How Can You Tell if Your Dog is in Heat

dog in heat - first signs

A dog owner should be able to identify signs that his or her dog is in heat. When your female dog is receptive to mating, she is in a stage of her reproductive cycle called being in “heat.” You can anticipate this to happen about two times a year starting between 6 months to one year of age. Each time your dog enters into heat, the cycle will last about 21 to 28 days.

However, each dog is different, so at what age her first heat cycle begins and for how long she’s in heat can differ depending upon the breed and size of the dog. Smaller dogs tend to have their first heat cycle earlier and large breed dogs later.

How Can I Tell If My Dog Is in Heat?

On the occasion that you want to mate your dog or prevent a pregnancy, there are obvious signs that can alert you that your dog remains in heat:

First stage (proestrus)

Your dog’s vulva will look swollen or bigger than normal. This is typically accompanied by a bloody vaginal discharge and she might urinate regularly. Your dog might show changes in habits such as being jumpy or on edge. In this stage, she may hold her tail near to her body and reveals no signs of wishing to breed. She might likewise end up being more clingy to you.

Second stage (estrus)

This is the stage where she ends up being prepared to mate. The vaginal discharge might change from bloody to a clear or brownish discharge. You may also see your dog move her tail to the side, making herself offered to a male dog. This is understood as “flagging” and is a sign that she is fertile. These behaviors arise from a fluctuation in her hormones. If you are interested in breeding your dog, your veterinarian can carry out a few tests during this stage that will identify if this is the very best time to breed.

If It Is a First Time

Puberty or sexual maturity in the female dog usually takes place around 9 to 10 months of age. The smaller sized breeds tend to enter into estrus or ‘heat’ earlier and some females can have their first heat cycle as early as 4 months of age. On the other hand, the big and giant breeds can be as much as 2 years of ages before they enter heat for the first time. For many dogs, the first heat is ‘silent’ or does not have scientific signs associated with estrus. In addition, many dogs’ first estrus cycle is unlikely to allow successful breeding, for that reason the basic practice is to wait till the 2nd or 3rd heat cycle prior to breeding.

From the beginning of the heat period, she will be appealing to male dogs, however will usually not be receptive, or allow mating up until about 7 to10 days into the cycle, according to VCA Animal Hospital. As the cycle advances, the color and appearance of the discharge change. At the start, it is typically quite bloody and thick in appearance, but slowly it changes to a watery, blood-tinged discharge. The receptive period for mating typically corresponds to this change in the appearance of the discharge.

Heating Period

Heat usually lasts between 2-4 weeks, states The American Kennel Club. Early in the cycle, a female dog might not be receptive to male dogs, although some are receptive through the whole cycle. It can be shorter or longer and you’ll understand the cycle is over when all her vulva returns to its normal size and there’s no more bleeding or discharge. There’s a relatively small window when your dog is most fertile throughout the heat cycle; it may start about nine or ten days after she enters into heat and lasts about five days. Nevertheless, she can become pregnant till completion of the cycle.

How to Help to Female Dog in Heat?

The heat cycle for a female dog lasts about 3 weeks. During that time her vulva will swell and she will have a bloody discharge. While she is in heat your dog will be continuously releasing scents which will bring in all the male dogs in your neighborhood.

Do not leave your female dog alone outdoors when she remains in heat. Male dogs will become aggressive and have been understood to dig and jump fences to mate. Keeping your female inside your home will help eliminate the fear of undesirable puppies or attacks by neighborhood males.

Nevertheless, keeping the female dog inside while she remains in heat can also be inconvenient. The discharge can be not only untidy but also rather smelly. The best alternative is to keep your female inside and confined to an area where the discharge won’t be an issue to clean up, such as a tiled or concrete area in the basement or garage. Baby gates are a simple method to confine your dog without putting her behind a closed door.

References: banfield.com/pet-healthcare/ad…, vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet…, akc.org/expert-advice/dog-breeding…. Image: pixabay.com

References and used sources

Reyus Mammadli

Having engineering and medical education, in recent years actively engaged in the study of the development, reproduction of domestic animals. Special attention is paid to the treatment and prevention of diseases of Pets.

Author of several hundred articles about health and healthy lifestyle. In recent years, he has been treating Pets and birds together with specialists. In their articles on AetaPet.com shares both his knowledge and experience, and, based on reliable sources, methods of primary diagnosis of diseases in Pets and General recommendations for their possible treatment.

Of course, the articles are only informative. In each case, diagnosis and treatment should be carried out and prescribed by a qualified veterinarian.

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