At What Age Can Puppies See?

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"I can't see or hear the person holding me."
"I can't see or hear the person holding me." (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Newborn puppies quickly develop into active, healthy and curious young adult dogs, despite starting out in this world as altricial and vulnerable creatures, reliant on their mother canines or human owners. After birth, it takes a matter of days before puppies begin to acquire their eyesight.

Born Without Vision

Neonatal puppies are, for all intents and purposes, unable to see. They come out of the womb with eyelids that are tautly shut. This is not without a reason, however. Their eyes are still highly fragile and require the beneficial defense of being closed. Closed eyes prevent the entry of potentially harmful matter, such as debris. They also keep out intense and vivid lighting, which is simply too much for the eyes to manage at this early stage.

Eyes Opening

Puppies' eyes generally begin opening up when they're around 8 to 14 days old. This occurs slowly, commencing by their nasal regions and then working in the outer direction. Once their eyes start opening, their vision begins to come in, with their retinas coming into fruition usually just a few days after. Their eyes always initially have somewhat deep blue looks to them, regardless of what exact color they end up being. They transition into their permanent color steadily, whether deep chocolate brown, Husky-style ice blue or anything else.

Full Eyesight

The little guys generally achieve their mature vision when they're approximately 3 to 4 weeks in age. Not only do their eyes typically start to work as well as those of adult canines' at this point, they usually newly resemble them, too, with their aforementioned "real" colors emerging. Note, however, that it often takes their real colors a couple more months or so to fully settle in.

Caution

Never, ever touch newborn puppies' and try to get them to open by yourself. This can be extremely harmful, and remember, the eyes are just not ready to take in strong lighting until they open on their own. Also be sure to quickly notify your veterinarian if you ever notice anything abnormal about puppies' eyes, whether they're swelling, giving off discharge or appear totally white in coloration. Remember, puppies in optimal condition have clear and alert eyes.

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