How to When Do Puppies Eyes & Ears Open

By Stephi Peppers

Considered one of the most universal signs of cuteness, puppies tug the heartstrings of young and old. If you are lucky enough to be a member of a household into which puppies are born, you get the unique opportunity to watch a newborn grow into a dog. While still in puppyhood, the newborn will reach many big milestones on his way to adulthood. One of the most defining milestones is the opening of eyes and ears.

Be patient and 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. Most puppy's eyes and ears open within 10 to 18 days.

Check the puppy around 10 days of age. The eyes and ears may not be open yet, but you will probably be able to see some signs of development. You should be able to see 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.

Check the puppy's eyes around 14 days of age. At this age, the pup'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.

Check the puppy's eyes and hearing around 18 days of age. At this stage, your puppy's eyes are probably open. The puppy's vision will be blurry, but will improve as he or she gets older. You can also 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.

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.