Watching a newborn puppy open their eyes for the first time is one of the most magical experiences — and the cutest. After you've helped your dog deliver the puppies, you'll get to watch them grow. But when exactly will this miracle happen? It might be alarming if this is your first time, but be patient! Most puppies eyes and ears open within 10 to 18 days. As you're observing this amazing first step of puppyhood, here are some important things to remember in order to take care of your newborn pup the best you can.
Patience — Do Not Disturb!
Do not disturb the puppy or the mother unless absolutely necessary. Mother dogs and puppies need time to bond while the puppy continues to develop, so your patience is key here. According to VCA Hospitals, after about 10 days, you can start checking for signs of development — but if the eyes or ears aren't open yet, don't worry! This process can take up to 18 days.
Around 10 days of age, you will be able to see some signs of development like the formation of the ear canal at this age, although the ears themselves will not be open. You can also look at the puppy's eyes to see if the lids have begun to open, but do not attempt to open them.
Look Out For Infection!
Around 14 days you should definitely see your puppy's eyes should be showing signs of opening. You may see occasional tearing or even the the lids open just a bit. If you notice any pus or discharge during this time, consult your vet for an eyewash to help keep the eyes clean. Any infection at this stage could be very dangerous to the puppy, so stay observant.
Do A Hearing Test
After 18 days, your puppy's eyes are probably open. The puppy's vision will be blurry, but will improve as he or she gets older. This is a great time to do a simple hearing test on the puppy, although you may get mixed results. Try snapping your fingers to see if the puppy responds to the noise. You can also watch the puppy for signs of hearing as she interacts with siblings or the mother dog.
Check In With A Vet If You Need Help
Consult a vet if your puppy's eyes have not opened by 18 days of age, or if the puppy is not showing signs of hearing. Chances are your vet will advise you to check in around the two-week mark regardless of any problems. In the event that the puppy's eyes are not open, an infection could have set in and sealed the eyes shut. In this case, you will need veterinary assistance. Hearing difficulties will also require assistance from your vet.
If your dog has recently given birth to puppies, enjoy this amazing gift of life! A few things to remember as you're taking care of these newborn puppies is to be patient and wait for the puppies' eyes and ears to open naturally, as well as make sure to look out for infection. You'll be able to be there for these bundles of joy as they being their first stages of life, and you can always contact a veterinarian if you're worried about any further issues.