Owning a dog as a kid can be extremely fun but it is only when you own a dog, as an adult that you realize that there is a different side to pet ownership. From grooming and feeding them to learning about their anatomy, it can be quite a learning experience.
It is also the time when people will find the answers to certain questions such as, do dogs have periods? If you did not know the answer to this question, do not beat yourself up about it. You are not in the minority here.
For many who are getting a female dog for the first time, it might come as a shock to learn that female dogs get periods. Luckily, you can learn more about this area here.
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When Do Dogs Have Their First Heat?
Once your dog is physically mature, they will naturally enter into their first heat. However, this factor differs from dog to dog. It is also something that is based on the following:
- The dog’s breed
- The size of your dog and
- The age that they reach maturity
Generally, smaller dogs are known to not only reach maturity faster but also go into their first heat much earlier. They will experience their first heat at 6 months to 1-year-old and may go into heat two to four times in a year.
However, larger breeds are known to mature much more slowly. As a result, they may not experience their first heat until they are 12 to 18 months old. They also go into heat less frequently, averaging once or twice in a year. The larger the dog is, the less frequently they will go into heat.
How Long Do Dogs Stay on Their Period?
Now that you understand that your dog will come into heat, it is time to focus on another aspect – How long do dogs stay on their period? This is important to understand because for breeders, planning this aspect is important.
Even if you are not breeding your pet, understanding their heat cycle will ensure that you are able to monitor and look after your dog during this time. Generally, a dog will come into heat and stay in it for two to three weeks.
However, depending upon the breed, the size of the dog and its health, the heat cycle can vary in duration. It is important to understand the heat cycle in this case to carefully calculate how many days your dog will experience it.
The Stages of the Heat Cycle
A dog’s heat cycle has the following four major stages. These all occur for different days so pay attention to this factor:
First Stage – Proestrus – 3 to 17 Days
In this stage, the body of the dog will start to prepare for the process of mating, even if the dog is not ready for it. This can range from 3 days for some dogs but can go for a maximum of 17 days. During the proestrus, the vulva of the dog will begin to swell and a bloody discharge will begin to be released.
The dog will also begin to clean itself more attentively and may start to become clingier. You will also notice that your dog will start to follow you around everywhere and will usually hold her tail very close to her body.
Second Stage – Estrus –7 to 21 Days
This is the fertility phase when a dog is ready to mate. At this time, the discharge will also change color from red. In some cases, it might become clear or get a brownish tinge. The vulva will still be swollen but your dog will start to lift her tail and indicate a readiness for mating. Your dog will also start to urinate and mark her territory outdoors.
Frequent urination is her way of spreading her pheromones and attracting the attention of the male dogs. If successfully mated, she will ovulate in two to three days. During this time, she will have to be monitored attentively, especially if you do not want her to mate with other dogs.
Third Stage – Diestrus– 65 to 90 Days
This is when the mating phase has ended for your dog. Her vulva will begin to go back to its normal state and all discharge will completely disappear. If your dog was successfully mated, this is the stage of pregnancy.
However, certain dogs are also known to exhibit signs of pregnancy, even if they were not mated. A check-up from the vet may be necessary to determine whether it is a phantom pregnancy or your dog did mate but you did not find out. This is often how surprise litters happen.
Fourth Stage – Anestrus – 90 to 150 Days
During this time, your dog’s body will be actively resting. Your dog will not exhibit any sexual or hormonal behavior and go back to normal. Once this stage ends, your dog will then enter the stage of proestrus again.
Many dog owners only focus on the first and second stages. Given this factor, your dog will stay on their period for 21 days. If you do not intend to breed your dog, it is a good idea to them once they reach maturity.
Should You Use Products to Help Your Dog?
It is a good idea to use products for your dog when they are on their period. These are designed to make things easier for you and them. The following are our top recommendations for you:
Our Recommendation – Pet Magasin Reusable Washable Dog Diapers (Pack of 3)
These pet diapers are made from absorbent cloth material that has a waterproof outer layer. They are easy to clean and can be hand-washed. The best part is that they are also available in extra small sizes, making them perfect for small dog breeds.
Our Recommendation – Paw Inspired Disposable Dog Diapers
If you are not looking for reusable ones, these disposable dog diapers are a good solution. They are available in sizes ranging from extra-large to extra-small. These contain a technology that instantly transforms all liquids into a gel, effectively preventing leaks.