Prancing around like a dog in heat is quite an old saying, which has often been used to refer to men attempting to pick up women in a bar. This reference is quite ironic because being “in heat,” which is a name for Estrus, is actually a reference to the time in which the reproductive system of a female dog becomes receptive to mating.
When a dog is in heat, the owner usually notices a change in her behavior including being more alert and nervous, while holding her tail to one side and/or lifting her butt towards male dogs. So, how long does a dog stay in heat? This is something owners often wonder because in Estrus, a female dog is likely to start humping or riding virtually anything she can find.
The first signs that a female dog is in heat will be noticed when she somewhere between the age of 6 month and 2 years. 6-month old smaller dogs, such as Dachschunds, Poodles, and Terriers may also begin showing signs of Estrus while larger dogs, such as a Bloodhound and German Shepherd, will only show signs once she is a year and a half old.
It is very important that a dog owner should take care to make sure they do not breed their female dog on her very first Estrus because the eggs are still immature. For that matter, it is also recommended that dog owners should not breed their female dog even on her second Estrus; rather the third time is when it is ideal to do so.
How Long Does A Dog Stay In Heat?
The Estrus cycle of a female dog has a natural progression that an owner will notice more clearly after every time their dog goes in heat. A bloody vaginal discharge and swelling of the female dog’s vulva are included among the signs noticed during the first couple of days. The early stages of Estrus last anywhere between 5 and 15 days and this may make the female dog appear dejected and she may become impervious to male dogs, while at the same time they may also attract male dogs.
Once two weeks have passed, the vaginal discharge will eventually stop completely, which will makes the female dog more receptive to male dogs and eager to mate. Then comes another phase of estrus, which lasts anywhere between a couple of days and almost 10 days. So, any dog owner wanting to know how long a female dog stays in heat, she will usually stay in estrus between 18 days and 24 days.
How Often Does A Female Dog Go In Estrus?
Dog owners who have not spayed their female dogs can expect them to go into Estrus or heat usually two times every year. One unique fact that distinguishes female dogs from women is that if they are not spayed, they may keep going into heat for the rest of their life since female dogs do not experience anything like menopause. Apart from stopping a female dog from going into heat, spaying also has plenty of other benefits, such as limiting uterine tract infections and reducing risk of mammary cancers.