Female dog heat: how long does it last, what are the phases, when does it start and when does it end? Find out everything!

 Female dog heat: how long does it last, what are the phases, when does it start and when does it end? Find out everything!

Tracy Wilkins

Dog heat is often a delicate time for both the guardian and the bitch. With the hormones in heat, the behavior of the bitch in heat undergoes changes - which may require some more specific care to ensure the well-being of the animal. In addition, if the guardian has no interest in breeding, attention should be redoubled to avoid crossing during the heat of the dog.bitch.

On the other hand, heat also arouses a lot of curiosity about its phases and effects on the canine organism and many questions are raised: "at how many months does the first heat occur?", "how long does a bitch's heat last?" and "at how many years does the bitch stop coming into heat?" are some of the common doubts. To clarify all the questions, the Paws of the House has prepared a guide with everything you need to know about canine heat!

How often does the bitch come into heat?

The first heat of a bitch occurs when the animal reaches sexual maturity. There is no exact age for this to happen and it can vary from dog to dog. The size of the bitch is something that usually influences this and, consequently, the age at which the first heat will occur. Small bitches usually reach their first heat between 6 and 12 months of age, medium and large onesbetween 7 and 13 months and large breeds between 16 and 24 months.

But after all, how often does a female dog come into heat? This is also an answer that can vary from animal to animal, but generally speaking, females come into dog heat every six months.

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How long does a female dog's heat last?

A curiosity that many guardians have is how many days a dog's heat lasts. To understand how long a dog's heat lasts, you need to keep in mind that heat is not an isolated fact, but only a part of the estrous cycle. On average, the dog's heat in females lasts about 21 days, and may vary according to the characteristics of the animal. Check out more about the phases of the estrous cyclebelow:

  • Proestro The initial phase of hormonal stimulation occurs during this stage, when the bitch begins to release pheromones that attract males. However, she is not yet ready to mate. The enlargement of the vulva and the presence of reddish discharge are characteristic symptoms of this period;
  • Estro The female becomes fertile and receptive to the male at this stage, with no more discharge and stable vulvar swelling;
  • Diestro This is when the hormonal stimuli that allow the pregnancy to be maintained occur, even in bitches that have not crossed or been fertilized. Because of this, during this period many puppies go through the so-called psychological pregnancy;
  • Anestro This is the interval between the main phases of the estrous cycle, where the hormonal activity of the ovaries decreases, and is a period of post-pregnancy or post-diestrus recovery for bitches that have not become pregnant.

Heat: female dogs need to receive some care during the period

The hormonal variations that occur during the female dog's heat have effects on behavior and some physiological needs. There are some precautions that are important during this period. It is normal for the female dog's appetite to decrease during heat or to have a selective appetite, so it is necessary to observe if she is eating properly. Offer some treats, such as dog sachets or vegetables.released, can help stimulate the pet's appetite.

In addition, the swelling of the vulva can make the area more susceptible to trauma. It is common for bitches to end up licking excessively and this can also cause irritation. The dog pad can help deal with secretions and bleeding, if this is the case. But beware, the dog pad does not prevent mating and cannot be used all the time, as the animal needs to be freeat times to go potty.

At how old does a bitch stop coming into heat?

Female dogs can reproduce until the end of their lives, but when they get older, their bodies naturally undergo some changes, increasing the time between oestrus. A female that used to come into oestrus every six months, for example, starts to go through the period every 1 or 2 years. The oestrus cycle never stops permanently, so there is no such thing as canine menopause.

The most effective solution to prevent heat from occurring is dog neutering. In addition to preventing the female dog from suffering from the effects of hormones, the surgery is also a precaution for a number of diseases, such as canine pyometra.

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Tracy Wilkins

Jeremy Cruz is a passionate animal lover and dedicated pet parent. With a background in veterinary medicine, Jeremy has spent years working alongside veterinarians, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience in caring for dogs and cats. His genuine love for animals and commitment to their well-being led him to create the blog Everything you need to know about dogs and cats, where he shares expert advice from veterinarians, owners, and respected experts in the field, including Tracy Wilkins. By combining his expertise in veterinary medicine with insights from other respected professionals, Jeremy aims to provide a comprehensive resource for pet owners, helping them understand and address their beloved pets' needs. Whether it's training tips, health advice, or simply spreading awareness about animal welfare, Jeremy's blog has become a go-to source for pet enthusiasts seeking reliable and compassionate information. Through his writing, Jeremy hopes to inspire others to become more responsible pet owners and create a world where all animals receive the love, care, and respect they deserve.