Any responsible dog owner knows that when it comes to female dogs, they need to learn more about their anatomy, especially relating to their heat cycle. Unless you are aware of this fact, you could unwittingly end up with a surprise litter.
Unwanted litters are only increasing the number of dogs that end up in the shelter. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA),3.3 million dogs are in shelters. Additionally, shelters have to euthanize around 670,000 dogs annually.
Therefore, spaying and neutering your pet is a responsible step to take. Moreover, you can learn more about the heat cycle to determine when you need to get your dog spayed.
Truthfully, there is no concrete answer here because each dog has a different heat cycle, which can last from two to three weeks. So, if you’re wondering how long does a female dog period last, the following is what you need to pay attention to:
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Factors That Affect the Heat Cycle
Certain factors affect the heat cycle of a dog and can affect the duration of the cycle. Factors that influence the duration of the heat cycle include the ones mentioned below:
- The breed of the dog
- The size of the dog
- The age of the dog
- The health of the dog
All these factors contribute to the frequency as well as the duration. Smaller dog breeds are known for experiencing their first heat cycle earlier as they reach physical maturity faster. As a result, the first heat cycle they get could be when they are 6 months or 1-year-old.
In contrast, larger dog breeds experience heat cycles much later as they reach physical maturity at a much slower pace. As a result, their first heat cycle may happen when they are either 12 months or 18 months old.
Additionally, the frequency of the heat cycle is also different among the dog breeds. Smaller breeds can experience heat cycles three to four time per year, whereas larger ones may only experience one or two heat cycles per year.
How Long Does a Dog’s Season Last?
Once you understand what factors influence the heat cycle, you have to focus on calculating how long the dog’s season will last. Again, making room for the factors mentioned above, your dog’s season may last for a different number of days.
To truly understand this aspect, you will have to take a look at the stages of the heat cycle that a dog experiences. Generally, your dog’s season may last anywhere from two or three weeks. To calculate the exact days of the heat cycle, you need to understand how many days each stage will lastfor.
So, let’s take a closer look at the different stages of a heat cycle.
The Major Stages of a Dog’s Heat Cycle
The duration of a dog’s heat cycle is based on the following four stages. These occur in a cycle and each stage lasts for a set number of days. The following are a few things that you need to pay attention to the following:
The First Stage
Also known as, proestrus, this stage is when your female dog’s body will start to get ready for the mating cycle. Expect physical signs, such as bloody discharge and swelling of the vulva. Behavioral changes may also occur, such as more clinginess, and the dog cleaning itself more. She may also hold her tail closer to her body. This stage can last anywhere from 3 days to 17 days.
The Second Stage
Known as estrus, this is the major phase when mating happens. Physical changes only relate to a change in color of the discharge becoming either clear or becoming brownish. Behavioral changes will be apparent, as your dog will show more interest in any males. She may also start to lift her tail and urinate frequently to share her pheromones. This stage can last anywhere from 7 days to 21 days.
The Third Stage
This is known as diestrus and it relates to when the mating has ended. All physical changes will go back to normal. This is the gestation phase for the dog and it can last from 65 days to 90 days based on the breed of the dog.
The Fourth Stage
Anestrus is known as the phase when the dog’s body is completely in resting. There will be no sexual, hormonal or physical changes in your dog. At the end of this stage, the dog will enter proestrus again. This phase lasts for 90 days to 150 days.
How Long Does Estrus Last in Dogs?
The estrus stage is the one phase that most people focus on since it is when the dog can become pregnant. On average, estrus lasts for anywhere from 7 to 21 days. To calculate it properly, you will have to mark a calendar, starting from the first cycle of the dog. It can take a year or two for the cycle to establish itself so careful attention is necessary.
If you want to avoid breeding your dog, make sure to get your dog spayed as soon as possible based on your vet’s recommendation.
Using Products to Help Your Dog
There are many sanitary pet items available to help your dog during the heat cycle. These are designed to minimize the mess and also keep your dog’s health in mind. Female dogs are extremely vulnerable to pyometra, a condition that can be life-threatening and cause pus to collect in the cervix of the dog.
By using dog products, you can reduce the risk of this happening and keep them hygienic and clean. The following are our top recommendations for you:
Our Recommendation – Pet Magasin Reusable Washable Dog Diapers (Pack of 3)
These are specially designed pet diapers that are absorbent on the inside and waterproof on the outside. Designed for re-use, they can are easy to clean and can also be hand-washed as needed. Sizes are available in extra small as well for toy dog breeds.
Our Recommendation – Paw Inspired Disposable Dog Diapers
For travel-friendly dog diapers, these are the best, eco-friendly dog diapers. They are disposable and contain a gel technology to prevent any leaks from happening. These are available in a variety of sizes, including extra large for big breeds and extra small for toy ones.