Dogs that are in season are a common occurrence and something to be aware of, especially if you have an unneutered male dog around a female dog in heat!
It is important for owners to know the signs that their female dog might be in heat so they can take appropriate precautions, particularly in the first season as you do not want your dog to get pregnant, and even if you do not in the first season.
This blog post will discuss what female dogs in heat look like, how often do female dogs go into heat, other factors which may contribute to when a female dog goes into her heat cycle as well as tips on how to help your dog cope with being in season.
But a dog’s health is important too especially with a breeding bitch in heat. A healthy lifestyle and avoiding stressors are key components for keeping your pet as happy and healthy as possible! This includes checking them regularly for any new lumps or bumps on their body – this could indicate cancerous cells developing which should be examined as soon as possible.
Dogs are considered to be in season up until April, and then again from October to December. This means that they will have a heightened sense of odor during this time period. The heightened smell is due to the dog’s hormones being active. This is the smell that male dogs cannot resist, which is why male dogs come over automatically with a female dog in heat.
What does this mean for you?
For starters, dogs can smell more pheromones on humans during their hormonal periods than they normally would. This could lead them to believe that you’re interested in breeding with them, when really you just want to pet them!
You may have noticed your dog sniffing around your crotch or other parts of your body lately–this is not because he wants a new friend but rather because he thinks it smells like one! A lot of people aren’t aware of how prevalent this is.
What should I do if my dog is in season?
In response to the question, “What should I do if my dog is in season?” here are a few solutions. The most important thing is to be aware that your pet needs more attention at this time of year. Dogs can become aggressive and agitated without warning, so it’s best not to leave them alone for too long.”
If you want help with finding out when your bitch will “come into season”, contact your dog’s veterinarian or consult some other resource on the internet. It may be helpful to keep a calendar handy so that you know when your pet will need extra care, or even a visit to your vet.
To repeat, it’s not over-worrying to suggest that it might also be wise to set up an appointment with the vet before things get out of hand and before your dog will come into heat! Also remember that dogs don’t always have the same timings, so be ready for the warning signs to avoid a situation where a fertile female dog may get pregnant, unless you wanted a pregnancy. Your vet will be able to explain the steps if your dog does get pregnant.
My female dog is in season or heat – what does that mean?
Some dogs only have one season or heat a year and others can have three, or just twice a year for her cycle. Some giant breeds have only one season every year, some every 18 months. When a dog is coming into season she starts giving out a pungent smell which will be attractive to any male dog, especially when coming into season.
The signs may be very difficult to spot when the dog is in season. A bitch in season spray can help mask the smell and discourage unwanted attention from dogs in heat which can bed useful in first heat for any dog’s heat.
The average season lasts three whole weeks and some seasons can vary in length from two to four weeks but not up to six weeks – if it seems long, talk to your vet.
What does ‘in season’ mean?
Female dogs that have reached maturity will naturally come into heat once or twice a year. Being in heat (or in season) can last for three weeks.
This means that this is the time when they could become pregnant. When a dog is in heat it can last about three weeks and is in season for about a month. Dogs can still smell this before and after though – so be careful. Look out for discharge from the vulva which is a sign that your dog is fertile.
How long does a dog in heat bleed?
Bitches usually bleed during the pro-oestrus period – where the body essentially gets itself ready for the season. Some dogs bleed very heavily with discharge and others so lightly that it’s barely noticeable form the vulva. This usually stops once the oestrus has begun, although this isn’t the case for all.
Dogs in heat tend to bleed for about a week to 10 days. If you’re worried about your bitch and her cycle, have a chat with your vet about her ‘proestrus’ period. You may also want to have your dog spayed after the first season to prevent an unwanted litter in the future
When can my dog actually get pregnant?
Your dog ovulates and you can see that because of the near-clear mucus discharge and this is the most fertile stage.
A female dog’s genetics will take over at this point and sometimes even when neutered, a dog will stand as if available for mating, inviting a male mate.
A dog’s sperm and last for up to a week in a female dog’s reproductive tract, so be careful – your dog can still get pregnant, even if you aren’t ready at the time. Also bear in mind that dogs do not need to tie to get pregnant
Your dog will be feeling hormonal, out of sorts and confused during her season, especially her first heat. Keep her entertained by playing games and giving her things to do in the house. Take her on walks away from other dogs away from others to keep her calm.
Playing games and taking her out of the house helps keep her happy and distracted during the dog’s heat and reduces the chance that she will get caught and become pregnant.
Here are some other, shorter, tips for your dog when they are in a stage of heat:
- It’s best not to take your dog for a walk when there will be lots of other dogs there, in the case of mating or aggression.
- Lots of dogs running off the lead can be a problem for mating if you are in a park. So avoid or keep your dogs on a short lead.
- All gates to your property much be firmly closed and secured as dogs have been know to jump fences to get to their targets.
- Try to distract your dog with games and treats or other play if you see any other dogs on your walk to curtail their interest in breeding.
- Use a tracker device tin case she runs away if there is male temptation!
- Mixed with a carrier oil, menthol can be used as an effective masking agent to help disguise the scent of your furry friend. Just put some on the tip of their tail and that could help.
And unless you are breeding – there are good reasons to have your dog neutered after say two years.
If you are dealing with a dog who is in-season, we want to help! Follow these tips for success, look for the signs and your pup will be back to their old self before you know it.
Do not punish the animal or yell at them when they’re acting out of sorts. Dogs often behave differently during this time and punishing them won’t make things any better. In fact, it may just make matters worse as dogs don’t like being humiliated.
It’s important to remember that female dogs can go into heat every six months so try taking her on more walks if she starts showing signs again after 6 months have passed since the last cycle ended.
If there’s another male canine nearby (or even a male human), then you will know about it!
So there are our tips for success if you find your dog in season. We hope that they help!
If this is a one-time event, then simply watch the female closely and take her to the vet if she starts bleeding or acting sickly. Keep an eye on her behavior, as some dogs may be more stressed by being in heat than others.
The best way to prevent future heats from happening is to have them spayed before they go into their first cycle – so make sure that happens!
Dogs can’t tell us when they’re feeling bad during estrus so it’s important not just for safety but also because of how uncomfortable they feel with all those hormones raging through their body.
Dog in Season FAQs
How long does a dog in heat bleed?
Bitches usually bleed during the pro-oestrus period – where the body essentially gets itself ready for the season. Some dogs bleed very heavily and others so lightly that it’s barely noticeable. This usually stops once the oestrus has begun, although this isn’t the case for all. Dogs in heat tend to bleed for about a week to 10 days. If you’re worried about your bitch and her cycle, have a chat with your vet about her ‘proestrus’ period.
Do dogs behave differently when in season?
Your dog will be feeling out of sorts and confused during her season, especially her first heat. To keep your dog occupied, entertain with games and give them things to do in the house. Take walks away from other dogs (away from others) to keep calm.
Playing games and taking her out of the house helps keep this dog happy during breeding season and reduces the chance that she will be caught. Even when in season a dog will love to play, and sometimes distraction is the only way to get something to work – make sure that you have games, toys and treat and make sure to be on your toes all the time during season.
How do I know when my dog has finished her season?
At the end of the heat cycle, the behaviour of your dog will change back to normal and male dogs will be less interested. Bleeding will stop and there is then no risk of unwanted pregnancy (is any pregnancy was unwanted).
What are the stages of a dog in heat?
Dogs are considered to be in season, with estrogen levels at their highest, from October until December. Dog owners should expect the sense of smell to be heightened during this period.
Dogs can detect pheromones emitted from humans on hormonal days, which leads them to believe that you are interested in breeding with them during this time.
The dog might interpret your petting as wanting a mating session, but really you’re just looking for affection.
You may have noticed your beloved pet paying extra attention to your crotch or other ‘smellier’ parts of your body –this is not about making a new friend but rather because he thinks you smells like one for breeding! A lot of people aren’t aware of how much this occurs.
Article summary – dog’s heat cycle/heat cycle for bitches/first season/seeing your vet re heat cycle/how to avoid male dogs/dog pregnancy/dog discharge/ heat stages