When Do Puppies Open Their Eyes? Explained By A Professional!

It’s just sweet when little puppies see the light of day. However, they only do this some time after birth, because their eyes are still closed for quite a while.

Why is this and when do puppies open their eyes?

If you are interested in these questions and the developmental stages of puppies, this article is for you.

Have fun while reading!

In a nutshell: How long does it take for puppies to open their eyes?

All puppies are born blind and deaf. It takes at least two weeks for them to open their eyes. Only then can you watch the little ones see the light of day for a few days. Please refrain from trying to “help” them open their eyes.

This can have serious health consequences for your puppies!

Why do puppies close their eyes?

When puppies are born, they are not fully developed. They are born blind and deaf and are completely dependent on their dog mom, especially in the first two weeks of life.

During this time everything revolves around food intake. If you drink a lot, you will quickly grow big and strong! With the intake of mother’s milk, the little puppies develop their skills.

How long can you not touch puppies?

In fact, it’s not so much about what is allowed as what is supposed to be. Newborn puppies should not be separated from their mother for the first 4-5 days. There are several reasons for this.

  1. The little ones are not yet able to regulate their body temperature themselves and need the warmth of their mother and siblings.
  2. Some female dogs—although rare—will reject their puppies if they have not been able to bond adequately in the first few days.
  3. What you definitely shouldn’t do is touch the puppy’s closed eyes. Gentle touches are okay, but please do not try to “help” them open their eyes under any circumstances! This can have dire health consequences.
  4. You should also not touch or disturb the baby dogs when they are being suckled!


Make sure the little ones stay with their mother as much as possible for the first few days and weeks. You should only intervene if it is necessary, for example because one of the puppies is not in good health, needs to be fed or the dog mom is neglecting him.

Puppy won’t open its eyes – what to do?

If a puppy doesn’t open its eyes, please don’t interfere!

In this case, or if you notice any swelling, pus, or discharge around the eyes, you should definitely contact a veterinarian.

The developmental stages of a puppy

This small puppy development calendar gives you a quick overview of the different stages of development of the minis.

Quick interim question: Why is it called Puppy and not Babybell?

Puppy development calendar

The 1st week after birth At this time the puppies are still blind and deaf. Everything revolves around the intake of mother’s milk, cleaning by the dog mom and getting enough sleep. The little ones can already smell, taste, touch and crawl through the area in a cute way. Otherwise not much happens.
The 2nd week of life At this time the puppies are still deaf and blind. They begin to crawl around in the whelping box and make their first attempts to stand up and walk. During this time, which is also called the neonatal phase, your body weight doubles.

After the first two weeks, the puppies’ eyes open. Their senses of hearing and smell are now also being trained.

Week 3 & 4 The transition phase. Now the little ones start to explore their environment. They start their first attempts at standing, walking and sitting and practice barking and personal hygiene. At this stage, they can slowly regulate their own body heat and defecate on their own. The playing and fighting among the siblings also begins.
From the 4th week Now the socialization phase begins. Personality and character are formed here. During this time, the puppies should get to know as much as possible and have positive experiences. What they learn during this time (approx. up to the 12th or 14th week) is very memorable for them. Housebreaking should also be trained slowly now.
After the 8th week Up to the 8th week of life, the puppies are curious and almost fearless. This is followed by about two weeks in which the dog children become more cautious. This is good and nature intended it so that they learn to recognize dangers. During this time, the little ones should not have any negative experiences.

Do you now realize why puppies shouldn’t be separated from their mothers before they are 10-12 weeks old?

What can puppies do at 2 weeks?

In the first two weeks, puppies can already smell, taste and feel.

That’s all they need to reach mom’s teats.

Since they are not yet able to carry their own body weight during this time, they crawl to the milk bar. This strengthens the muscles and the little dog can develop further.

During this time everything revolves around sufficient food and sufficient sleep.


Dog babies only slowly open their eyes after the second week of life. Until then, they are blind and deaf and still in full development.

In the early stages of life, everything revolves around getting as much breast milk as possible and enough sleep so that they can continue to develop their senses and skills.

The first puppy litter that you are allowed to accompany? It’s a really exciting time and you’ll want to cover yourself up!

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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