7 min read
The chances of a female dog finding a loving home in India are 2/10. This isn't hearsay. Studies have shown that gender bias is a major deciding factor in adopting a dog. An unfortunate human reality which extends to our dog’s world too. Now you might be wondering, why are these lovely girls the last, or sadly never, to be picked from a litter?
A simple answer is the lack of awareness and myths surrounding the heat cycles in female dogs (estrus cycles) or as we commonly call them - periods. So what’s the hush-hush around dogs' menstrual cycle? Let’s dive right into it:
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Many wonder if ‘dogs menstruate’ and the answer is yes! “Being in heat” in the dog world, refers to the natural reproductive cycle that occurs bi-annually in female dogs, depending on their breed and size. During this heat cycle, a female dog’s body undergoes hormonal changes that prepares her for reproduction. Here’s a general overview to remember about heat cycles in female dogs:
Now looking at these at a glance, one might think that periods in female dogs are ‘extremely hard to manage’ and ‘really messy’. But that’s far from the truth. The heat cycles in female dogs is easily manageable and completely natural. Unlike us humans, their flow isn’t as heavy as one might think. Moreover, most dogs have a natural tendency to keep themselves clean.
Having seen many female dogs grow up around us, we’ve realised that most of the time, you won’t even realise they are on their periods!
There are common signs you can observe to keep yourself prepared for your dog’s menstrual cycle:
While we recommend connecting with a professional on how you can keep your dog comfortable during this time, here are some easy ways in which you can help your female dog during their periods:
3.1 Use sanitary pads
Disposable dog diapers for heat cycles are easily available to help your dog through their cycle. Keep an eye on how comfortable your dog is when you’re using them.
3.2 Keep the boys away
It's important to note that during this time, female dogs are at a higher risk of becoming pregnant if they mate with a male dog. She will give off pheromones which a male dog can smell from far away. Hence, it’s important that during this time you keep your female dog away from male dogs to avoid any unplanned pregnancy.
3.3 Keep an eye on them
Don’t mistake the stopping of spotting or bleeding for the end of your female dog’s periods. While they majorly bleed for 2 weeks, it is only after they menstruate that their fertility periods begin.
3.4 Let them relax and have ‘me time’
If you’re a menstruator as well, then you’ll know how important it is at times to be simply left alone when you’re on your periods. Hence, allowing your dog to have ‘me time’ where they can relax and be themselves can help them through their heat cycle.
3.5 Be patient and loving
Female dog heat behaviour can be an alien territory to explore if it’s your dog’s first time. Hence, it’s important that you give your furry family member all the love and attention during this time. Your presence and kind, loving words can make all the difference for her.
Getting a female dog spayed means to surgically remove their ovaries and uterus, thereby eliminating future heat cycles and pregnancies. The most common question that roams around in the minds of a pet parent is 'should I get my dog spayed?'
We believe spaying your dog should be a personal choice. Each dog is different and so are their needs. While there are benefits of spaying a dog, there are some downfalls too which one shouldn’t ignore. We highly recommend reading about both and consulting your vet to have an overall understanding of the entire process.
Here’s how your dog can benefit from being spayed:
Just like any other surgery, it’s important to be aware of the side effects of spaying a dog. Here are few you should be aware of:
HUFT Tip: When considering whether or not to spay your female dog, it’s important to consult with your vet to discuss the best course of action. Make sure to come prepared with a list of questions, including any potential risks and concerns you may have. You may also want to ask about the ideal age of spaying, what the post-surgery care will look like, and if there are any long-term effects to consider. Your vet can help you with the information you need to make an informed decision. Remember, while spaying your dog is a personal choice, it’s important to prioritise your dog’s health and wellbeing, above all.
Yes, very much so! Female dogs get their periods as soon as they hit puberty i.e. 6 months of age. It can cause bleeding, however in most cases the flow is not a lot.
Absolutely! Female dogs are as loving, loyal and affectionate as male dogs. Unfortunately, female dogs see lesser chances of adoption because of their bi-annual heat cycles. These cycles are believed to be hard to manage, but they’re really not! You can also consult your vet if you wish to get them spayed at an appropriate age.
Female dogs go into heat bi-annually i.e. twice a year or every 6 to 12 months, depending on the breed and size of the dog.
Heat cycles in female dogs last between 21 to 28 days (approximately 4 weeks).
Once a dog is in heat, she gives off pheromones which a male dog can smell from far away. During this time, it’s best to simply keep her away from male dogs.
The best answer to this question can be given by your veterinarian. All factors considered, they can guide you with the right steps.
It’s fairly easy to tell if your dog is going into heat. Some common symptoms include bleeding in smaller amounts, swelling around their private parts and behavioral changes and appetite loss. Your dog also might have a strong desire to attract male dogs.
That’s it! Now you know everything about female dogs' heat cycles. Heat cycles are a natural part of a female dog's reproductive cycle. Understanding the signs and behaviours associated with it can help you care for your sweet girl better and prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Female dogs are loving beings who deserve your love too. So the next time you see a person wishing to adopt, we hope you shall share your knowledge with them!
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