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When Do Puppies Open Their Eyes Fully After Being Born? Timing And Delays


A dog usually arrives at the owner's home with his eyes open, but there are different situations. A domestic dog breed or a puppy is picked up on the street. In this case, humans need to know all the dog's developmental stages to ensure proper development during the first months of life. This article discusses, When Do Puppies Open Their Eyes Fully After Being Born?

Why are puppies born blind?

Dogs, like other mammals, are born entirely defenceless. They remain utterly blind for some time and orientate themselves only by developing their sense of smell. Puppies are blind for a short time, but their eyes are protected from the adverse effects of the environment during this time. Other reasons why they are born blind:

  1. Their gestation period is relatively short, at 58-70 days. It is not enough time for all the organs, including the eyeballs, to be fully formed.
  2. A large number of pups are born. The female gives birth to at least 2-3 puppies, but more often, 6-8 pups are delivered at the same time. This number does not allow them to develop in the womb fully.
  3. Closed eyelids contribute to protection. The pup's body is very weak, so it is vulnerable to any infections that enter through the mucous membrane. Also, dirt cannot penetrate through the closed eyelids.
  4. While in the womb, the foetus is not in a completely sterile environment. Therefore, through closed eyes, the baby does not risk contracting any germs that might be there.

All of the above reasons point to a natural mechanism to protect the health of the doggie. Puppies only begin to see when their body and internal systems are fully developed to interact with the outside environment. It takes time for the puppy to see, so the owner will have to be patient to monitor the process when their eyes open.


Developmental factors affecting the timing of eye-opening

Different factors influence when puppies start to see the outside world. For example, healthy individuals with good physical attributes have a slightly faster sighting process. Also, females are characterized by earlier development compared to male dogs. Therefore, their visual organs also develop faster.

Another reason that influences the formation of pups is their living conditions. Here we are talking about the health of the womb, the mother dog's physical condition, and the hygiene standards. If the newborn has emerged and spent the first weeks of its life in poor conditions, its further development will be delayed.

The due date of birth also has a direct impact on the opening of the eyelids. If the birth occurred earlier than nature intended, the formation of the visual organs would be delayed.


When Do Puppies Open Their Eyes Fully After Being Born?

On average, it takes 10-14 days after the puppies are born. However, some factors speed up or slow down the sighting process.

Features of the process

The opening of a puppy's eyes is slow and begins at the inner corner, gradually progressing to the outer. A thin slit appears in one eyelid, and after a while, it opens completely. The process usually occurs first with one eye and then the other. But there are cases of simultaneous opening.

Immediately after opening, the pups see the world around them blurred, distinguishing between light and shadow only. Gradually, the vision becomes clearer. After 3-4 days, the cubs begin to see well.

The owner of the newborn should not be frightened by the cloudy blue colour of the iris. The film will disappear after the puppies can entirely focus their eyes on the surrounding objects, and the colour changes to permanent by three months of life.

Differences by breed

The speed at which the eyes and ears develop differs from breed to breed. It is essential to bear in mind when watching your newborn puppies grow up. Knowing when puppies of different breeds open, their eyes allows owners to spot problems early on and call the vet. The periods of eye-opening are as follows:

  1. The Chihuahua breed babies have their eyes open on day 12-13. In the case of these newborns, more extended gestation periods are essential than in other breeds.
  2. Newborn spaniels develop at an average age. Their eyelids open in the second week of life.
  3. German Shepherd cubs begin to see the outside world at 14-15 days.
  4. Baby Toy Terriers open their eyes at 14-15 days, but it is not uncommon for eyelids to open at 20 days of life.
  5. Spitz pups develop a little slower. They don't get their sight until day 16-17.
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The times mentioned are quite average. The situation is different for each individual case, which depends on all sorts of factors. It has also been observed that an average backyard dog will open its eyelids sooner than a purebred one.


Do puppies need special care these days?

The formation of the eye organs is a complex process that takes time. Not always the epiphany goes smoothly, so the main thing for the loving owner is the desire to help the little friend.

But human involvement is not always necessary. The main thing during this time is to ensure that the little doggy is well looked after and simply check to see on which day his eyes will open. It is also worth taking care of the mother dog.

It's advisable to protect the newborns from bright light by placing them with their mother in a semi-dark, well-heated room. Don't do the opening of the eyelids yourself. If pus crusts have appeared on the eyes, you can wipe them with an antiseptic solution. Do this until the puppy opens its eyelids.

If your puppy's eyes are very pusy, swollen or dilated, you should call your vet. Self-treatment or delay may result in blindness for the rest of your dog's life.


Delay and other dangers

The main task on the part of the owner is to monitor all stages of the process. Sometimes abnormalities are observed that require contact with a veterinarian.

Early opening

Opening earlier than 10-14 days after birth is influenced by various reasons. Most often, it is a characteristic of the breed or a long gestation period.

If the owner sees open eyelids in a newborn, it is not a reason to panic. It is necessary to reduce the lighting in the room where the baby is kept. It will keep the eyes from being over-exposed to light. Also, you should fence off space so that the babies do not crawl out, hurt themselves or injure their mucous membranes.

Late opening

If the puppy is born weak or exposed to any infectious or viral disease, the eye-opening process can delay. The living conditions of newborns and the mother-dog also affect the baby's condition. Excessive light, low indoor temperature and unsanitary conditions have the most adverse effect.

Possible diseases

If the newborn has not begun to see clearly after two weeks, it can be a sign of a problem. In some cases, if symptoms of inflammation, sour eyelids or other issues are visible. Then a visit to the vet's clinic for examination and diagnosis should not be delayed. Here is a list of possible abnormalities:

  • Tissue splicing
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Blindness
  • Injuries.

Before a visit to the vet, wipe the puppy's face with a soft cloth dampened with chamomile or manganese solution. Only a veterinarian can prescribe further treatment and medication.

© 2021 Anjlee Yadav

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