Your dog’s first heat can occur from 5 months of age and involves a series of physical, hormonal and behavioral changes. We analyze how and when your puppy’s first heat will arrive and we give you tips to take care of her at that stage and live her life normally and without surprises.
• Heat is the period in which females begin to ovulate and allow a male to mount them in order to reproduce.
• Appears around 8 months of age on average, usually lasts 5-9 days and normally occurs 1 week after the first signs of heat, bleeding, swollen vulva, behavioral changes, etc.
• On average it usually occurs every 6 months, that is, 2 heats a year throughout her life unless she is sterilized.
• To avoid accidents such as unwanted pregnancies, fights between dogs or your puppy running away, it is important to be prepared for this event by taking the appropriate measures.
If your puppy is nearing puberty and has not been spayed, she is about to undergo some physical, hormonal, and behavioral changes.
Heat is the period in which females begin to ovulate and allow a male to mount them in order to reproduce. Its appearance means that your puppy is already in puberty and it is very important that you know the symptoms, the duration and the implications of heat in order to prepare yourself well for the situation, since your puppy will need special attention and you will be able to prevent accidents such as her escaping. and lose or unwanted pregnancies occur.
With a little knowledge and planning, your puppy’s heat time shouldn’t cause you too much inconvenience.
When does a female dog’s first heat occur?
The first heat appears, on average, around 7 to 9 months of age, with a range of 6 to 18 months depending on the breed. It is closely related to the body size of dogs so, generally speaking, it usually appears later in large breeds, 10 to 12 months of age, and earlier in small breeds, 5 to 6 months of age.
It is important to be clear that the fact that the first heat appears indicates that your puppy is already at puberty, but it does not mean that she is sexually mature. Sexual maturity is acquired from the second or third heat, between 1.5 to 2 years, on average. That is to say, although they can have pups at the first heat, it is not recommended that they have them until after they have fully reached their physical development.
How will you know that she is going into heat?
During this period you may notice some characteristic signs in your puppy and, in most cases, these begin to appear before she is ovulating, that is, before the fertile period. These are the signs you might see:
• A little before heat, a phase known as proestrus, she begins to bleed, but as she enters her fertile phase, when she is receptive to the male, the bleeding may stop or become more watery. Bleeding is relative, sometimes it will be profuse and other times all you will see are very small marks on the floor or on your pup’s bedding.
• Your vulva, the outer part of the genitals, will be very swollen; it can be up to 3 or 4 times its normal size. It usually occurs during the first 2 weeks and your puppy will tend to lick herself in that area more frequently.
• Urinate more times in a row and it will be full of pheromones that will attract males.
• Her temperament usually changes a little before the physical signs and could include, for example, becoming more affectionate, lazier, with less physical activity and more hours of sleep and relaxation, or, conversely, more restless.
• It could present different behaviors than usual, such as urinating by tilting one leg like a male, mounting on other dogs, although it must be taken into account that they can also do this to play.
• You may lose or increase your appetite.
• He will pay special attention to male dogs and “flirt” with them, that is, he will begin to play with the males and sniff them more than normal.
♥ She might try to run away to find the dog of her dreams! ♥
It must be taken into account that these signs are not so marked in all cases, especially if it is the first heat where something can go unnoticed, so you should keep an eye on your puppy if you think she is getting close to this moment.
How long does the heat of bitches last?
The symptoms just mentioned last between 15 and 21 days on average, but the fertile stage or estrus lasts only 5 to 9 days and usually occurs about a week after the first signs of heat appear.
Contrary to what many people think, the estrous phase or fertile phase does not begin when it bleeds, but rather when your puppy allows herself to be mounted and ends when she no longer accepts it. It is very important that you observe it during the entire period because, althoughIt usually lasts between 5 and 9 days, it is not a general rule, there are bitches with heat for only 1 day and others with estrus for 15 days.
How often will it happen?
The female canine is the only seasonal monoestrous domestic species, that is, with a single estrous cycle per reproductive season and the entire cycle consists of 4 phases: Proestrus (bleeding), estrus (when it is receptive to the male), diestrus, and anestrus (inactivity). ovarian).
On average, it usually happens every 6 months, that is, 2 heats a year for her entire life unless she is spayed. This is just a reference because depending on the bitch and/or the breed it can be shortened or lengthened, with females having up to 1 heat per year and others with up to 4.
The spacing between seasons is usually quite regular for each female. If the pattern changes suddenly or if you notice that they tend to be very different, we recommend that you visit a veterinarian as a precaution.
8 tips to take care of your puppy in heat.
1. When walking her, always keep her on a leash and try to go to places or at times with little presence of other dogs. The fact that she is in heat does not mean that you should leave her locked up for fear that she will cross paths, quite the contrary, she will need her daily walks, but it is extremely important to be extremely careful.
2. If you have other male dogs at home, keep them separate. The pheromones that your puppy will release will have them completely in love and, with this measure, you will be able to avoid unwanted pregnancies and fights at home.
3. Keep doors and windows tightly closed and be very vigilant. Your pup may be very restless and try to escape during heat and/or other dogs may enter sensing her pheromones.
4. Use heat pants; Not only will they avoid stains in unwanted places, but they could also help to avoid mounting. But you will have to be aware of taking it off when you have to do her needs.
5. If you do not intend for her to have puppies, then discuss neutering with your vet. Remember that this has advantages and disadvantages that you should consider when making this decision.
6. Heat inhibitors or abortive treatments are not recommended because they can cause different pathologies.
7. Get informed and be very careful with unsupported information, for example, it is absolutely false that bitches need to mate or have at least one litter in life.
8. If he experiences any unusual or concerning behavior, such as vomiting or loss of appetite, consult your vet.