Understanding the Heat Cycle of a Dog
Understanding how the heat cycle of a dog looks like is important especially if you own female dogs. When your pooch is in heat, it is a perfect time to find her a mate. However, how do you know she is in heat in the first place?
Easy, there are those early signs of heat season your female dog will give. Note that mating season, also known as estrus cycle, will vary with breeds. Once you know what breed your pooch is, you can help find a suitor for her when she is ready.
1) When will my dog start her estrus cycle?
Female puppies should reach puberty within 6 months of being born. Moreover, reaching puberty will depend on the breed of dog. Toy breeds take a shorter time to reach puberty compared to large breeds.
2) At what time of the month is my dog in Heat?
If your female dog is a toy breed, her heat season occurs twice every year or after every 6 months. Some small breeds may experience the estrus cycle thrice every year. For larger breeds, heat season may happen after every 12 to 18 months. It’s a long time to wait, but you will know she is ready when she starts giving signs.
3) What signs will show my dog is ready?
Within the first week of heat season, your pooch will start having a discharge on her vulva. Her vulva will also swell although this may not be that visible in pedigree dogs. Also, the discharge is bloody at first but gradually becomes colorless within 7 to 10 days.
Another sign of heat season is when your dog starts licking her rear a lot. She will also start showing interest to male dogs in your neighborhood. However, she will not let any boy touch her until she feels clean back there; that is her discharge becomes clear. This interest in male dogs should increase in intensity during her ovulation stage, which is often the last week of the estrus cycle.
Your pooch may also develop a habit of marking spots with her urine. She does this because her urine contains pheromones which male dogs will detect. If she is not the one doing the peeing, then some male dogs in the neighborhood will attempt to pee on your pouch. No, their urine does not contain pheromones but they are just marking the territory of the female.
4) How long does the ‘heat season’ last?
From the day you notice the discharge, your dog will be ready for mating for a period of 3 weeks. This period may be shorter for toy breeds while it may extend in large dogs. Immediately, you notice the discharge, find your pooch a suitor within the three-week window.
5) How do you find your dog a suitor?
To find a mate, you will have to take the female to the male home. This is because male dogs feel more comfortable mating in their own territory. If a male dog is frequenting your compound a lot, it means he has already marked it. You should let the lovebirds be until their business is over.
Moreover, you may bump into them literally stuck on each other. Do not panic as this is called ‘a tie’ in canine mating. A tie is a sign that your dog is successfully mated and you should start expecting a litter soon.
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