So do dogs have periods?
To cut the long story short, yes, dogs have periods. Not unless you spay them, that is. Non-spayed female dogs can get their periods or go into heat every 6 months.
Does it get messy? Well, it can definitely be a nuance for pet owners. Blood will get on the furniture and the flooring if you’re not careful. Don’t get too angry at your dog if that happens, though.
A female dog’s period will usually last for around 18 to 24 days. Your dog’s period will cause her vulva to swell, and she will bleed.
Every female dog’s period experience will differ depending on her breed, age, and body type. Is your dog going through her period, or are you looking for tips on what to do?
Read on to find out everything you need to know about your female dog’s period.
How Long Will My Dog’s Period Last?
A female dog experiences her period only twice a year. For dogs, we call it the estrous cycle.
If you’re anticipating your puppy’s first period, then you should know that this could happen anytime between the ages of 6 months and two years. Smaller breeds are also known to come into heat at an earlier age than larger dogs do.
Your dog’s period has four stages:
- Proestrus: This phase lasts for about 10 days. Your dog will bleed from her vaginal area. She will not be in heat yet at this point, but her body is preparing her for any chance of pregnancy. Your dog will also be urinating a lot in this stage.
- Estrus: This second phase known as estrus is basically the mating stage for your dog. Luckily, it’s also the shortest phase. It typically lasts from five to nine days, and your dog will definitely be in heat. Keep her hidden at home if you don’t want her getting pregnant!
- Diestrus: This phase of your dog’s period determines whether she will get pregnant or not. It can last for up to 2 months, or about 65 days. Some dogs begin to display symptoms of pregnancy like producing milk. The blood will lessen here, whether your dog has successfully gotten pregnant or not.
- Anestrus: The final stage lasts for about 15 weeks. Your dog is no longer in heat and is not interested in making babies… not until the next season is in, at least.
Your dog’s vagina will discharge blood and other fluids in the first two phases of her period. The heaviest stage will be the first phase, proestrus. As the cycle passes, the discharge will have a lighter color – either yellowish, pinkish or watery.
Some dogs only experience their periods twice a year, while other breeds and types will get it three times a year. Don’t panic if this happens! Smaller dogs tend to go through their estrous cycle in shorter phases, which means that periods can sometimes occur even four times a year!
Extra large dogs, like St. Bernards or Great Danes, will get their periods in longer phases, but will only experience their period every six months. Sometimes a dog only gets her period every 18 months! It really depends on each dog. No two dogs are the same.
Dogs don’t go into menopause like women do, so if you’re planning on getting a female dog, then be prepared a lifetime of this.
If you notice that your dog is bleeding outside of her heat cycle, then be sure to contact a vet immediately – as this is not normal.
Taking Her Outdoors
If your dog is on her period, then that’s no excuse not to get regular exercise. You might be worried about the amount of blood she’s losing – but don’t worry. Your dog is just fine. Exercise
Be careful when you go on walks, because your pupper’s body will be releasing pheromones which will instantly attract all the male dogs in the area.
If you’re at a park and have the leash off, make sure you have an eye out on your dog. Like we said earlier, when your dog is in heat, she will be releasing chemicals that magnetize the male dogs. Don’t leave her alone outdoors either, as male dogs can get pretty aggressive.
Your dog will also be pretty aggressive (and desperate), so even if you think your dog is safe, think twice. Your doggo will be feeling pretty frantic during these 5-9 days of heat, and she will do what it takes to reach a male dog.
Keeping the Mess at a Minimal Level
Besides the fact that the discharge from your dog will create a mess, it also has a lingering smell.
Your dog will usually begin to clean herself, but you’ll still find spots around the house. Keep a mop within sight at all times, so that you can clean the blood before it dries. You could also leave out some towels, if your dog has a bed or a spot she likes to chill out in.
Try to keep your dog in a confined or designated area so that the mess doesn’t get out of control. It’s preferable that the flooring in the area is tiled or concrete, so that it’s easy to clean up the mess afterwards. If you have a basement or garage, then this is the ideal getaway for your dog.
If you don’t have the luxury of a basement or a garage, you could buy baby gates to limit the movement of your dog. This will give her the room to move and also the comfort of having you within sight, and not locked up in a room.
Some pet owners even buy diapers for their doggies going through their periods. If you use diapers, make sure that you change them regularly so as to not start any infections or irritations for your dog. Changing diapers frequently will also help your dog’s skin remain clean and dry.
Shower Your Pupper’s with Love
While your dog’s period may be frustrating to clean, make sure you don’t scold them.
Don’t neglect your dog’s emotions or make her feel like she’s being punished – even if you’re disgusted or put off by blood.
Some people have an irrational fear of blood, and that’s fine. In that case, you could invest in period pants for your dog, or get someone else at home to take care of it.
Dogs during their period are extra emotional and sensitive. They might even express this by behaving either aggressively or by being extra cuddly.
Will My Dog’s Period Change Her Behavior?
During your dog’s period, you might find that she has had a change of attitude. Try not to take it to heart. Your dog’s change in hormones will cause her to become more aggressive in nature. If you have more than one pet at home, watch out in case any fights break out. If you leave them at home alone, try to keep your pets in separated areas.
You might also find yourself giggling when you find your dear dog humping the side of a couch or a pillow. This is because she’s in heat. She will most likely display other signs of dominance such as adopting a stubborn attitude.
You might find her also pacing about restlessly, or whimpering, whining and panting. She might even become extra needy for attention, just wanting to be cuddled. These are just other kinds of behaviors your dog will display when she is in heat.
These symptoms will subside as your dog’s period passes – in other words, it’s only temporary.
Should I Get My Dog Spayed?
Unless you’re looking to breed your dog and have more puppies, then yes spaying your dog will save you a lot of hassle. The female dog’s four-phase period will last for approximately three weeks, twice a year, and it can be pretty troublesome.
Some researchers say that it’s better to get your dog spayed if you are not planning on breeding. A doggo’s period will not give her any health benefits. In fact, spaying your dog before her first period could prevent a range of other diseases, such as mammary cancer and uterine infections. It also prevents her from catching a deadly uterine infection called pyometra.
It’s safe to spay and neuter dogs from the ages of six to eight weeks. If you have a busy schedule, then spaying your dog will save you the stress of taking care of your dog. Spaying your dog will also prevent her from getting pregnant when she is in heat.
It’s important that you consider this when getting a female dog – are you willing to take on the responsibility of tiny puppies, as adorable as they are? Make sure you plan out exactly what you will be doing with these puppies if you decide not to spay your dog.
And, of course, for those who choose to get their dogs spayed, this saves them the trouble of having to clean and stress about behavioral changes.
So, do you have a female dog? Did you spay her, or does she get her bi-annual period? Let us know in the comments!
Check out some of our other popular posts below: