How long does a female dog stay in heat? A female dog will generally stay in heat for about three weeks or around 21 days. However, this heat cycle will vary from one dog to the next. It depends on the breed, the age and the dog herself. A female dog will go into heat twice a year. It is normal for a female dog to skip a heat cycle, but rest assured she, will not have an extra one. A female dog in heat will show certain behavioral changes. A female dog heat cycle is divided into four parts - proestrus, estrus, diestrus and anestrus.
Proestrus: This is the first stage of the dog heat cycle. This stage usually lasts from the first day to the ninth or tenth day of the cycle. In this stage, your dog will bleed through the vagina. Male dogs are attracted to this discharge but the female is not receptive at this time. During this stage the dog’s vulva will swell.
Estrus: This is the next stage in the cycle. In this stage, the female dog starts ovulating and will also allow male dogs to come near her. This stage lasts for about five to nine days. This stage is also known as standing heat as the female will let the male dog come near her. Your dog might appear more distracted, nervous or more alert than usual. She may also urinate more frequently that before. First estrus usually occurs when the dog is between 6 and 24 months old. It usually occurs earlier in smaller dogs and later in bigger dogs.
Diestrus: This stage occurs after the mating period. If your dog has been mated during the estrus period she will be pregnant by this stage. If she is not pregnant, she will undergo some more hormonal changes. Vaginal discharge will decrease and so will her receptiveness towards male dogs. This period lasts for about 60-90 days.
Anestrus: This stage lasts for about 4-5 months. There are no hormonal changes in the dog at this time and the female dog will show no interest in mating at all.
It is important to take dog care when she is in heat. Dogs need a great deal of attention and love from their owners at this time. You might consider spaying your dog if you do not want to mate her.
Read on Female Dog Bleeding