Dogs Heat Cycle

Every owner of a female dog will go through periods were the dog will start bleeding and it will start out of nowhere. Estrous, or heat, cycles come in four waves the Proestrus, Estrus, Metestrus, and the Anestrus.

Although every six months is a rule of thumb from the time they start and stop not every dog operates under those timelines. Some dogs go into heat once a year and others go into heat three times a year.

Important for you to understand what is going on from the time you see the first blood drop on the floor until the end of the estrous cycle. After puberty the dog will start to have these cycles regularly.

Different dogs will experience different behaviors but most of the time they act consistently. Get advice from a veterinarian if you feel like the dog is experiencing something out of the norm.

This article will address a lot of questions people are asking or will be thinking at some point who are new to having a female dog in heat.

Stages of Dog in Heat?

Proestrus – first stage of a females heat cycle will consist of the Proestrus stage where the Vulva is getting swollen and starting to discharge blood. Male dogs will start to smell the female from several miles away and will start to make their presence felt around the home. This period last for 9-10 days on average.

Estrus – after nine to ten days you will notice that the female dog is more accepting of the male dog and will start to move her tail to the side as an invitation that she is now ready to mate. Dog is still discharging but it is different than the bright red color that was discharging the week prior.

Metestrus – next 60 days is a period where the dog is pregnant and will be ready to have to puppies in approximately two months from the day, they got pregnant. Breeders should always consult with the vet to check the condition of the mother and make sure she is healthy enough to breed.

Anestrus – after having the puppies this is a five-month period where the dog is sexually inactive and doesn’t look to mate with male dogs. If you skip a heat the dog will return to this state as well without pregnancy.

When do Female Dogs Start Heat?

Female dogs will start heat from six months of age to two years old. Ages vary but everyone should expect any time past six months to be a normal time for the dog to start puberty.

Most of the time it will happen in 6-12 months for most dogs and some will happen much later. Spayed dogs will still show signs that they are in heat every 6 months on average but can’t get pregnant.

Female Dogs Heat Behavior?

You are going to notice that your girl dog isn’t protecting the yard from other dogs. In fact, a male dog will come into your yard and you won’t even know it.

Getting out of the yard can be a result of a dog showing sexual frustration. And if we combine how owners never exercise their dogs it can be a while before your dog comes back.

Keep the dog in an environment where they can’t get out and other dogs can’t get in while you are not around to supervise. Once you are there to supervise backyards and other places in the house will suffice.

Use this in-depth guide to help with Crate Training Made Simple.

How Long Do Dogs Stay in Heat?

A dog will have their estrous cycle for different time periods. According to Med Vet, Hofheim in “Physiology and Pathology of the Estrous Cycle of the Bitch” the Proestrus and Estrus cycle both last around 9 days but up to 3 weeks.

Expect to watch over your dog closely for around 3 weeks if you don’t want them to get stuck with a male dog. Supervision of all moments is a recommendation to make sure nothing happens that you don’t want to happen.

How Long Does a Dog in Heat Bleed?

In the Proestrus cycle the dog will start to bleed enough to catch any owner’s attention. This cycle lasts around 9-21 days but nine is the average. Keeping the dog inside until this time passes is ideal.

Bathroom breaks are fine, of course, then you will need to be outside with the dog for longer time periods. Kennels can be an option for people who don’t mind using one.

Some type of cage is great for a dog that has fully exercised for the day. Less of a mess to clean up and other advantages but make sure you don’t put them in there without exercise.

For more information visit Cornell University study “Reproductive Cycles of the Domestic Bitch”.

Do Female Dogs Stop Going into Heat?

That would be great for owners of older dogs but no, dogs will never stop going into heat. Humans can stop when women reach a certain, but this is only for humans and not for dogs.

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