion and his desire to share his profound knowledge about the breed. The site serves as a comprehensive resource, offering a wealth of up-to-date information for Labrador owners and enthusiasts alike