Pet owners educate themselves about their dog’s heat cycles to provide better care for their pets. If the owner wants to breed their dog, it is important they understand what measures to follow to keep their female dog safer. Vital information about heat and breeding cycles helps pet owners avoid injuries and prevents lasting complications for their female dogs.
What are the Common Signs of Dog Heat Cycles?
Female dogs have a bloody discharge or bleeding as the heat cycle starts. Some pets might experience more vaginal bleeding than others, and this isn’t something to be alarmed about. It is natural, and it won’t injure the pet. The dog will start licking herself more frequently to eliminate the blood and discharge. This is a defense mechanism since male dogs are attracted to the scent emitted during estrus.
During estrus, the female dog releases pheromones in their urine that might attract male dogs, too. Pet owners must take precautions when taking their female dogs outside during a heat cycle. Some pet owners might choose to get dog diapers or potty pads for the heat cycle just to prevent any injuries to their dog. Male dogs are more likely to walk around the property covering the female’s urine with their own, and pet owners may choose to keep their female indoors to avoid the territorial markings. Pet owners can find more information about heat cycles at Pet Parents now.
When Do Heat Cycles Start?
For most dogs, estrus won’t happen until they are at least nine months old, but smaller dog breeds can enter into estrus by four months. Some pet owners won’t notice the first heat cycle since most dogs don’t exhibit the common signs. Pet owners that want to breed their female dogs will need to wait until the second heat cycle for successful gestation. The time between estrus for dogs is between seven months and one year. The cycles last around two weeks. According to studies, the eleventh day of a heat cycle places the dog in proper ovulation and is the best time to try breeding. Vets recommend allowing the female to choose her mate and avoid forced breeding as it can injure the female dog and her reproductive organs.
What Tests Indicate the Best Breeding Time?
Vets can complete serum progesterone tests and measure the hormone levels in the female dog. It could take several days to find the right day for breeding, however, the tests are more accurate. The results determine when the pet is ovulating and indicates when she could become pregnant. Vaginal smears can also determine cellular changes during estrus that indicate ovulation.
Tips for Successful Mating
Male dogs are more likely to breed where they feel safest, and pet owners will need to take the female to the male’s home. Vets recommend allowing the pets to spend time around each other before the heat cycle to become comfortable. If the female dog shows affection towards the male, she is likely to present herself to the male during the heat cycle. Starting breeding between two unfamiliar dogs creates a trauma, especially for the female. Forced breeding tactics are considered animal abuse and are illegal.
Estrus or heat cycles begin when a dog is around nine months old. Spaying the pet prevents the heat cycles and lowers the risk of estrus-related attacks. Owners that want to breed their dogs examine information about heat cycles and ovulation to prevent injuries and keep their female dogs safer.