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12 Common Questions About Dogs in Heat

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Owners of female dogs ask many questions about the cycle their dog goes through when she is ready for breeding. I have narrowed this list down to the top twelve questions about dogs in heat to help provide information you can use to either prevent your dog from becoming pregnant, or aiding in the process so the dog is bred at the correct time if you desire a litter of adorable little puppies.

Questions about dogs in heat

Among the most often asked questions about dogs in heat is how old does the dog have to be for her first time in heat? Normally this is 6 months old but often varies according to the breed. Some female dogs will not have their first cycle until 14 months old.

What does the heat cycle mean? This is actually the dog’s menstrual time when she is physically ready to be bred.

How long is the female in this heat period? Typically the length of time averages twenty one days. It can be as long as four weeks, and as brief as two weeks depending on your particular dog and her physiology.

One of the top questions about dogs in heat is how can I know she is in heat? Most obvious is the dog will begin to bleed varying amounts of blood from her vagina, she will urinate more often, and the vulva will increase in size due to swelling. Another obvious tip-off is male dogs will show increased interest in the female dog.

Is a 6 month old female dog able to get pregnant? The answer is yes, but most vets and top breeders recommend you quarantine your dog during her first heat cycle as she is not physically developed enough at this age to safely have a litter of pups.

How many times a year will she come into the heat cycle? The average is twice a year for most all breeds.

Should I have my dog spayed before her first heat cycle?

Should I allow my dog to have a litter before being spayed? Both of these are answered by a Pets.WebMD.com article:

…the rigors of giving birth and raising pups can lead to premature aging and, in some cases, death. It has also been shown that dogs who are spayed prior to their first heat cycle have a much reduced risk for mammary gland tumors.

Can my female dog become pregnant when not in heat? No, it is only during the heat cycle when she is physically receptive to breeding that she can become pregnant.

Does a female dog have menopause if she has not been “fixed” or spayed? No, she will not. However she will be capable of having litters of puppies well into old age.

Is it ok to take her for walks while in heat? Yes but beware as every male dog will smell her heat cycle and come running. Keep her on a leash and away from these male suitors.

Hopefully these most asked questions about dogs in heat will help you either with determining when to have your dog bred or how to prevent it.

Has your dog been spayed? Comments are welcome below.

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  1. Avatar Of Sandy Oxenth

    Sandy Oxenth


    I was just thinking that.. All those poor children in africa, philippians , and so many other countries are starving to death yet they keep popping out the babies.. I pitty them put yet, hey.. get real over there….

  2. Avatar Of Marianne



    People who don’t spay and neuter are irresponsible. 6 million dogs are bred in this country each year and approx the same euthanized in shelters. Breeders are responsible for all the killings. It should be outlawed till every dog has a home.

    • Avatar Of Casey



      Well that was a stupid comment.. I’m sure people who have kids are also responsible for others starving to death, having kids should be outlawed until all of the orphans have a home. Think before you speak (or type in this instants)

      • Avatar Of Sandy Oxenth

        Sandy Oxenth


        Good one, I was just thinking that. Then the over seas children won’t be so many and starving to death..

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