Dog Menstruation Cycle | Heat Period | Length of Female Dog Menstruation Cycle

Dog Menstruation Cycle

A female dog, in the cycle of reproduction usually comes into what is known as “heat” every six months and on an average they invariably have two cycles in a year. Animal Shelters and “Pounds” are usually overcrowded with unwanted dogs because there are unfortunately many owners who do not take the trouble to keep their dogs indoors when in heat, which leads to their mating and subsequently producing a litter of pups.  Just about all dog homes and shelters are groaning under this burden today.

The actual period of “heat” usually lasts for 21 days, but this may vary slightly.  The actual “breeding time” or fertile period is just 2 or 3 days in the 21-day period, but the exact days are difficult to pinpoint.  What is know as the estrus cycle lasts 12-21 days, but could be shorter, from a few days to 4 weeks.  The length of a cycle varies, even within the same breed, so it is better to rely on the longer period for the length of the cycle. Bleeding occurs before the female becomes receptive to a male. Male dogs will be actively attracted to a female in the proestrus stage while a female dog will be ready for copulation during the estrus stage. Pregnancy during the first heat cycle is possible, but not advisable, because the dog is not yet emotionally or physically mature, and complications can arise for the mother and the puppies.

Most of the problems pertaining to the reproductive cycle in dogs stems from negligence or ignorance on the part of owners. Dogs that are kept as pets should be spayed before the first heat to preclude pregnancy and also reproductive diseases.  Later on in life, dogs may be spayed when in heat or when pregnant, but there is a risk because of dilated blood vessels and tissue of the reproductive tract. There is also a greater possibility of bleeding or other complications during surgery.  The first signs in young females are usually seen between six and eight months, though the heat period properly appears only at 8 to 12 months. Usually a female puppy should be watched regularly and the start of her first cycle should be noted. If at fourteen months, she has not yet been in heat, she needs to be seen by the vet.

One of the ways of dealing with a dog while she has her menstruation cycles is to try and confine her to one room in order to minimize the amount of cleaning up that you will have to take on during this time. If this is not possible, discuss pamper options with your vet as this can help her during these special days.