Dogs in Heat: The Facts
There are numerous questions that people ask, when learning about dogs in heat. There are practical answers that help dog owners to understand the estrous cycle.
The proper name for heat is the estrous cycle and during this cycle a dog can become pregnant. The obvious sign is bleeding from the vagina and the vulva might be swollen. The bleeding isn't profuse, especially in small dogs. She will urinate more often. The biggest clue is the sudden surge of male dogs hanging around your yard. Observe the small dog before her first cycle more carefully, as it can be harder to tell when she first goes into the estrous cycle.
The majority of female dogs come into heat at between six to twelve months of age, though it can be sooner or later. For some it it as long as fourteen months. Have your vet examine your dog, if she hasn't cycled in fourteen months. They normally come into heat twice yearly. The smaller dogs are the ones that might come into their cycle earlier and the larger breeds might take longer than the usual time.
The estrous cycle is broken into four parts.
1) Proestrous is the initial stage. Its duration is between four and twenty days. The dog bleeds, is usually shy, her vulva is swollen, and she isn't receptive to male dogs.
2) The estrous part of being in heat is from five to thirteen days long. The female dog is receptive to males and the blood secretion is a lighter color.
3) Diestrous is the next stage and now her secretions lessen and she begins to lose interest in the male dogs. If she got pregnant, the pregnancy duration would be between sixty and sixty-four days.
4) Anestrus is the period when the dog's heat cycle finishes and she stays in in his stage for five to eleven months.
The majority of the cycle is around three weeks and doesn't include the most of the anestrous period.
When your dog is in heat, she will be more excitable and can use some extra attention. Brushing, petting, and talking to her will soothe her nerves. You can control the mess made through bleeding by putting a doggy pad on her or keeping her in her area when inside. The space normally set aside as her place to sleep is her den. Visit her often, if she is confined to this space.
Breeders of dogs usually test for progesterone levels, which signifies the dogs most fertile days. Normally those days are the 11th through the 15th day of heat. She can become pregnant during her first heat. The majority of breeders don't breed their dogs that soon. They usually have genetic testing done prior to breeding. Some serious hip problems aren't apparent until the dog is about two years old.
Spaying her is advisable, if you don't want her to have puppies. The traditional advice has been to allow her to experience one cycle or have puppies once before spaying. But vets now spay earlier. Ask your vet how soon you can have your dog spayed.