Rachel
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
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Health Learn About Dogs

Do Dogs Have Periods?

Rachel Poli Author
Rachel
Sep 3 ·

Dogs and humans are similar in some ways and yet vastly different in others. So when it comes to preparing for a litter of puppies, do dogs have periods? The answer is yes and no. It’s a little more complicated than it sounds, so let’s talk about it.

do dogs get periods

Do Dogs Get Periods?

When does the estrus cycle begin?

If your female dog is not spayed, it will go in heat or through an estrus cycle. This will occur when your pup reaches puberty at about six months of age. Of course, this also depends on the dog breed and its size. For example, smaller dog breeds may reach maturity sooner, while large dogs might take up to a year to reach puberty. 

In addition, this heat cycle can occur up to twice a year. Smaller breeds might go through the cycle every four months, while larger dog breeds will go through their cycle once every year. The cycle will last for about two or three weeks, where your female pup will have physical and behavioral changes. In addition, the vulva will be swollen, and discharge will leak out. However, it’s not pure blood.

If your dog is bleeding heavily or they bleed outside of their cycle, then it’s important to call your veterinarian right away.

How can you tell when your female is in heat?

Your pooch will show physical changes. For example, her vulva will swell, and she will arch her back, often walking with her tail to the side.

She will also show behavioral changes. This may include urinating more frequently, allowing for male dogs to get close, she’ll have an increase in physical activity, and she might be more vocal.

If you’re unsure whether your pup is in heat or not, you can always call your vet.

do dogs get periods

How does the reproductive system work during this cycle?

There are three phases to the heat cycle.

First, proestrus happens. The vulva will swell, blood-tinged vaginal discharge will occur. On average, this phase lasts for about seven to ten days. However, it can last anywhere between a couple of days or up to four weeks.

Next, your female dog will enter the “heat” phase, also known as estrus. This is when mating will occur between her and the male dog. This cycle lasts for an average of nine days, but it can last anywhere between three and 21 days.

Finally, anestrus is defined when the cycling ends. This can last about four to five months.

How can you manage your dog’s discharge or “period?”

When your dog goes into heat, it can be frustrating to see discharge and blood on your floors, furniture, and in your dog’s crate or bed. However, there are ways to prevent this.

You can get your pup a reusable or disposable dog diaper. Then, during the cycle, you can have her wear it in the house and allow her to take it off while outside. Just be sure to keep an eye on her outside and only let her out in a fenced-in yard where she can’t get out, and other dogs can’t get in.

How can you prevent your dog from going into heat?

If you’re not looking to breed your dogs, the best prevention of birth control is getting your female pup spayed. This will allow for your pup not to go through their estrus cycle, and they will not be able to get pregnant.

Not only will this prevent an unwanted litter of puppies, but it’s healthy for your dog as well. If you have a male dog at home, you can get him neutered as well.

do dogs get periods

Do dogs get periods?

As you can see, the answer is yes and no. Female dogs do get their periods in some form, but it’s not at all how it is with humans. They go through a vastly different cycle and will have discharge during their heat cycle.

Remember to consult with your veterinarian if you believe your pooch is going into heat or when is the best time to spay your pooch.

Similar reading: learn more about your dog’s health

Rachel Poli Author
WRITTEN BY
Rachel
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
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