How Long Do Dogs Stay In Heat? Behavior Of Female Dog In Heat

How Long Do Dogs Stay In Heat?: From about six months to the rest of her life, a bitch will experience heat or estrus roughly every six months throughout her life. This is the time when she is ready to mate with male dogs. She may not act normal due to some hormonal changes in her body.

How long do dogs stay in heat

These changes will tell you that your bitch is in heat, this will also include bleeding, swollen vulva, increase in nervousness and more frequent urination. She will then present herself to male dogs by lifting her rump and holding her tail off to the side.

When Does Dog’s Heat Start?

Dogs can start their heat in four months to six months in smaller breeds. Some big breeds cannot start their first heat until they are 18-24 months old. It is highly recommended not to breed young female dogs during their first and second heat cycle.

Their eggs are not mature enough and the dog has not reached the full age of maturity. So if you try to breed them it may result in false reactions and serious health issues of your dog. Before you breed your dog ask your vet to help you in figuring out whether your dog is ready for or not. Dogs have sexual needs and it is possible that your pet Humps you when they have a sexual impulse

How Long Is Each Heat Cycle In Dogs?

Heat in the dogs remains for 2-4 weeks. In the early stages of the cycle, some of the female dogs are not responsive to the male dog but some are receptive throughout the entire cycle. It can be short or long and you will get to know that the cycle is over once her vulva retains its normal size.

how long do dogs stay in heat

Once the cycle is completed there is no more discharge or bleeding. There is a comparatively small window when your bitch is more fertile during the heat cycle. It may begin about nine or ten days after she goes into heat and can last for five days. She can be pregnant until the last stage of the cycle.

Is This A Life Time Thing?

Once estrus starts, it can take some time for the cycle to become regular. Some dogs can take almost eighteen months until their cycle becomes regular. It is the best idea to keep a record during these early days. Once it does, the average cycle is about every six months. If you have a Labrador dog which is one of the world’s most intelligent and popular dog then you must know every little detail properly before your dog gets pregnant.

Smaller breeds may go into heat more often as 3-4 times in one year. Larger dogs may only go into heat for 12-18 months. Unlike humans, female dogs get estrus throughout their life. Although the time between the two cycles becomes longer.

dogs in heat

With the exception of breeders, many pet owners choose to spay their female dogs just before their first heat. Some specialists believe that this reduces the risk of any kind of cancer or other conditions. It also reduces the possibility of unwanted litters.

The biological term for a dog being “in heat” is estrus. Female dogs usually experience their first estrus from six to twelve months of age. Also, in the estrus phase, there is a full-cycle that you should understand to help your dog stay healthy throughout their life. During this time you also need to take care of your dog and if it is winter time then it is important for you to protect your dog from cold.

The 4 Phases Of The Canine Estrus Cycle

There are 4 phases of the Estrus Cycle in dogs:

Proestrus: (7-12 days)

In this early phase, you will see an enlarged vulva and a bloody vaginal discharge. It is in this phase when a female dog starts to attract male dogs. This is not the prime time for bleeding, though. Although they will allow males to approach, females will not stand for mating during proestrus.

Estrus: (7-9 days)

Estrus is the fertile period. Vaginal discharge changes from bloody to straw-colored and vulvar swelling is still present. Females will stand for mating during this phase.


Diestrus: (65-90 days)

Characterized by discontinuation of vaginal discharge and unwillingness to stand for mating. This is the time when dogs start to create if mating has taken place. If pregnant, diestrus lasts the length of the gestation period 63-65 days. If the female dog is not pregnant, the duration of the diestrus is 75-90 days. There are no outward signs of diestrus in non-pregnant dogs.

Anestrus: (End of Diestrus to Start of Proestrus)

It is the resting time for the reproductive tract. The dog looks and behaves normally during this phase.

The parts of the cycle which you could focus on are proestrus and estrus. These phases are equal to being in heat. The time from the start of proestrus to the end of estrus is approximately 21 days. So, a bitch is in the heat for almost three weeks. Most bitches come in heat once or twice a year.

If you wish to breed on the female pup, it is advised to wait until she is almost two years old. This will let her body to mature physically before making it go through the stress of giving birth or getting pregnant.

Dogs In Heat: 9 Things To Know

Do dogs have periods? Not the same way that female humans do. Female dogs which are not spayed go into the heat and the time for which the bitch bleed and when she is fertile is significantly different from a human menstrual cycle.

Let’s discuss some facts about dogs in heat and why it is important to spay your bitch.

1. A dog heat cycle only happens once or twice a year. The canine estrus cycle occurs every 6 to 12 months.

2. A puppy can go into heat sooner than you think. The earliest that most dogs will experience their first heat cycle is at 6 months of age.

3. Dogs in heat should stay away from intact male dogs for 3 to 4 weeks. This means that dogs in heat should not visit dogs parks or do any doggie daycare visits.

4. Don’t think you are in the clear once the bleeding stops. With dogs in the heat, each dog heat cycle lasts 3 to 4 weeks, but you will only see bleeding during the first 2 weeks.


5. The bleeding from dogs in heat isn’t as bad as you might think. In most dogs, it is not a large amount, it is relatively small.

6. Don’t delay scheduling your dog’s spay. Many people don’t ever experience dogs in heat since it is best to have your bitch spayed before her first heat cycle.

7. Spaying your bitch decreases the chances of developing mammary cancer. It is equal to breast cancer in dogs.

8. Pyometra is another danger for female dogs who are not spayed. It is a type of infection of the uterus. It can be deadly and almost requires an emergency spay surgery.

9. Dogs in heat know when they are in heat and fertile and when they are not. Dogs themselves know when they are ready to breed. They get little flirtatious.

If your dog is not feeling well or have any problem then you can visit the American Kennel Club as it is an organization that makes sure the treatment of diseases in all dogs. I hope you like my post about “How Long Do Dogs Stay In Heat?”. You can also visit:


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