There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that puppies are the world’s favorite pet. Dogs are said to be man’s best friend after all so of course, these cuties are truly no different. However, just the same puppies are different from normal people. They have very different life cycles and a very different start to their lives. For one they are born in litters and not singularly like most people, and to add onto that their eyes are closed! That’s right, the shock of all shocks, dogs can’t see when they are born. Many animals can’t see when they are firstborn. Cats, dogs, mice, to name a few. But that begs the question of when do puppies open their eyes and what do they do while their eyes are closed? They can’t take care of themselves? Well, I’ll answer that call today!
So What Happens When A Puppy is Born?
When a puppy is born they require little human intervention. The mother will usually take care of a puppy’s every need. They will clean, feed, and protect the puppy while it grows up. In this stage of a puppy’s life, they don’t need their eyes. Most scientists believe that the reason why dogs’ eyes are closed when they are born is to preserve the amount of energy they use to try and interpret their surroundings. Dogs are born rather small, a contradiction to humans who are born rather large. This coincides with how long a dog’s pregnancy lasts, being only two and a half months at the longest, a massive difference to the nine months in humans. Because of this when they are first born most of their energy needs to be dedicated to continuing to grow so they can survive out in the wild. Of course, these dogs aren’t going to be out in the wild, but there’s no harm in trying to be a little careful, right? As such they don’t need their eyes. That extra information isn’t needed yet and it’ll only distract their body from doing the important task of growing.
Alright now that I know the why, but what about the when do puppies open their eyes?
Well, there’s a very easy and simple answer to this. Dogs usually open their eyes one to two weeks after being born! We all have seen how fast dogs grow. They seem to age overnight, becoming adults in what feels like a blink of an eye. This is just the illusion of time. But it still doesn’t change the idea that one human year is equivalent to seven in dog years, something that isn’t necessarily accurate but is still an interesting prospect to take into account. Dogs become a large enough size to be able to handle themselves only seven days after being born, while they still rely on their mothers for food, this is when they will begin to stumble around and learn how to navigate their world. Something that eyes suddenly become very useful for! In this way, you can see that the eyes of a dog are much more needed than in the first week of life, and the energy exchange is much welcome.
What About if My Puppy’s Eyes Don’t Open Within Two Weeks?
Now earlier I mentioned that dogs don’t need to have too much attention from their human owners during this period. This is still largely true. If the mother is still around then she will provide food, warmth, shelter, and protection. However, you should still check on the puppies every day. The main reason why this should be done is in case of sickness. You see a puppy can still have health complications. If you notice any swelling or bulging under the eyelids while the puppy is still in this state of blindness, you should take them to the vet immediately. The same is true for pus, discharge, or any other abnormalities. The eyes should be opened immediately when these symptoms or noticed, so be quick to take them to the vet. If you can’t take them to the veterinarian, then massaging the eye open with a cotton ball dampened with warm water should help. If there is an infection then pus will usually spill out when the eye is opened. In these cases, if help isn’t received fast enough, then the puppy could go blind. There is one more problem you should visit the vet for as well, which is if the eyes haven’t opened within two weeks after the puppy is born as it could mean there is an issue with the muscles in the face that may need to be checked out.
What About After the Eyes Are Open?
Now another thing to take note of is that as soon as the eyes open you need to begin paying much more attention to the puppies. They become far more curious and will begin to investigate their surroundings a lot more avidly once their eyes are open and if you don’t watch them carefully then they could get into a lot of trouble. I also advise that you don’t be alarmed should the puppy begin to grow extremely quickly after its eyes open. Many people will say that their dogs look completely different a month after their eyes open. Not only will their fur pattern begin to show through, but they will also begin to look more like the traditional puppy than the tiny baby you saw before.
Overall puppies are very interesting and very different from humans, and when they are young you won’t need to exercise too much energy to keep an eye out for them. However, this doesn’t mean no energy should be spent. Keep an eye on your puppies to make sure they are growing up properly and if you have any questions, while it is excellent to do your research, you should consult a veterinarian or a professional. Make sure you are getting your dogs from reputable breeders and make sure that you keep an eye on them. But to answer the main question of when do puppies open their eyes, after about 1 to 2 weeks, and you should see them exploring the world like the inquisitive and energetic puppies you are probably used to.