How Long Does A Dog Stay In Heat?

how long does a dog stay in heat

The need to reproduce is one of the most dominant natural impulses of dogs. It was made by Evolution to  ensure the survival of the species. Desire, or sexual drive, do not exist at a young age, but they are very strong in adolescence and adulthood, and gradually weaken towards old age. Female dogs are no different. From the age of 6 months for all over her life, a female dog will experience heat or estrus, approximately every 6 month.

So what indicates that your dog is in heat? How long does you dogs stay in heat?  and what as a pet owner should you expect from your dogs while in heat?
We’ll answer all these questions here.

What is a dog heat cycle? When does it begin?

Heat cycles in female dogs are an essential part of their reproductive cycle. A dog will come in heat for the first time anywhere between 6 months to 1 year of age. If you do not want to deal with heat cycles, you can get your puppy spayed at 7 to 9 months of age.

How long does a dog stay in heat? What are the signs your dog is in heat?

Average heat cycle in dogs lasts for up to 3 weeks and usually starts with a reddish white or milky discharge from the vaginal area. When your dog first comes in heat, her vulva will appear swollen. The first time you notice this may be considered as day 1 of her heat cycle. The discharge from her vulva will be bloody but there won’t be any smell.

From the first day to about a week from it, your dog is said to “be in heat”. A week after the first day, to about the 10th day of the cycle, the discharge will start to clear. The second week is when the female dog can ideally be bred or mated with a male dog. Breeders recommend standing a female in heat on her 9th or 11th or 13th day before a male dog for the purpose of breeding. Following the second week, i.e. from day 16-17, the female dog is said to “go out of heat”. If you do not want your dog to get pregnant, it is important that you watch her closely for all 28 days. You must especially prohibit her from going out as she can get pregnant if she allows a male to mate with her during this period.

Fertility period in female dogs

As explained above, the average dog heat cycle lasts for about 3 weeks. From day 5 to about day 15th of her cycle, the female is considered fertile. However, the actual fertility period lasts for only about 48 to 72 hours. That said; the male dog’s semen can live in the vaginal tract of the female for up to 7 to 10 days which can lead to fertilization.

How often will my female dog come in heat?

Your female dog will typically get her heat cycles every 6 to 10 months though some dogs get them every 4 months. Certain breeds come in heat only once a year.

What to expect when your dog is in heat?

When your female is in heat, her pheromone scents will attract male dogs from miles away who will then try to dig, chew or jump over fences in order to mate with your dog. Your female dog might also try to leave your yard and her instincts will be very strong-so do not underestimate her. Keep her closely guarded if you do not want her pregnant by any male.

To summarize, female dog heat cycles last for about 3 weeks. Once this period is over, you can have her spayed or neutered. Spaying ensures that you do not have to deal with heat cycles again and will also keep overexcited male dogs out of your yard. It will also eliminate the problem of pet overpopulation.


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