Chihuahua puppies are extremely delicate and needs lots of care, particularly as newborns in the first few 4 weeks of their life. Their eyes are still closed shut, so they can easily fall and injure themselves. They are completely dependent on their mother so when can you expect your Chihuahua puppies’ eyes to open?
When do Chihuahua puppies open their eyes? Chihuahua puppies’ eyes open between 10 and 14 days after birth. Despite the eyes no longer being closed, eyesight will remain poor, and they will only really see their mother and siblings. Chihuahua eyes won’t clear completely for full vision until the 8-week point.
When do Chihuahua puppies’ ears open?
But what about their ears and hearing?
Whilst Chihuahua puppies’ eyes open up by the 14th day, the ears don’t fully open up until just afterwards. It can be a few days before the ears completely open allowing them to hear properly, usually at around 3 weeks of age.
Before these two points in their development, Chihuahua puppies can only navigate their new world using the power of scent. Born deaf and blind, it won’t be long before they are scampering around exploring all the new and exciting things the world can offer.
Chihuahua puppy development timeline
Now you know when Chihuahua puppies open their eyes and ears, how about a more detailed timeline of the development stages. Chihuahua puppies can expect to go through the following phases.
Please note, this is generic. Not all puppies will follow these development steps exactly.
- Day 10: Eyes start to open, but with limited vision.
- Day 21: Possibly starting take their first steps and baby teeth start to appear.
- Day 28: Could start little running patterns and have solid food introduced.
- Day 35: Most puppies will now be able to run with a full set of puppy teeth.
- Day 56: By the 8th week they will have clear eyesight and can leave their mother.
- Day 70: Eyes will change to the permanent coloration.
Do Chihuahua puppies eyes change color?
That last step on the development phase is interesting isn’t it? Yes, the eyes of your Chihuahua puppy will actually change color as they get older. They will also lose their baby teeth, and grow adult ones!
Most Chihuahua puppies are born with blue eyes, or at least a paler version of their final color. Regardless, by 10 to 16 weeks old, your Chihuahua puppy’s eyes will have changed color to their permanent shade.
The reasons your Chihuahua puppy’s eyes change color is because during their first few months of life their eye’s iris has no melanin. As they grow, the melanin concentration increases, leading to the final color change.
Handy Hint: Ever wondered how many puppies Chihuahuas will have? I wrote a guide about the average litter size for this breed with all the answers.
Do Chihuahua puppies born with their eyes closed?
Back to the main topic, and there’s a good reason why your Chihuahua was born with his or her eyes closed. It’s all down to evolution and survival, harking back to the days when dogs were still wolves living in packs.
According to the Psychology Today website (read source), a mother would find hunting and survival very hard if she had to spend a long time carrying a litter of puppies.
It stands to reason, that a full belly of pups would slow her down, making her vulnerable to prey and limiting her ability to find food. Here’s a quote from the referenced article:
“Getting the pups out of the womb and onto the ground quickly is an advantage. In addition, between hunts (which can be spaced days apart) there is not much to do, so the female has time to care for helpless infants. When she is out pursuing food, the pups can be safely stored in a den.”
Because of this, wolves (which then evolved into dogs) would give birth before the offspring had the time to fully develop. This means that the puppy was delivered into the big wide world before he had the time to develop full eyesight and hearing in the womb.
The benefit being, the mother would not have to continue to support and get even bigger and slower with growing puppies inside of her.
Fast forward to today, and this means that the gestation period of a Chihuahua is relatively short, coming it somewhere between 58 and 68 days. In reality, it could be longer allowing for her puppies to open their eyes and ears… but instead, they are born without the development of a full set of senses.
When can Chihuahua puppies leave their mother?
Another aspect I placed on the development phases timeline was guidance on when the puppies can leave their mother. Obviously, it’s imperative that the Chihuahua’s eyes and ears are open fully and functional before this happens.
The recommended age for any puppy to leave their mother is no sooner than 8 weeks or 2 months of age. By this point their senses are developed, they have been weaned off the mother’s milk, and they can be more independent.
Please don’t ever take a Chihuahua puppy away from their mother before this point. It’s hugely irresponsible and can lead to health and mental development issues for the puppy.
Handy Hint: The ears are another interesting aspect to the Chihuahua’s puppy development. Typically the ears will stand up after 15 weeks, but not always. Here’s my guide to what to expect with floppy or erect ears.
During the first two weeks of life, Chihuahua puppies don’t actually need to be able to see and hear in order to get along. The mother will keep them safe and secure, and they can latch onto her by instinct due to smell and touch alone.
Being completely deaf and blind for 2 weeks doesn’t present any real problems for them, providing they are in a safe environment in your home… e.g. a bed and den away from any hazards and suitably enclosed.
Once the two-week stage passes, the development of the Chihuahua puppies will be really quick. Their eyes will open, hearing will develop, and they will move freely about. You might even hear them making some little bark noises at the 5-week point!
Being able to move means they will want to go and explore what the world has to offer. Their sense will come to life, with them being able to see and hear all that’s around them in your home – meaning they will also start to take on their own individual characters.
It’s truly a magical in the development of a Chihuahua puppy, and when they open their eyes, just imagine what it must be like for them too!
Handy Hint: Here are some tips on how you can successfully potty train your Chihuahua puppy
Header image photo of a Chihuahua with closed eyes licensed from StockUnlimited.com.