What To Know About Dogs in Heat

An intact female dog will reach a point in her life when she is ready to breed. Being in heat is the term for this period. The physical and behavioral indications of heat, also known as estrus or season, are distinct.

Many aspects of estrus, such as frequency, duration, and severity, are affected by your dog’s age and breed. It’s possible that your dog has symptoms that are unique to them.

What Are the Signs?

When your dog is in heat, she may need to urinate more frequently, so keep a leash ready. Her vulva may also be big, red, or bloated, with some bleeding or blood-colored discharge.

Your dog will bleed for around half of the cycle, which is normally 7 to 10 days. Larger dogs bleed more than smaller dogs, however this varies from dog to dog. Some dogs don’t bleed much. You won’t discover much blood spots around the house if your dog takes pride in their look and grooms themselves on a regular basis.

Your dog’s behavior will likely change as well. She may:

  • Be overly friendly with other dogs
  • Seek out male dogs
  • Mount or hump
  • Turn her tail to the side
  • Fidget or be nervous

During heat, your dog will bleed, but she will not be in discomfort. Being in heat, on the other hand, can make your dog uneasy and fidgety. Consult your veterinarian if her symptoms appear to be causing her pain.

When Does Estrus Start?

This is dependent on the size of your dog.

Smaller dogs can go into heat as early as four months of age. Larger breeds might not go into heat for the first time until they’re 18 to 24 months old. The first heat usually occurs at the age of six months.

Your young dog’s eggs aren’t fully matured yet, despite the fact that they are old enough to become pregnant. A healthy pregnancy can be obtained by waiting until after the second estrus cycle.

How Often Do Dogs Go Into Heat?

The exact frequency of estrus depends on your dog’s size, breed, and age, just as the start time. Female dogs who have not been spayed come into heat twice a year, around every six months. Each heat cycle lasts approximately 18 days, ranging from 2 to 3 weeks.

Your dog’s estrus cycles should be consistent, however the frequency depends on her. Your veterinarian can tell if your dog has irregular seasons if these are inconsistent.

The frequency of your dog’s seasons may decrease as she gets older. She will, however, be in heat for the rest of her life. She can still get pregnant even if she isn’t in heat as frequently.

The Estrus Cycle

The canine estrus cycle has four stages:

Proestrus: The onset of heat might last anywhere from 7 to 10 days. The vulva begins to enlarge and your dog begins to bleed during this period. She’ll begin to attract male dogs, but she’s not ready to mate just yet.

Estrus: This is the estrus cycle’s mating period. It lasts between 5 and 10 days. Bleeding may be reduced or completely stopped. During this period, your dog is ready to mate.

Diestrus: This time span can range from 10 to 140 days. During this time, your dog is either pregnant or in a period of rest.

Anestrus: This is a 6-month period of downtime before the next heat cycle starts.


When your dog is in heat, she will need additional attention and care. She’ll be in a hormonal mood. Keeping her occupied and entertained will help her cope with her worry and discomfort. Extra walks will also aid with her stress reduction.

She’ll not only attract male dogs, but she’ll also be drawn to them! You’ll want to keep her away from other non-neutered dogs to avoid conception. Even in your own home, this is true.

You can construct a limited place for your dog to roam in if you’re concerned about her bleeding around the home. This usually entails confining her to areas with easy-to-clean carpeted floors and upholstered chairs.

Creating a nest for your dog to nap in, complete with towels to catch any blood, will assist to avoid any accidents. Doggie diapers can also aid in the prevention of bleed-outs.

Your dog’s requirements may change while she is in heat. This can be a difficult task with a large amount of responsibility. You can have your dog medically sterilized before her first season to avoid pregnancy. These procedures are indicated before she is 6-months old because the timing of the first heat cycle varies.

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