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What to Do When Your Dog is in Heat? Notes for Dog in Heat

Updated by Sheryl on Oct 18, 2021

Is this the first time your dog is going in heat? Those who have been through it know it's not a fun thing to experience. It can turn into a total mess if you don't know how to deal with dogs in heat. Your dog will encounter discomfort, mood changes, and anxiety. She may even try to escape and flirt with her male counterparts.

Don't worry now. This article will tell you about everything you need to do when your dog is in heat.

dog sleeps with owner
  • How to prepare for a dog in heat
  • What to do when your dog is in heat
  • Notes for your dog in heat
  • How to keep house clean when dog is in heat

After knowing when and how often dogs go into heat as well as the dog heat cycle signs, now you need to do something to help your little pup get through that period. Firstly, prepare for your dog in heat:

  1. Grab some dog diapers

    All that bleeding can leave a permanent stain on your carpet, bedding, or upholstery. Use dog diapers or dog pants until the bleeding stops to avoid leaking and staining of blood. Both disposable and reusable dog diapers are available. They also come in different sizes, so you will always find one that's the right fit for your dog.

  2. Cover areas where your dog lays

    Cover the areas which might get stained- the couch, the carpet, bedsheets. Use wet wipes for quick clean-ups.

  3. Allot her a separate space

    Female dogs often become grumpy when in heat. Consider prepare a separate space for her. You can also think of installing a pet gate or keeping her in a crate.

  4. Keep track the heat cycle

    Estrus cycle in dogs usually repeats after every 6 months (it can depend on the breed and dog size). Mark the date on a calendar, or best set a reminder on your phone one week before the date, so you get notified and prepare things before the cycle repeats.

dog in heat

Going through the heat for the first time might be a lot for both you and your dog. As a dog parent, you want your baby to feel safe and comfortable as she goes through tough times. Here are some tips for dogs in the heat:

  • Don't allow your dog to go outside alone.
  • Your dog can become pregnant if it associates with male canines when she is in heat. The pheromones released by a female dog during this time have a strong scent which males can track down from a great distance. You should not allow her to go outside alone, not even in the yard. But if you want to breed, this is the time. Just keep her with the one particular male dog you choose as her mate.

  • Be extra cautious if you have other dogs at home
  • Also, avoid keeping her in the same room with a neutered dog, especially when you don't know how your dogs will react. It can lead to fights triggered by hormonal changes. keep your female dog away from any unneutered male dogs till the end of the heat cycle. Crate your dogs as you leave the house.

  • Cover her scents
  • To avoid the attention of other dogs, it's a good idea to apply some menthol oil on your dog's tail. This way, you can mask the pheromones and go for peaceful outdoor walks.

  • Handle mood changes with care
  • During the estrous cycle, dogs release a lot of hormones which causes them to behave differently. Female dogs become anxious during the heat cycle. Some dogs become grumpy; some seek more attention; some might want a lot of attention and cuddling. Whatever she chooses, make sure not to force her into anything. Play with her more, rub her favorite spots, and shower some extra love.

  • Give her rest, but don't stop exercising
  • While some dogs become lethargic, some show restlessness, you must let her get enough rest during heat, but it doesn't mean you should stop exercising. Play with her, or go for a short walk in the yard. You can toss your dog toys that she can chew on which can help her relieve anxiety. Remember, don't force her into anything.

  • Provide healthy diet
  • Make sure she's not skipping her meals. Keep her well hydrated. Spare her bowls and bedding.

  • Keep her comfortable
  • You might also want to grab a blanket for your pup during this time to keep her warm and comfortable. Place it where she decides to curl up-- on her bed or over the couch.

  • Keep her clean
  • Use dog diapers to prevent any leaking or staining. Change the diaper at least once a day.

  • Consult a vet if things get out of hand
  • For sensitive cases, like irregular heat cycle, abnormal bleeding or discharge, accidental mating, peculiar behavior, it's always advised to see a vet.

two dogs
  • If your dog happens to get pregnant, there are morning-after pills available that can still prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Consult the case with your vet.
  • Consider spaying your dog. It can prevent uterine infections, breast cancer, and many other diseases. Besides, you and your girl don't have to face another messy heat cycle.
  • It is normal for dogs to have an urge to poop more frequently during the heat. So, allow her more potty breaks.
  • Your dog might not stand other female dogs. Take caution when socializing with other dogs.
  • Use a GPS tracker on your dog. This way, if she runs by any chance to mate with a dog, you will still have time to find her and prevent unwanted pregnancy.
dogs mate

No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen. Here are some tips on how to clean the mess when dog is in heat. Use these simple home remedies for dogs in heat to keep her clean and tidy:

  • Doggy diapers work the best. You can use reusable ones, which only need the pad to be changed. They are also less costly.
  • Clean your pup often during the heat as continuous discharge can irritate her skin. Bathe her once a day with dog shampoo.
  • Keep old towels that you don't mind getting stained on the areas where your dogs like to curl up.
  • Keep some disposable wipes for accidental mess-ups. It will be easier and quicker to swipe across the floor.
  • Some dogs might not like the feeling of wearing diapers. They may even shred it into pieces. In that case, limit the space where your dog roams.
deal with dogs in heat
NOTE
If you have decided not to spay your dog, your dog will go into heat every year twice or thrice for 2 to 4 weeks. So, it's important to take the necessary precautions and preparations for a smoother experience.
Sheryl
Sheryl is an editor from iPetor, owns extensive pet care experience. As a professional writer, she can provide useful pet care tips for all "parents".
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