There are three distinct stages that make up the total number of days that a dog is in heat. A dog is usually in the heat for 21 days for a female dog. The first stage is known as Proestrus. At this stage, you as the dog owner will notice that the dog has some blood in the vulva area. The second stage is known as Estrus. This is the heat cycle stage when the dog is actually on heat and ready for mating. The third stage is known as the Diestrus stage and is the stage the female dog is going out of the heat. This is the duration that is considered for female dogs.
For the male dog, the duration is 18 days. This is the time when the male dog will have the urge to mate with a female dog. However, the female dog will only be receptive to the male dog during the Estrus stage that is half these number of days.
Many dog owners are keen to know how long does a dog stays on heat. This is due to the fact that female dogs get very restless at this time and it may be a headache to you as the dog owner trying to keep the dog indoors.
The first Estrus a dog experience occurs between 6 to 24 months. For smaller breeds, it occurs earlier and a bit later for larger breeds.
Changes That Occur When a Female Dog Is In Heat
· During the Proestrus stage, the female dog has a bloody discharge in the vulva section. This discharge is less when the dog gets to the Estrus stage and the vaginal discharge is straw-colored. The vulva remains swollen the whole time.
· Female dogs on heat are restless, nervous, and easily distracted. During the estrus stage, the female dog will urinate more than normal. There is a lot of change in the dog’s behavior that is caused by a shift in hormone balance. This happens when the estrogen levels increase and subsequently decrease in order to release mature eggs from the ovaries.
· You will find that at the estrus stage, it is the female that initiates sexual interactions with male dogs. The female will do this by elevating hindquarters, deflecting her tail to one side, and tensing the rear legs whenever a male dog is around.
· It is important to note that during the time in which male dogs are receptive to females; that is about 18 days, females are dogs are only receptive to male dogs for half this time.
Spraying To Prevent Dog Heat
In case you do not want your female dog to go on heat, you should take it for spraying. The advantage of spraying is that it can help prevent breast cancer and other diseases of the reproductive system your dog may get. Female dogs that are sprayed also reduce the risk of having mammary gland tumors. Spraying can be done from the time your dog is 2months old. However, it is necessary to consult your veterinarian on the issue. A female dog that is not sprayed goes on heat at least twice a year. That is about every 6months.
The stages listed above are the stages that a female dog goes through when in heat and the changes that occur. These changes will help you, the dog owner know when your dog is in heat.