Female dog owners know how troublesome caring for a dog in ‘those days of the month’ can be. If you’re going through this for the first time, you’re probably wondering how long does a dog in heat bleed.
From around their six month of life, a female dog will go through estrus, also known as heat.
This typically lasts until the end of your dog’s life, unless, of course, you decide to spay her. Heat is the time when your dog is preparing to mate.
How often do dogs go in heat, and how long does a dog in heat bleed? In this article, we’ve provided the answers to these and several other burning questions.
When Does Heat Begin?
Before we answer the title question, how long does a dog in heat bleed, we have to learn some basics.
A female dog entering her heat is similar to women entering puberty. A dog will reach sexual maturity approximately at six months of age.
This, however, varies depending on the dog’s breed and size. Smaller dogs can enter heat earlier, while larger species might not reach puberty until two years old!
If your dog is older than six months and still didn’t have her first heat, don’t worry. Just like not all humans enter puberty at the exact same age, your dog might simply take a bit longer.
Each reproductive cycle has several stages. What we refer to as ‘heat’ is the time when a female dog can get pregnant. Blood comes at the beginning of the heat cycle, and it is the most noticeable symptom of it.
How Often Do Dogs Go In Heat?
This also varies depending on the dog’s size and breed. Typically, dogs will experience heat twice a year, or once every six months.
Smaller dogs, however, can go into heat every four months, or three times a year. On the other side, larger dogs enter heat sometimes only once a year, or every 12 months or more.
Just as with humans, it’s normal for young dogs to experience irregular cycles at first. Believe it or not, it can take up to two years before you can predict when your dog will experience heat.
Also, there isn’t a season, or time of a year, when dogs enter their reproductive cycle. The only exception to this are Tibetan Mastiffs and Basenjis. These two breeds typically enter their cycle in spring.
When your dog’s cycle becomes regular, there are even some online apps that can help you calculate their next heat.
If you plan on breeding your dog, this can be useful. Also, you can simply track your dog’s cycle to notice the pattern. Make sure you learn when your dog’s entering every cycle stage, how long its lasting, and when it ends.
Stages of Heat
Dog’s estrus cycle has four stages that typically last from 79 to 111 days altogether. Below you can find what those stages are.
This is the beginning of dog’s heat cycle, typically lasting from 7 to 12 days. In this phase, you can notice the enlargement of your dog’s reproductive organ, the vulva.
Also, this is the time when the bleeding occurs. During proestrus is when female dogs give off chemical scents that attract male dogs.
Still, your female dog won’t be interested in mating just yet. In fact, don’t be surprised if she becomes aggressive towards dogs that try to mate with her.
The second phase is called the estrus, and this is the mating phase. It will typically last around nine days, but this period can be longer or shorter.
Some dogs are known to stay in estrus for up to three weeks! The bleeding will continue during the beginning of this phase.
Females will keep on attracting male canines, but this time they’ll accept the mounting.
If you notice her urinating more often than usual, this is so she can mark the territory. Also, the smell of pheromones attracts male dogs looking for a mate. If she mates, the ovulation occurs two or three days after this act.
This is the phase right after ‘heat’. It typically lasts around two months, during which the body rests – or proceeds with the pregnancy. The vulva will return to normal, and the discharge will stop.
This phase is the end of the heat cycle, and it usually lasts from three to five months. During this stage, also known as the uterine repair stage, there is no hormonal or sexual behavior.
How Long Does a Dog In Heat Bleed?
So, when you have a dog in heat, for how long the discharge will appear?
The bleeding during a dog’s reproductive cycle lasts through the proestrus phase and the beginning of the estrus phase. This usually lasts for up to two weeks.
Having a dog who bleeds isn’t fun for the owner. Even though canines do an excellent job cleaning themselves, sometimes using dogs in heat diapers is necessary.
Also, you’ll have to take your dog outside more often, as she’ll have a frequent urge to urinate.
Also, the troubles don’t stop when the bleeding ends. In fact, a dog will become fertile when the bleeding is replaced with pink or clear discharge.
Unless you plan to breed your dog, it is advised to avoid any contact with male dogs during heat. Not only are you risking unwanted dog pregnancy, but this is also stressful.
Neutered dogs will typically be fine, but intact dogs will be stressed if close to a heating female.
When Can a Dog Get Pregnant?
Typically, a female is fertile when the bleeding ends, and the discharge becomes watery.
However, as sperm can survive for up to seven days, she can get pregnant at any point during the estrus stage. Also, it isn’t necessary for dogs to ‘tie’ to complete fertilization.
It’s enough for a male to mount your female for pregnancy to occur.
What Are Dog in Heat Symptoms?
There are many signs of dog in heat that you can easily notice – but only during the proestrus and estrus stages. These signs usually last for two to three weeks.
One of the first symptoms is swelling of the vulva, which can be easily noticed just by looking. Quickly after that, you may start seeing spotting on the floor, furniture, or dog bed.
This isn’t the same for all dogs, as some are very good at cleaning themselves.
As a consequence, you’ll likely notice your four-legged friend licking her genital area more than usual. Also, the bleeding is typically relatively light, so you may not notice it at all.
Another symptom is tail flagging. Your dog will expose her genitals by keeping her tail up. At the same time, she’ll try to spread her scent by moving her tail from left to right.
It isn’t uncommon for a dog to have some behavior changes while in heat. She may be more calm than usual. However, on most occasions, a dog in heat will be more agitated toward her surroundings.
How Males Act Around Heating Female?
Now that you know how long does a dog in heat bleed, you should also know how males act around her. Intact males will be attracted to her, and do everything they can to reach and mount a female.
This can make it difficult to go to a dog park or to walk your dog. You should pay extra attention unless you want to end up with a bunch of puppies on your hands.
In fact, if you notice males walking around your backyard more than usual, they’re probably interested in your pet. This can be a sign that she’s in heat, even if you haven’t noticed the bleeding.
If you have an intact male, they will tend to escape, trying to get to the heating female. Even if you think your dog is safe, they might find a way to get away.
In fact, this is the number one reason behind missing dogs. Unless you want to breed your pets, it is advisable to neuter them. Not only will this prevent them from the desire to escape, but it can prolong their life span.
Can You Prevent Heat?
The only way you can prevent heat is to sterilize your female dog surgically. This process is also known as spaying or ovariohysterectomy.
The best time for this is before she’s had her first cycle. As this is hard to predict, vets advise spaying your dogs when they are around six months of age.
We hope this article helped you learn how long does a dog in heat bleed. Also, we have tried to help you understand the dog’s cycle a bit better.
Whether you plan on spaying or breeding your dog, this information can be useful.
The only way to prevent pregnancy in dogs is to spay your pet. This procedure has many benefits other than preventing unwanted puppies.
After spaying, you lower or completely eliminate the risk of many dangerous diseases, including ovarian cancer. The only reason why you shouldn’t want to spay your dog is breeding purposes.