Why Are Puppies Born With Their Eyes Closed

Puppies are born with closed eyes and they remain closed because their optic nerve is not fully developed.

The puppy’s eyes continue to develop under the protection of the eyelid for several weeks after birth. They are born with tightly closed eyelids because their vision is still developing.

Puppies are actually born blind and deaf at birth. They end up developing them later in their lives.

When puppies are born, they are always dependent on their mothers.

At birth, puppies only have the sense of smell and the sense of touch.

Other animals are born well-developed, while others continue to develop for several months inside their mother’s bag after they are born.

How Long Do Newborn Puppies Have Their Eyes Closed? – Vision development in puppies

How long it takes your puppy to open his eyes depends on the breed and the rate of their ontogeny.

The change from birth to two weeks happens slowly, with puppies sleeping most of the time.

Their eyes start to open around day 12 or 14. About ten days after birth, your puppy should begin to gradually open his eyes.

When newborn puppies open their eyes, their vision is blurred.

Puppies’ eyesight is still not very good; they need a few days to continue to develop their vision, senses and other organs.

Puppies should open their eyes on their own. After two weeks, they should distinguish between light and shadow. When puppies finally open their eyes, protect them from bright light.

It’s best not to force your puppy to open their eyes; let them develop naturally at their own pace.

From the moment they open their eyes until about 6 weeks old, newborn puppies go from near blindness to some clarity.

Although they won’t actually see much, their vision will begin to change and focus up close. Their ability to see at a distance develops later, so all visual abilities are myopic.

The next few weeks are critical for proper eye development, but puppies’ eyes are particularly sensitive to bright light.

To avoid injury or vision problems, puppies should stay in a dimly lit area. Once their eyes get used to being open and seeing light, they can begin to see the world around them.

When puppies are 6 to 8 weeks old, their vision becomes clearer and sharper.

Although at this stage they will still struggle with distance, they will be able to distinguish things up close.

Things like sensitivity to light won’t be as much of an issue, but very bright places can still cause discomfort.

At this age, puppies begin to recognize their mother and littermates, but they are already familiar with their scents.

When the puppies are 8 weeks old, distance vision will become clearer and sharper.

While their distance vision is still becoming less blurry, their near vision is usually already developing.

Puppies can also recognize faces, which is why puppies are sometimes sold at 8 weeks of age.

From 8 weeks onwards, puppies have fully functional vision. Their ability to see from a distance begins to sharpen, although full development may take up to 16 weeks.

By the time your puppy is 16 months old, his eyes should be fully mature. Far and near vision should be clear and not blurry unless there is a medical indication for developmental delay.

What to do if a puppy does not open its eyes

The exact time it takes puppies to open their eyes varies from individual to individual.

However, if a puppy is already over 2 weeks old and still hasn’t opened its eyes, it’s time to see the vet.

Your vet can clean your puppy’s eyes and try to open them manually. If there is an infection, follow-up with an antibiotic ointment may be recommended.

Eye problems in puppies

Although an infection may occur before a puppy’s eyes have fully opened, eye problems are rare during the first two weeks.

You will most likely run into eye problems in puppies when they get a little older. The most common problems include:

Corneal injuries: Puppies have a poorly developed sense of self-preservation and may forget to close their eyes when they encounter bushes or fight their siblings, resulting in irritation or scratching of the cornea.

Many dwarf and small breeds are particularly vulnerable due to their prominent, bulging eyes. Signs of corneal damage include bloodshot eyes, eye closure, and discharge. If you suspect your puppy has a corneal scratch, it’s important to take him to the veterinarian right away to avoid possible permanent scarring.

Entropion: This is a condition in which a puppy’s eyelid rolls back, causing the eyelashes to rub against the cornea.

Entropion is one of the most common hereditary vision problems and can affect both the lower and upper eyelids. Signs include strabismus, eye closure, and excessive tearing. Entropion can only be treated with surgery, and most dogs will have to wait until they are 6 to 12 months old before they can have the procedure.

Dry eye: Dry eyes occur when there is insufficient production of tears. Because tears lubricate the eye and carry away foreign material, reduced tear production can lead to infection or damage to the cornea.

Signs include excessive blinking, groping in the eye, and discharge. Although dry eye is not immediately severe, it can be very uncomfortable and cause permanent damage if left untreated.

Puppies may be born blind and helpless, but it doesn’t take long for them to turn into intriguing bundles of energy. Be prepared to get your hands full as soon as they open those eyes!


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