Owning a dog is a big responsibility. Therefore, you need to constantly educate yourself and increase your knowledge to properly care for your dog. Ensuring a proper living environment, regular exercise, a high-quality diet, and regular health checkups are the most important for the happy and healthy life of your dog. Also, if you own a female dog, you need to learn everything about her menstrual cycle and how to manage it. Knowing how dogs get periods and what to do in those situations is very important for every owner.
Today, we will learn more about dogs’ heat cycles and how they differ from human menstrual cycles.
Do Dogs Get Periods?
Yes, female dogs get periods. However, they don’t experience menstruation in the same way human females do. The menstrual cycle occurs in humans every 28 days. On the other hand, the estrous cycle in dogs occurs every six months.
The female dog will reach her sexual maturity around six months of age. However, this can vary between individual dogs and dog breeds.
When a female sexually matures, she will enter her first “heat” or estrus cycle. This cycle usually lasts between two and four weeks.
After the first estrus cycle, the female will go into heat on average every six months. However, the time between estrus cycles can also vary, and it takes some dogs about 2 years to achieve a regular cycle.
The Estrus cycle has four distinct stages:
- Bleeding (7 to 10 days)
- Willingness to mate(7 to 10 days)
- Returning to the normal state (7 to 10 days)
- The period between two cycles(about 5 months)
How Can I Tell My Dog Is In Heat?
A female dog in heat will experience both physical and behavioral changes.
Typical signs of a dog in heat are:
- Increased urination
- Swollen vulva
- Bloody discharge
- Nervous behavior
- Willingness to mate (Deflecting tail to the side, raising rear, initiating sexual contact)
If you are not planning to breed your dog, the best course of action would be to spay her. Spaying will prevent heat cycles and unwanted pregnancy. Spaying is a medical procedure in which the vet will remove the dog’s ovaries, uterus, and cervix.