Is your dog in heat?
If you are the lucky owner of a female dog that hasn’t been neutered (or spayed, as it’s called for female dogs), you most certainly need to know the signs and signals that she will send when she is in heat. An unspayed female dog which is at the reproductive age is called a bitch (yeah, seriously, we’re not joking). They will usually go in heat (or estrus, which is the technical term) seasonally, in the fall and spring, so you will need to be especially careful now, that the winter just ended. So here are some things that you should know.
The age by which a female dog should experience her first heat varies a lot depending on the size of the dog, on her anatomy etc. While the average is six months, it usually varies between 6 to 12 or even more months. Big breed dogs will experience their first heat later than small ones. If your pup hasn’t had her first heat until the 24th month, while she is unspayed, you should better go and see your veterinarian, because that isn’t normal.
So what should you look after to see if your female dog is in heat?
- First of all, the seasons are a great indicator. While some dogs will experience heat no matter of the season, most of them will be estrus during fall and spring;
- Bleeding is the first physical sign that you will notice. The discharge will vary during the cycle and will initially be bloody, while in the end, it will be mostly clear. Depending on the dog’s physiology, the amount of discharge will vary from slight to heavy;
- Mounting – while unneutered male dogs will try to mount everything, bitches (again, seriously, that’s how they’re called) will only mount other dogs or your leg during heat. You should be careful and install high fences and products from our website to prevent her or other dogs to jump over or dig under the fence if you don’t want to breed your pup randomly;
- Constant licking of the genital area, in order to keep it clean;
- Changes in behavior – she may become more agitated and nervous, she may appear to be a little more anxious than usual, more clingy, more maternal with other animals, or even with toys;
- More frequent urination – this type of behavior has the purpose of letting male dogs know that she is in heat. Although, if you don’t see any of the other signs presented above, you should take your furry friend to a veterinarian, because frequent urination may be a sign of urinary problems;
- The heat cycle will usually take between 12 and 21 days, but it also depends on the individual. While some dogs will experience heat for only a few days, for others it may even last for four weeks.
By following the above-mentioned signs you will know when it is time to let your pup breed or take a closer look on her so that she doesn’t get pregnant, if you don’t want to have to deal with any puppies.