How Long Are Dogs In Heat ?

Wondering how long your dog will stay in heat?

From when your female dog is about six months of age, she starts her heat cycles that continue throughout her life. The dog will be in estrus once about every six months, and this is the period when she’s receptive to mating.

A lot of hormonal changes take place during this time that causes pronounced differences that indicate your dog is in heat. This includes a swollen vulva, frequent urination, bleeding, increased nervousness, and alertness.

In this blog post, I will answer the question, “How long are dogs in heat?” in as much detail as I can.

So, without any further ado, let’s jump right in, shall we?

Let’s start.

Getting Familiar With Estrus

In this section of the blog, I will go through the commonly asked questions in detail to help you understand the dog heat cycles better.

Let’s start.

How Long Are Dogs In Heat

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When Do the Heat Cycles Start?

Dogs can go into heat when they are as young as six months old if they are of a smaller breed—the average, however, is the age of six months. On the other hand, giant breed dogs go into heat as late as 18-24 months.

It is important to note that you should not breed your dog in the first cycle because the dog is still growing and is a puppy.

You should wait for the second or the third cycle to breed your dog. The vet will help you determine the right age.

How Long Are Dogs in Heat?

The period of heat usually lasts between 2-4 weeks.

During the early phase of the cycle, the female dog may not be receptive to male dogs. However, there are some that are receptive regardless of the phase. The cycle can be shorter or longer.

The only effective way to know is when the vulva returns to its normal size and there’s no discharge or bleeding.

It is important to note that there is a small window when your dog is most fertile during the heat cycle. But, she can still get pregnant until the end of the cycle.

Does it Stop? Or Is It a Lifetime Thing?

Once the estrus begins, it usually takes awhile for the cycles to become regular.

For some dogs, it can take up to eighteen months until their cycle gets regular. Keeping a record of the cycle during the early days is a good idea. Once the cycle becomes regular, your dog will get into heat once in every six months on an average.

Of course, it all depends on various facts such as breed, nutrition, health, etc.

Small breed dogs go into heat at a frequent rate and can go into estrus three to four times a year. However, large dog breeds like St. Bernards, Great Danes, and Irish Wolfhounds go into heat less frequently at about every 12-18 months.

Female dogs get estrus throughout their lives.

However, the time between two heat cycles increases as they age. It is best to get your dog spayed to avoid unwanted litters. Spaying also reduces the risk of mammary cancer and other conditions in females.

Are There Any Tests To Help Determine When To Mate Your Doggy?

Yes, there are two simple tests available that help determines when to mate your female dog. These include:

 How long are dogs usually in heat

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 Vaginal smear test

This test includes a simple microscopic examination of the cells of your dog’s vagina. The test detects changes in the numbers and cell appearance and has been used for years because it is reliable.

Most of the vaginal smear tests are performed serially over the course of several days to look for changes in the cells that help predict ovulation as well as the best time to breed the dog.

Serum progesterone test

The serum progesterone test measures the level of progesterone in the dog’s blood. The test is sensitive and is a popular one due to its accuracy. With some pets, several tests are required to predict ovulation.

Both of these tests can be easily performed and are readily available in the veterinary practice. The serum progesterone test is the one that gives a good indication of the time frame for when the mating is most likely to be successful. This test is useful for females dogs with a history of unsuccessful mating.

What can you do to ensure mating is successful?

While mating, the male dogs are more sensitive to stress as compared to females. So, a mating is successful when the male dog is in his environment. This is why female dogs are taken to the male dog’s home for breeding.

The time of mating is an extremely critical factor, and we recommended you to have your female tested to determine the optimal days for breeding. Usually, the best time for breeding for females is between the 10th and 14th day of oestrus.

But, testing is important because some females ovulate on the third or fourth day while others ovulate at the eighteenth day!

Final Words: How Long Are Dogs in Heat?

When female dogs are about six months in age, they start with their first heat cycle which is also known as estrus which starts happening once every six months or so. This usually depends on a lot of other factors as well.

On an average, a female dog is in heat for 2-4 weeks.

During the early phase of the cycle, the female dog may not be receptive to male dogs. However, there are some that are receptive regardless of the phase. The cycle can be shorter or longer.

The only effective way to know is when the vulva returns to its normal size, and there’s no discharge or bleeding.

For some dogs, it can take up to eighteen months until their cycle gets regular. Keeping a record of the cycle during the early days is a good idea. Once the cycle becomes regular, your dog will get into heat once in every six months on an average.

Still, do you have any questions? If so, let me know in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Or read more : What Dog Fits Me Best Quiz

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