As a responsible owner of an unneutered female dog, it’s important to familiarise yourself as much as you can about the heat cycle and what will happen when your pup comes into season.
The first heat season typically starts between six and 12 months of age, although if you’ve got a smaller dog you may find it’s sooner than this, while larger dogs can take longer. During this period, your dog will be fertile so it’s important to separate her from unneutered male dogs… unless you want lots of puppies, of course!
Usually, dogs come into season every six months or so, with signs to look out for including swelling of the vulva, red and bloody discharge, restlessness, fatigue and an increase in attention from male dogs.
You may also see symptoms like a change in behaviour towards other dogs, as well as more frequent urination. Dogs also often tuck their tails between their legs as they’re about to come into season, so if you see this happening it could be a sign that it’s time.
There are lots of ways in which you can make the process easier for your dog – and for yourself. It can be messy, for example, so investing in dog nappies can make a big difference to the state of your house.
As for the dog, make sure that you give her plenty of space and somewhere quiet she can escape to if she needs to. A heat cycle usually lasts between two and three weeks, so it’s important to be vigilant during this time about male attention unless you intend to breed from her.
If you have no plans for breeding, it’s perhaps best to consider spaying your dog. If you want to go down this route, it’s advisable to wait a month after the heat cycle has come to an end.
Looking for a dog trainer in Battersea? Get in touch with Sean Hyden today to see how he can help.