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How Long Does a Female Dog Stay in Heat? Full Guide of 2023

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My 6-month-old new female puppy is in heat. so, How long does a female dog stay in heat? How do I deal with this in addition to crates, or do I leave it in an enclosed space? What is a dog’s heat cycle?

how long is a dog in heatPuberty or sexual maturity in female dogs starts at different times, depending on the breed’s size.

Smaller breeds tend to heat for the first time around six months, while larger dogs can be two years old before warming up.

From the age of about six months to the rest of her life, a female dog will experience oestrus or heat about every six months.

This is the moment when she is open to couples. Hormonal changes cause pronounced differences in your dog that indicate she is in heat, including a swollen vulva, bleeding, more frequent urination, and increased nervousness or alertness.

She will also present herself to male dogs by raising her buttocks and keeping her tail to the side.

So, how long a female dog stays in heat? And how do I deal with the mess in the meantime? Yes, you probably have some tough questions about your dog getting her period; we’re here to answer them all in this guide for your dog!

Do Dogs Have Periods?

a chinese female dog groomer grooming a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog how long does a female dog stay in heat

Female dogs do not have monthly menstrual periods or bleeding in the same way as women. Bleeding is a natural part of a dog’s heat cycle but occurs on average only twice a year.

The time at which this bleeding occurs is called the heat or season of a dog.

During this time, she is receptive to mating with males. Her estrogen levels rise and drop dramatically, and eggs are released from her ovaries. She can also produce a bloody discharge from her vagina.

This only happens with dogs that have not been sterilized.

Unlike most women, a female dog is very fertile during its heat.

This is the only time of the year in which dogs can mate and become pregnant.

How Do You Know if a Dog Has Heat?

Woman carries Labrador retriever dog puppy with tongue hanging out how long does a female dog stay in heat

There are usually some clear signs when your dog is in season, but it is not always clear, so if you think she is approaching that time, keep an eye on her.

  • Physical Appearance and Swelling: The first thing you probably notice is that your female dog’s vulva (external genitals) becomes very swollen and swollen. It can be three or four times its standard size.
  • Bleeding: Together with blood tinged discharge, these symptoms tell you that your girl has entered the season. While your girl is in her fertile phase, bleeding may stop or become more watery. Although you would expect the main sign to bleed profusely, it is unclear. Sometimes you only see small markings on the floor or in the dog’s bed.
  • More Cleaning and Licking: This may be another good sign that they are in season. Her heat has probably started if she is swollen and her genitals are licking considerably more than average.

How Long Does a Female Dog Stay in Heat?

Healthy puppy after medical exam how long does a female dog stay in heat

Nowadays, so many female dogs are already sterilized when people adopt them; it is not uncommon for people to get confused about the heat of a dog and wonder how long is a dog in heat?

The medical term for a dog in the heat is in estrus. Female puppies usually experience the first estrus between six and twelve months old. In addition to the oestrus phase, there is an entire dog’s heat cycle that you must understand to keep your dog healthy, and here we move to the following question:

What Are the Stages of a Dog in Heat?

The dog’s heat cycle consists of 4 phases: proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus; each phase has different signs related to behavior, physical or clinical changes, sexual or hormonal behavior changes, physiological changes, and cytological (vaginal smears) changes.

The 4 phases of the dog’s heat cycle:

1. Proestrus: duration 7-12 days.

You will see an enlarged vulva and possibly bloody vaginal discharge in this early phase. During this phase, a female dog begins to attract male dogs. However, this is not the time to breed. Although they allow men to approach, women do not stand for mating during proestrus.

2. Estrus: Duration 7-9 Days.

Estrus is the fertile period. Vaginal secretion changes from bloody to straw-colored and vulvar swelling is still present. Females will stand for mating at this stage.

3. Diestrus: Duration Around 65-90 Days.

They are characterized by discontinuation of vaginal discharge and unwillingness to mate. This is when puppies start to form when mating has taken place. If you are pregnant, the diestrus will last the gestation period – 63-65 days. If the female dog is not pregnant, the duration of the diestrus is 75-90 days. There are no outward signs of diestrus in non-pregnant dogs.

4. Anestrus

Duration from the end of the diestrus to the start of the next proestrus phase first heat cycle. Anestrus is the resting time for the reproductive tract. The dog will look and behave once during anestrus.

If you plan to breed your female puppy, it is advisable to wait until about two years old. This allows her body to become physically mature before being asked to undergo the stress of pregnancy and childbirth.

Males can be extremely persistent when they smell a bitch in estrus. For this reason, you must always keep a close eye on your puppy. If you leave her alone or somewhere near an intact dog, you run the risk of unwanted early pregnancy.

How Do You Take Care of Your Dog at Home During the Season?

If you don’t have an intact dog male at home, don’t change your girl’s living conditions too much.

She is expected to behave normally.

That said, she may need extra toilet breaks because she wants to pee more often.

It is undoubtedly essential to keep your dog out of the reach of good furniture.

However, she should not feel that she is being punished for doing something wrong. Make sure she still gets the quality time she deserves.

Hygiene and Cleaning When a Dog is Hot

It is essential to clean up your girl when in the heat—both for general and hygienic reasons.

If you have easily wiped floors in all rooms where your dog has warm access, it is easiest to increase your cleaning routine.

Hygienic Pants for a Dog During the Season

Another alternative is to

buy hygienic pants
that your girl can wear in the coming weeks.

They help prevent stains on your carpets and furniture and ensure that your dog has access to all parts of your house as usual.

Some dogs in heat do not tolerate hygiene pants and tear them off. In that case, you may want to consider a system of barriers.

Can a Female Dog Be Fixed While in Heat?

A good question to ask is if it’s okay to spay her when she’s just gone in heat. Dogs can be heat sterilized but may be more prone to bleeding and other surgical complications. Many vets prefer to wait for the heat to pass. Reduce the risk of complications.

How Can I Prevent My Dog From Going Into the Heat?

Vet Giving A Dog A Checkup how long do female dogs stay in heatIt is highly recommended to neuter your female dog, not only to prevent oestrus and unintended pregnancy but to protect it against breast cancer and reproductive system disorders, and this leads us to the following questions:

Why Should I Neuter My Dog?

Apart from the toll your dog takes to give birth and raise puppies, the number of homeless animals euthanized each year makes an irresponsible decision to have your dog mated. (This does not apply to those active in sporting events for dogs and is well informed about the care of pregnant and breastfeeding puppies.) Although many people have heard that it is a health benefit to give a dog a nest before it is neutered, this belief is not substantiated.

The hardships of giving birth and raising puppies can even lead to premature aging and, in some cases, death. It has also been shown that dogs neutered before their first heat cycle have a much lower risk of developing mammary gland tumors.

When Should I Neuter My Dog?

The right time to castrate your dog is halfway between dog heat cycles, once it is mature and when you are fully aware of (and thought about) the risks and benefits of castration.

We know much more about the effects of castration on dogs than ever before.

There are many health benefits to neutering your dog. Castrated dogs, for example, have a considerably lower risk of breast cancer.

However, we now know that sterilization is not always in the interest of every dog.

That is why you have to weigh the pros and cons that depend on your situation.

Your puppy can be sterilized for two months. It is best to consult a veterinarian to determine the best time for your girl.

How long will a male dog be attracted to a female in heat?

While the frequency varies with the breed and individual dogs, dogs usually go into heat about twice a year or every six months. Each oestrus period lasts about 18 days. Male dogs will be attracted to a female dog for the full 18 days, but the female dog will be receptive to males only about half that time.

Is dog estrus a lifetime?

Once estrus starts, it may take some time for the canine heat cycle to become regular. It may take up to 18 months for the dog heat cycle to become regular.

It is a good idea to have a regular female dog’s heat cycle in these early days. have a regular cycle; Once this is the case, the average is about every six months. Smaller breeds may be in heat more often, up to 3-4 times a year.

Larger dogs, such as Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Bernards, and Great Danes, may only grow up every 12-18 months in heat. Unlike humans, female dogs experience estrus throughout their lives, although the time between dog heat cycles will get longer.


Caring for a dog when she’s in the heat is tricky. It would help if you were attentive to her physical and mental needs, give her lots of affection, and remember that she can be irritable.

There are cases where a female dog may have abnormal heat, usually due to other health problems that affect hormone production.

The only way to prevent your dog from getting heat is to have her neutered by a qualified veterinarian. This also reduces the risk of pyometra and certain cancers.

If you are concerned about your dog’s heat cycle or reproductive system, you should consult a veterinarian.

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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.

Valerie Bullard

Monday 30th of May 2022

My dog is bleeding hard this time she never did this.


Wednesday 16th of June 2021

I never got a response. Lots of stages but I needed to know the days from beginning to end.

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