Is your dog spayed? If not, you will experience a dog in heat cycle. Want to know when your dog is in heat?

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Dog in Heat
How to tell if you dog is in heat
by: Sharon Medforth

How do I know when my dog is in heat?
How can I tell when my dog is in season or having her period?
How often will my dog come in heat?
My dog was bred, will she get pregnant?
How to tell if your dog is pregnant.

This page is for the average lay person who wants to know about their dog in heat.

The female dog usually will have their first heat {period} at about 5 months to 1 year of age, depending on the breed. When your dog has her heat {period}, it will last about 3 weeks.

Before your female actually comes into heat, you may notice some of these signs.

First signs of a dog in heat are:

  • Personality change up to a month prior to coming into heat.
    Your female dog may act shy for no reason or be cranky with other dogs or people, some dogs become more affectionate.
    What you are looking for is a personality chang, the female dog version of PMS.
  • Swollen vulva.
    Up to a few weeks prior to going into full dog in heat, your dog’s vulva will seem larger and puffier then normal.
    As she gets farther into her heat it may become loose and floppy. The main thing to look for is a change in the vulva.
  • Increased urination.
    Some females will start urinating more often, be aware that this is to leave her scent and to tell all the boys she is coming into heat.
  • Teats {breasts, nipples}.
    These may get a bit pink and puffy.
  • Blood from the vulva.
    You may notice some red blood on the floor or on your dogs bedding.
    At the first sign of blood, you can say this is the first dog in heat day.
    The dog will ovulate approximately 6 to 18 days after the first sign of blood.
    As your female gets closer to ovulation the bloody discharge may turn pale pink, straw colored or disappear altogether. She may become more friendly and playful with other dogs.
    Your dog is most likely to get pregnant after the bleeding has stopped. So just because you see no blood does not mean it is safe to let your female dog around other dogs.
    The only real way to tell when your bitch is ovulating is to take her into the vet’s office and have them check her progesterone level.
My dog was bred, will she get pregnant?
If your dog was bred there is a good chance she will have pups.

How to tell if your dog is pregnant.
Your vet can do a pregnancy test. They can do an ultrasound or a relaxin test to determine if your dog is pregnant.

Some of the signs of dog pregnancy are.

  • Your dogs vulva remains floppy and does not go back to its normal pre-heat shape.
  • Nipples enlarge and she begins to loose hair from around the nipples
  • Increased weight.
  • Many females go off their food and lose weight the first 3 weeks after being bred if they are pregnant. After the first 3 weeks their food intake will increase.
  • Increase in tummy size.
  • Personality change. Many females become more affectionate or more submissive, some get crankier if they are pregnant, keep an eye out for a personality change.