How To Tell If Your Female Dog Is In Heat

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Based on the observation of my dogs and feedback I gather from fellow dog lovers, most bitches reach puberty at about 6 to 18 month of age.
This is the first time she comes into heat and it will occur again at intervals of about 6 months.
It is at this time where she will start to pass out blood stained substance.
Some common symptoms displayed includes: - signs of abdominal discomfort - increase excitability - loss of appetite This is also the time where they send out such a strong scent to the male dogs around the neighborhood that they becomes hysterical whenever you bring her out for a walk.
However, she will only begin to show interest in mating after 5 to 10 days into her heat, where she will be just as anxious to meet another male dog.
Based on studies, the highest probability of conception occurs around 10 days after the bitch has displayed signs of being on heat.
The estrous cycle is a regular occurring period of sexual receptivity in dogs where ovulation occurs and copulation can take place.
It consist of namely 4 stages: 1.
Proestrus 2.
Estrus 3.
Diestrus 4.
Anestrus Proestrus This is the start of the cycle where the bitch first comes into heat.
Her vulva will be swollen and blood stained discharge can be observed.
An increase in urination can also be observed.
This is also the time when she sends out her mating scent that gets all the male dogs crazy, however she will not show any signs of interest in mating or the males until the next stage.
Duration of this stage is about 9 days.
Estrus This stage will often being 8 - 10 days after the first sign of bleeding in the bitch.
Ovulation occurs about 2 days into this stage.
In preparation for mating her vulva will become enlarge and swollen.
A lighter tone discharge will also be observed.
This is the part of the cycle when the bitch becomes interested and receptive to the male dogs, and should therefore be kept away from all male dogs if you have no intention of breeding.
It is important to note here that a bitch can be pregnant with a mix litter, a result of mating with more than 1 mate of different breeds.
Average duration of this stage is about 9 days.
Diestrus After mating the diestrus stage follows.
Typically this stage last for 60 to 100 days in bitches that are not pregnant.
For bitches that are pregnant it usually last for about 56 - 58 days.
During this period bitches that are pregnant and not pregnant will both undergo hormonal changes in their body.
And in certain cases, non-pregnant even exhibit symptoms of being pregnant and this is known as false pregnancy or pseudo-pregnancy.
During this stage, bitches will gain weight, show signs of mammary gland development leading to production of milk and display signs of nesting.
Anestrus This is basically the period of sexual inactivity between cycles where she has no attraction to or from the male dogs.
This period usually last for about 6 months.
Owners who do not plan to let their bitch mate should consider spaying her.
Spaying should not be seem as harmful to a dog and on the contrary it has more benefits than not doing so.
Few of the greatest benefits of spaying are: - Spaying lowers the risk of developing uterine problems and hormone related disease such as mammary cancer.
- Avoid the mess that accompany the bitch when she is on heat.
- Helps to make her calm as a bitch that is in heat is susceptible to temperament changes.
- Prevents unwanted pregnancy, as raising a litter of puppies is a very time consuming and laborious process, albeit a rewarding one.
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