Dogs are special creatures. If you have one, then you are well aware of how they can change your life. They can quickly become your best friend. You miss them when they are not around, and they desperately await your arrival home whenever you are gone for any length of time. Because they seem so dependent on us as their caretakers, it is easy to forget that they have needs of their own. While they are typically happy and go lucky, there will be several times each year when their mood and attitudes change noticeably. This is the time that they go into heat and are looking for a sexual partner of their own. Because you want the best for your dog, it is helpful to understand the following things that you should know about dogs in heat.
1. Heat cycles for dogs only occur one or two times a year
You might think that the heat cycle for a dog is a random occurrence, but it is not. It is as biological a process as any, and it becomes quite regular. In the typical dog, it will take place every six to twelve months. The key is that there is no calendar that dictates when exactly the heat cycle will begin, so you just need to know the symptoms to understand when your dog is entering that stage. Understanding that will help you to ease your dog through it and this will allow you both of you to be much happier in the end.
2. Puppies can actually go into heat at an early age
While you do not want to think about your little girl being in heat when she is so young, that is exactly what happens. Remember that dogs mature much more quickly than humans. This means that your puppy can actually begin going through its first heat cycle as early as six months of age. This is before she is even potty trained or you have broken her of the habit of chewing through all of your shoes. Understanding this will help you get her through this difficult time. It is also increasingly important that you keep her away from male dogs in the interim. You do not want a puppy that is learning about the birds and bees the hard way so early in life.
3. Keep dogs in heat away from fertile male dogs for at least three to four weeks
As mentioned, you will want to keep your dog in heat away from male dogs for a minimum of three to four weeks. This means that you should stay away from the dog parks, and those visits to the doggie day care should be cut out until the heat cycle is complete. You should just plan on the heat cycle lasting for a month to be on the safe side. If you know that a male dog she usually plays with is neutered, then you will be OK. Being around male dogs how have not been neutered, however, will create a stressful environment for any dog in heat and is to be avoided if at all possible.
4. Bleeding when dogs are in heat is not as bad as it looks
You love your dog, so anytime that you see it bleeding can be rather traumatic for you. That is understandable, but do not worry. The blood is not nearly as much as you think. It is usually just a little bit. If you are really worried about, you can put on some sanitary diapers that are made just for dogs to use while they are in heat.
5. Make sure you spay your dog in time
If you really to avoid the heat cycle altogether, then it is important to have your dog spayed in time. if you get a dog that goes into heat before you are able to spay her, most vets recommend that you wait until the cycle is complete before you actually do have her spayed. Getting your dog spayed will help everyone in the process and help to safely control the animal population.
6. Bleeding that stops does not mean the heat cycle is complete
You will notice bleeding in a dog that is in heat. That will actually stop after about two weeks. However, this does not indicate that the heat cycle is complete so keep that in mind. The dog is still extremely fertile for a few weeks, even after the bleeding has ceased.
7. Spaying your dog effectively reduces the risk of mammary cancer
Another benefit of having your dog spayed is that it reduces the risk of mammary cancer. This is similar to breast cancer in humans, so you can see the importance of helping your dog to avoid it if all possible. This affects female dogs, so check with your vet if you suspect any lumps around her armpit or groin area.
8. Pyometra is a possibility if you do not spay your dog
Female dogs are also at risk of developing pyometra if they are not spayed. This is an infection of the uterus. It can be deadly and requires an emergency spay if developed. Keep this from happening by having your dog spayed early on.
9. Dogs in heat understand what they are feeling and when they are fertile, in addition to when they’re not
You might wonder if dogs know that they are in heat. The answer is yet. They understand that they are fertile and this will encourage them to go after male dogs if they get the opportunity.
10. Dogs in heat tend to urinate more often
If you are looking for a sign that your dog is in heat, urination might be a sign. Dogs in heat tend to pea a lot more than normal. Be on the lookout for that.