When is a Newborn Puppy Able to See?

by Victoria Lee Blackstone
    Before a puppy's eyes open, he depends on his mother and his other senses.

    Before a puppy's eyes open, he depends on his mother and his other senses.

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    Newborn puppies are born with their eyes closed, spending the first few days to weeks of life exploring their world through feel, smell and the aid of their mother. A puppy’s eyes typically open sometime during the second or third week of life, though it takes a little time before a puppy can clearly see the world around him.

    Eyes Wide Open

    Eyes begin opening as early as seven days after birth and can take up to twice that long. If the eyes have not opened by the 14th day, VCA Animal Hospitals recommend having the puppy seen by a veterinarian. Once the eyes are open, it still takes time for focus and clarity of vision to develop. At this time, the eyes are very sensitive to light and can suffer damage if light is too bright. During the first week after the eyes open, protect your newborn puppies from bright lights. Well-developed vision occurs around 1 month of age.

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    About the Author

    Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist who propagates heirloom and native plants for her nursery. She has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, plant care sheets and magazine and newspaper articles. Blackstone studied botany and microbiology at Clemson University and is a former University of Georgia Extension Master Gardener Coordinator.

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