You may have heard the term “dog’s in heat” or “estrus” if you have a female dog. This refers to a period of time when your dog is fertile and ready to mate. It tends to be a challenging time for you and your dog, as certain precautions and care measures must be taken. In this blog, we will discuss what you can do to care for your dog when the dog is in heat.
Understanding the Heat Cycle
Firstly, it’s essential to understand the heat cycle of your dog. A female dog’s heat cycle typically lasts around three weeks every 6 to 8 months. During this time, your dog’s body undergoes several changes. The most noticeable difference is that she will bleed from her vulva. This bleeding can last up to 2 weeks, although the length can vary from dog to dog.
Another change that occurs during the heat cycle is that your dog’s behavior may change. She may become more restless, anxious, and vocal. She may also show more interest in male dogs and try to escape your home or yard to mate.
Taking Care of Your Dog’s in Heat
1. Keep Her Away From Male Dogs
One of the most important things you can do during your dog’s heat cycle is to keep her away from male dogs. Male dogs can detect the scent of female dogs in heat from a distance of up to 3 miles, so it’s essential to keep her indoors or in a secure yard during this time. This will help to prevent unwanted mating and the risk of pregnancy.
2. Use Protective Gear
If you need to take your dog outside, you can use protective gear such as dog diapers or pants to prevent her from leaving a trail of blood. You can also use a doggie pad or a towel in her bed to avoid mess.
3. Give Her More Attention and Exercise.
During the heat cycle, your dog may be more restless and anxious than usual. To help her feel more comfortable, give her extra attention and playtime. You can also take her on more frequent walks or runs to help her release any excess energy and reduce anxiety.
4. Keep Her Clean
It’s essential to keep your dog clean during her heat cycle. You can use a mild dog shampoo to wash her genital area and keep it clean. This will help to prevent any infections or odours from developing.
5. Consider Spaying
If you do not plan to breed your dog, consider spaying her. Spaying is a surgical procedure that removes the ovaries and uterus, preventing your dog from going into heat and eliminating the risk of pregnancy. Spaying also reduces the risk of certain types of cancer in female dogs.
Caring for a female dog during her heat cycle can be challenging, but ensuring that she is safe, healthy, and comfortable during this time is vital. Understanding your dog’s heat cycle and taking the necessary precautions can help prevent unwanted mating and keep your dog healthy and happy. If you have any concerns or questions about your dog’s heat cycle, consult your veterinarian for advice and guidance.