what to do when your dog is in heat

What To Do When Your dog is in Heat? (2024 Guide)

What if your Female Dog is in a heating period? For first-time dog parents, ‘What to do when your dog is in heat?’ is a huge question. They don’t know how to deal with it. If you also don’t have any idea regarding the same, you are at the right place. Today we will talk about what to do when your canine is in heat. But before that let us have some basic information about the heating.

How to Handle a Canine heat Period?

Just like humans, there comes a time in the female dog’s life when she is ready to bleed. This period is called heating. There are different stages in the heat period that depends on the dog’s breed and age. 

When a female doggy is in heat, it means she can breed and get pregnant. Female canines can ho in heat at the age of 6-8 months. During this time, they can have sex with male dogs. 

Many times, the pet parents do not realize that their pooch is in heat. Hence, vets recommend doing spay surgery after 6 months of age. This is to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

How many times a year is a dog in heat?

The heat cycle depends on the dog’s size, breed, and age. Small breeds can have a cycle every 3-4 months, medium and large dog breeds have cycles every 6 months, and giant dog breeds can have cycles every 6 to 12 months.

What are the four stages of a dog in heat?

There are four stages of a dog in heat –

  1. Proestrus
  2. Estrus
  3. Diestrus
  4. Anestrus

Each stage has different signs related to physical, clinical, hormonal, cytological, behavioral, and physiological changes. 


Proestrus, on average, lasts for 9 days, but in some cases can range between 0 and 27 days. In this period, the male dogs are attracted towards the females, but the females will not be responsive.  

The estrogen level goes to the peak and follicles start developing. The vuIva starts to swell with a bloody discharge. 


In this stage, the female dog is responsive towards the male dog. This period lasts for 9 days but in some cases can range from 4 0 24 days. The fertility period occurs in this stage. 

The bloody discharge decreases and the vuIva enlarges. The progesterone level increases and the estrogen level decreases.


In this stage, the female dogs are not responsive toward the male dogs. This stage lasts for 2 months. The progesterone level peaks 3-4 weeks after the diestrus start. Then it starts to decline by the end of diestrus. 


Anestrus occurs between diestrus and the next proestrus. It lasts for 4 months. The vuIva comes to normal size, and there is no discharge.

How do you stop a dog’s period?


Ovariohysterectomy is also known as spaying. It is a surgery where the whole reproductive tract( both ovaries and uterus) is removed. It is a permanent solution to pregnancy. The procedure involves general anesthesia, but there is a risk when performed. 

At present, many vets recommend ovariectomy in which only the ovaries are removed. 

There are different benefits of spaying including –


Pyometra is an infection of the uterus. It is a serious and life-threatening issue in unspayed females. The risk of this disease increases with age. Ovariohysterectomy or spaying helps to eliminate this risk of uterus infection. 

False pregnancy

False pregnancy is just like actual pregnancy. It results in abdominal behaviours, and risks like mastitis(mammary infection) and pyometra(uterine infection).

Spaying helps you mitigate the problem of false pregnancy.

Mammary neoplasia (Breast cancer)

Spaying reduces the risk of breast cancer. An unspayed female who has gone through the heat once has an 8% chance of developing breast cancer. And the female who has gone twice has a 26% chance of developing breast cancer. 

Hence, it is better to spay your pooch when she is 6 months old. It will mitigate the chances of having breast cancer.

When should I spay my dog?

Sexual maturity occurs when the female canine comes into heat. For most female dogs, this occurs between 6-12 months of age. 

Hence it is recommended to wait until your pooch is at least 6 months old or more. According to a study, dogs who are spayed before 6 months have more risk of orthopedic issues and cancer.  

We know that every heat cycle increases the risk of pyometra and breast cancer. So if we manage to spay our dogs just before the heat cycle, it would be a great situation. 

7 Signs of a Dog in heat

  • Bloody discharge from vuIva
  • Swollen vuIva
  • Excessive licking of the genital parts
  • Receptive to male doggies
  • Tail position changed
  • Frequent urination
  • Aggressive, nervous, or agitated behavior

What to do when your pooch is in heat?

Have a balance between playing and resting

Different canines will react in a different ways during the heat. Some may also feel stressed and want a piece of extra exercise, while a few may also feel tired the whole day. It’s important to actually examine your pooch’s behavior and provide the proper amount of relaxation and play for her. You know her best so you should realize what’s right for her and what makes her comfortable and happy.

Exercise your pooch

When your canine is in heat, it could be a totally disturbing time for her. To assist destress her, exercises are beneficial. There is a false impression that female dogs in heat should not do any exercise, however, she nevertheless needs walks. 

Avoid the strenuous bodily activities, a quick walk across the block will already do superb wonders. But, don’t forget to walk your canine with a leash whilst she goes through her heat cycle. 

Even in case, you think your furbaby is the nicely-trained canine on the earth and has significant obedience training, heat can cause odd behaviors and hormonal drives that don’t generally exist. For her safety, hold her on a leash to keep away from combating animal instincts.

Female doggies in heat are apt to take off jogging and will subsequently end up misplaced or hurt. Male canines may also be driven to her, so although she comes back, male canines can still be a hassle.

Always walk your canine on a leash in order that if any male canine does approach, you could extra effortlessly block your female. Also, while on a walk, avoid passing through busy locations in which there are lots of fidos. This ought to end up trouble as all free dogs in the region might be drawn to her scent.

Twice supervision

During the heat, female dogs have the ability to attract male dogs. Hence, it can cause your canine to go out of control. She may try to escape or run. This leads to different issues like getting stolen, getting lost, or unwanted breeding.

When your fido is in heat, let her enjoy the things she loves but keep a close eye on her. Keep watching here and don’t let her out of your sight. 

Use dog diapers

One of the most common symptoms to realize that your canine is in heat is a bloody discharge, and this will be off-setting when it starts soiling your carpet.

Diapers for canines in heat will offer consolation for your pooch and peace of mind for you. No need to fear letting her on the carpet when she is carrying well-geared-up diapers for dogs in heat.

But diapers might not be capable of preventing male canines from lurking around,  but these dog diapers for dogs in heat will save penetration in case a male canine makes his move to get close to your female canine.

Give extra attention and love

The modifications that manifest for your canine while she is in heat aren’t simply physical, there also are mental and emotional modifications as well. Your canine might also additionally experience hectic and easily burdened out in the course of those times that’s why it is usually a very good concept to offer her more love and attention. This should suggest playing with her more, brushing her, or simply giving her a few more pets and cuddles.

Also, a canine in heat might also end up clingy and affectionate even if in certain instances they’ll get grumpy. Make sure to constantly have more time for her in the course of her heat cycle as she will rely on you to assist her to feel better.

Spay your pooch

It is better to get your canine spayed. While you might imagine that spaying isn’t always natural and consequently cruel, there are various health benefits to spaying, not the least of that is a reduced chance of growing certain cancers. Speak to your vet to discover the benefits of spaying your pooch and if it is proper for your female dog.

Final words

Altogether, when your pooch is in heat, just make sure to give her the necessary comfort and love. It will make her forget what is going on with her internally.

With the right attention and tools, your canine’s heat cycle may be easy to manage. Schedule an appointment with your vet in case you notice that your canine’s heat cycle is irregular, if there’s prolonged bleeding or discharge, in case you think your canine is probably pregnant, or in case your canine’s behavior turns abnormal. 

Frequently asked questions