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Do Dogs Get Period Cramps? Signs and How to Ease Your Dog’s Discomfort (2023)

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do dogs get period crampsLook, we all get ’em. As women, Aunt Flo can really throw us for a loop once a month. But have ya ever wondered if your fluffy gal pal goes through the same thing? Turns out, dogs get period cramps too.

It’s totally normal and nothin’ to freak about, just be aware of the signs so you can pamper your pooch when she needs it most.

Their bits go on the fritz same as ours, with discharge, mood swings, and yes – cramps. It ain’t fun for Fido either. But you can make it easier by knowin’ what to watch for and how to help. A little extra love and care those few days keeps tails waggin’ instead of draggin’.

Read on to learn all about canine cycles and show your girl some support when it’s her time of the month.

Key Takeaways

  • Hormonal fluctuations during the heat cycle can cause period cramps in dogs.
  • Dogs may experience symptoms such as abdominal cramping, loss of appetite, increased panting, and a swollen belly during their heat cycle.
  • Home treatments for period cramps in dogs include hot water bottles or heating pads, gentle abdominal massages, increased affection, and providing a quiet resting space.
  • Spaying eliminates the heat period and cramping in dogs, but they may still exhibit residual cycle signs.

Do Dogs Get Period Cramps?

Do Dogs Get Period Cramps
You’d feel her tummy tighten and see her whimper, signaling it’s time to cuddle her close. During a dog’s heat cycle, cramps and pains are common as her reproductive system prepares for possible pregnancy.

Her hormones fluctuate wildly during this time, which causes abdominal cramping similar to what human females experience during menstruation. For a few days, she may pant, pace nervously, and vocalize her discomfort. Extra affection and massage can provide relief, as can prescription pain medication from the vet if the distress seems severe.

Her vulva also swells, and she has discharge, all normal parts of going into heat. Soon these symptoms will pass, and she’ll return to her happy self once this temporary biological process concludes. With care and comfort, you can help your canine companion through this challenging time until her cycle ends.

Dog Period Cramps Symptoms

Dog Period Cramps Symptoms
As her body prepares for fertility, your dog may experience intense cramps and bloating that manifest in lethargic behavior with little appetite and rapid, strained breathing. Shaking and restlessness accompany the sharp pain in her contracting abdomen as hormones fluctuate to signal ovulation may occur this cycle.

Being aware of these symptoms allows you to comfort your dog through this temporary discomfort with gentle massages, rest, and medication until her normal energy returns after menstruation concludes.


She’d want to nap more during her heat, since the hormonal fluctuations leave her wiped out. Between the cramping and swollen vulva, her laziness may seem like illness. But a bloated belly and lethargy are just more symptoms of her temporary dog’s period.

Decreased Appetite

Hunger goes away when her discomfort is high. Bright red discharge signals digestive disruption. Cramping causes nausea, making her a picky eater. Extra fluid needs decrease appetite too.

Bloated Belly

Bloating by day, starving by night, you’d think she’s got parasites despite a clean bill of health.

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Gassiness and bloating
  • Enlarged belly
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Restlessness and pacing

Her tummy trouble comes from the cramping uterus, not some phantom bug. The bloating should pass when her cycle ends.


Your muscle spasms come from the hormones wreaking havoc within your system.

Symptom Cause
Shaking Uterine contractions
Panting Discomfort and pain
Restlessness Cramping and discomfort

The tremors and panting result from the uterine contractions and cramping. Like menstrual cramps, the discomfort causes distress.

Excessive Panting and Breathing Fast

Y’all are breathing fast ’cause the cramping’s making you uncomfortable. Excess fluids and hormones increasing the pressure.

How Long Do Dog Periods Last?

How Long Do Dog Periods Last
A heat cycle can last up to a month for your furry bestie, with swollen lady parts and bloody spotting on undies signaling when her reckless fertile window’s opened up.

The proestrus phase, when her vulva swells, marks the start of her heat and lasts 9 days on average.

Next is estrus, her most fertile few days of standing heat when mating occurs, lasting 5-10 days.

Ovulation happens towards the end, though precise timing is uncertain.

Diestrus follows as hormone levels recede for 2 months until anestrus, when she sexually rests before the rollercoaster revs up again.

Her first heat hits at 6-24 months old, then roughly twice annually like menstrual cycles.

Knowing what to expect helps you empathize as she powers through moodiness and discomfort. With preparation, you can both enjoy the lifelong companionship this biological quirk interrupts just temporarily.

What Can I Give My Female Dog for Cramps?

What Can I Give My Female Dog for Cramps
As your pup’s hormones fluctuate, you may notice her experiencing cramping discomfort during her heat cycle. The swelling of her vulva, coupled with shifting estrogen levels, can lead to nausea, general agitation, and abdominal cramping for your female dog.

You can help relieve her aches by providing a heating pad or wheat sock to soothe her belly. Also, consider rubbing a small amount of coconut or olive oil around her vulva to ease irritation. Adding an extra walk and some one-on-one playtime will lift her spirits as well.

Never give human pain relievers without first consulting your veterinarian. With some extra love and natural anti-inflammatories, you can get your sweet girl through this transient time of biological discomfort.

Hydration and Diet

Hydration and Diet
Keeping her hydrated and eating smaller, frequent meals will help your girl through the discomfort of her time. As estrogen rises, hydration becomes key to ease cramping and bloating. Make sure her water bowl is topped off and offer tasty ice cubes for supplemental hydration.

Avoiding heavy, rich foods is wise – stick to her regular diet but in tinier portions. The hunger pangs of cramping may have her begging, but smaller snacks often work better. Simple carbohydrates provide an energy boost without upsetting her tummy more. Getting extra fluids and keeping meals petite and bland reduces the hydration and diet issues inflaming her cramps and pain.

With some TLC for her belly, she’ll sail through this monthly nuisance in no time.


You’ll want to moderate her exercise during this time. Her hormones are already causing gastrointestinal distress, so vigorous activity can exacerbate her cramping and discomfort. Stick to short, mild walks to keep her moving while giving her muscles a break from more strenuous routines that might aggravate cramping from jostling and bouncing, upset her delicate digestion mid-activity, overheat her already inflamed abdomen, and leave her fatigued and achy afterward.

The temporary reduction in exercise also adjusts for the increased appetite some dogs experience before and during their cycles. Keeping her activity gentler prevents overeating from leading to tummy troubles.

Once the worst of her cycle passes in a few days, gradually return to her normal exercise regimen.

For now, take it easy on long walks or high-energy play that could make her cramps worse.

A Hot Water Bottle

A Hot Water Bottle
During her heat cycle, your dog may experience cramping similar to menstrual cramps in humans. The hormone fluctuations that regulate her cycle can cause bloating, nausea, and abdominal discomfort.

Placing a hot water bottle on her belly can provide soothing warmth to relax her muscles and relieve some of the achiness she’s feeling. However, take care not to make the water too hot to avoid scalding her skin. Test it on your wrist first – it should feel very warm but not burning.

Her tummy may be more sensitive due to inflammation. Keep an eye on her and remove the bottle if she seems distressed.

The gentle heat can ease her cramps so she feels more comfortable until the worst passes in a few days and her hormones stabilize again.

Safe Temperature Range
Human Body Temperature 96 – 100°F
Caution Zone 100 – 102°F
Risk of Burns 105°F+

Providing some extra comfort helps take the edge off her discomfort until her cycle wraps up and her usual cheerful self returns.

Massage and Acupuncture

Massage and Acupuncture
Aches plague her as hormones rage, so massage and acupuncture can soothe.

  • Apply gentle pressure to tense areas like her lower back and belly. Slow, circular motions relax cramped muscles.
  • Use massage oils like lavender or chamomile. Soothing scents calm agitation.
  • Acupressure on specific points releases tension. Consult veterinary charts.
  • Never force touch if she resists. Follow her cues. Create a safe space.
  • Respond to extra attention-seeking. Frequent affection provides comfort.

With compassion and care customized to your dog’s needs, massage and acupuncture grant relief.

TLC and Attention

TLC and Attention
Cause all them hormones be messin’ with her head, give your girl some extra lovin’ to help her feel better. Her body be goin’ through changes that stress her out and make her uncomfortable.

Make sure she stays hydrated and gets the nutrition she needs to manage this cycle. Give her a quiet, cozy space away from noisy male suitors to rest her weary head. A warm, soft bed with your reassuring presence nearby provides comfort when she needs it most.

With some adjustments to her care, your patient love and understanding as she deals with this temporary imbalance in her body help your girl find relief until her hormones chill out again.

How Do You Know if Your Dog Has Period Cramps?

How Do You Know if Your Dog Has Period Cramps
You gotta keep an eye out for signs your girl is feelin’ under the weather when Aunt Flo comes to town. Maybe she’s extra clingy, shakin’ her booty at suitors, or curlin’ up to ride out them wicked cramps.

A few days of moody blues are just par for the course with her monthly visitor. Just lend an ear for her bluesy howls, provide some TLC, and she’ll be back to her tail waggin’ self before you know it.

  1. Whining and vocalizing, especially when touched
  2. Seeking comfort, pressing body against objects
  3. Restlessness, unable to get comfortable
  4. Loss of appetite, lethargy
  5. Guarding abdomen if touched there

When that time of the month hits, your pooch may experience some discomfort that comes across in her behavior. Applying a warm compress to her belly can provide relief, as can making sure she has a balanced diet with fresh water.

Observing how she acts is a great way to know if she’s feeling under the weather. Any sign of pain during her heat is pretty normal, so give her some extra lovin’ until it passes.

How Do You Comfort a Dog on Her Period?

How Do You Comfort a Dog on Her Period
When your female dog is experiencing the discomfort of her heat cycle, it’s important to provide some extra care and affection. You’ll want to give her lots of love while also making sure she gets adequate rest, balanced with some playtime.

Additionally, you should take precautions like avoiding off-leash walks, using female diapers, and consulting your vet if you notice anything unusual.

Give Her Love and Support

Warm those pads you have because your girl needs them pressed on her belly to ease the hurting.

Helpful Steps Why it Helps Additional Tips
Apply warm compresses Provides soothing warmth Monitor for overheating
Offer tasty broths Hydration aids recovery Limit fatty/salty foods
Offer gentle massages Physical comfort relieves pain Avoid abdomen if sore

When that time of the month hits, some extra TLC and pain relief can really help your pup power through.

Strike a Balance Between Rest and Play

Let your girl set the pace between resting up and playing fetch, since she knows best what eases her cramps each day of her cycle. Provide a comfy bed in a peaceful spot when she shows discomfort, but don’t confine her.

Let her lead you to where her affected area needs soothing, staying attuned to signs like whimpers or licking.

Though every pup’s experience with cramps differs, your intuitive care helps her through.

Avoid Off-leash Walks

Keep her leashed while out walking, lest some lusty lad comes a-courtin’. An intact male suitor, aroused by mating calls, could compromise your girl’s delicate hormonal balance and cause undue cramping.

Get Her Female Diapers

Y’all’d better get her some doggie diapers to contain that flow, bless her heart.

  1. Red raspberry leaf tea for cramp relief
  2. Chamomile to soothe and relax
  3. Heat pads to ease abdominal tension
  4. Gentle belly rubs to show you care
  5. NSAIDs if pain gets too severe

With the right care and compassion, this too shall pass. Her time will come again, but your bond endures.

Consult a Vet

Y’all better mosey on down to the vet, see if they can give her something for the pain. A dog’s cramping causes abdominal pain during her period. Symptoms include restlessness and vocalizations. Consulting an online vet can help determine suitable care to ease her discomfort until her cycle passes.

How Long Do Dog Cramps Last?

How Long Do Dog Cramps Last
You’re in for a few days of discomfort while your girl rides out those achy cramps. Her uterus is contracting to slough off its lining, which causes mild to moderate cramping that usually lasts about 2-4 days.

Here are some tips to help ease her pain:

  • Make sure she stays hydrated with frequent water breaks. Dehydration can worsen cramps.
  • Apply a hot water bottle or heating pad to her abdomen. The warmth can soothe cramping muscles.
  • Give her a warm bath. The water’s heat can provide relief to her aching belly.
  • Gently massage her abdomen and hips. The light pressure can help relax contracted muscles.
  • Let her rest. The extra downtime will allow her body to focus on getting through this uncomfortable phase.

With some extra TLC during this time, her body will soon reset, and she’ll be back to her happy, comfy self.

What Do You Do When Your Dog Gets Her Period?

What Do You Do When Your Dog Gets Her Period
When her time comes, pamper your girl with comfy beds, soothing rubs, and yummy treats. A dog’s cramping causes pain during her period as the uterus contracts to shed its lining. Apply a hot water bottle or heating pad to your dog’s abdomen to provide warmth that can ease the discomfort of dog period cramps.

Give gentle massages to relax contracted muscles. Allow extra rest time, as the pain leaves her feeling crummy. Watch for behavioral changes like clinginess or appetite fluctuations that signal she’s not feeling her best.

With some extra affection and care when she’s under the weather, her body will reset itself, and she’ll return to normal spirits once the achy phase passes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often do dog period cramps occur during each heat cycle?

Discomfort typically starts as proestrus begins. Cramping intensifies through estrus, peaking when fertility peaks. Providing affection, rest, and toys during this time helps ease your girl’s cycle pains.

Is there an age when female dogs no longer experience period cramps?

Generally, female dogs experience period cramps throughout their reproductive years until 8-10 years old when cycles stop.

What home remedies beyond a hot water bottle can provide relief for dog period cramps?

Additional soothing remedies during your dog’s period include massages, warm compresses on her belly, chamomile tea, gentle exercise like short walks, calming herbal supplements, and extra affection. Distraction with games or training can provide comfort too. Remember – this too shall pass.

How can you tell if your dog’s period cramps are severe enough to require veterinary attention?

You’ll want to watch for signs such as excessive panting, trembling, loss of appetite, lethargy, or vocalizations indicating significant discomfort. If she seems abnormally distressed, it’s best to have a vet examine her for potential underlying issues requiring treatment.

Do spayed female dogs ever experience cramping or PMS symptoms around the time of their would-be heat cycles?

Spayed females do not go into heat or ovulate, so they do not experience related PMS or cramping. Their cycles stop with spaying. However, some may show vestigial signs around old cycle times, such as behavioral changes.


It’s understandable to worry when your female dog is in discomfort, but there are many ways you can ease her period cramps. After looking into it, the theory holds true – dogs definitely experience cramping and other symptoms during heat.

Knowing the signs of a dog in heat pain can help you identify it and take action. Try giving your doggie TLC with gentle massages, cozy bedding, or her favorite toys. Additional potty breaks, hydration, rest, and light exercise may also provide relief from those dog period cramps.

With some extra love and care during this time, you can help reduce your dog’s heat discomfort. The key is staying alert to her needs and being prepared to respond with compassion.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.