When Do Puppies Gain Sight & Hearing?

by Naomi Millburn
    Newborn puppies rely heavily on their mothers for essential warmth.

    Newborn puppies rely heavily on their mothers for essential warmth.

    Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

    Neonatal puppies begin their lives as highly altricial creatures. Far from self-sufficient, wee puppies rely greatly on the diligent care of their mothers, and feeding activities are just the start of it all. Puppies spend the first days of their lives without the presence of two key senses: hearing and eyesight.

    Closed Eyes and Ears

    If you look quickly at a newborn puppy, his eyes and ears both provide helpful clues on the state of his vision and hearing, respectively. After all, both of these organs are still completely closed off to the world. It takes the eyes and the ear canals numerous days to open up in tiny puppies.

    Opening of the Ear Canals

    Puppies' ear canals open up roughly five to eight days after they are born. Although their ears begin opening at this point, their hearing is still in the process of development -- nowhere near fruition yet.

    Opening of the Eyes

    Puppies' eyes open up somewhere from eight to 14 days after birth. This is a rather slow process, and is in no way instantaneous. The eyes begin to open from the nose area. When puppies' eyes are first visible, they are always deep blue in coloration, albeit only temporarily. At this point, puppies' irises and pupils appear to be the same in color, with no division.

    Full Sight and Hearing

    Although puppies' eyes and ears open relatively early on, it takes both organs several weeks to come to their full potential. The furry guys generally gain total eyesight and hearing once they're in the range of 26 to 56 days in age. At this point, puppies employ their handy vision and hearing skills to curiously explore the world around them.

    Other Things in Development

    Outside of just sight and hearing, newborn puppies' bodies initially have a lot of growth and progress in front of them. Not only are they still learning standard reflexes, they also are still in the process of managing their body temperatures. Lastly, they are also unable to handle their elimination processes. Their mother dogs -- or human caretakers -- prompt those functions in them.

    Photo Credits

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    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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