Do female dogs have periods? Just like humans, female dogs experience a distinct hormonal cycle which will bring them into ‘heat’ once or twice each year.
Whilst in this window of heat, a female dog is most likely to get pregnant, she may experience changes in mood and behavior and will often be prone to a small amount of vaginal bleeding.
Keeping your dog comfortable during this time is super important to ensure a calm and happy pup.
Your female dog is more vulnerable during this time, and if you aren’t looking to hand-rear a litter of puppies just yet, there are some easy preventative steps you can take to ensure your period-prone pup has a smooth ride.
When do female dogs have periods?
Being ‘in heat’ essentially refers to a female dog’s fertile window in which she is most likely to get pregnant. A dog’s first heat tends to be at around the 6 month old mark, and then repeats every 6-7 months until a dog is spayed.
Stages of the dog heat cycle
A dog's heat cycle encompasses four distinct stages:
Stage One: Proestrus
Stage Two: Estrus
Stage Three: Diestrus
Stage Four: Anestrus
We'll break down each stage below.
Proestrus initiates the cycle, characterized by a swollen vulva and bloody discharge. It typically lasts around 9 days but varies between breeds. During this phase, a female dog may attract male attention but will not yet allow mating.
Following proestrus is estrus, the fertile phase lasting 5-13 days. The discharge may change from bloody to straw-colored, and the female becomes receptive to males. Behavioral signs include a willingness to mate, raising her tail to the side, and decreased interest in food. Ovulation usually occurs 2-3 days after the onset of estrus, and conception is most likely during this period.
The third stage is diestrus, spanning around 60 days whether pregnancy occurs or not. If fertilization transpires, the body produces progesterone to support pregnancy. If no conception happens, the body's progesterone levels decline, and the dog returns to a baseline state.
Anestrus concludes the heat cycle, during which the reproductive system rests. This stage can last for several months, and hormone levels remain low until the cycle recommences.
It’s important to note that each dog's heat cycle can vary in duration and intensity. Monitoring behavioral changes and physical symptoms can aid in understanding and managing your own dog's reproductive cycle.
As a responsible pet owner, one choice to consider is spaying your dog if you do not intend to breed them. This can prevent certain health risks associated with repeated heat cycles and unwanted pregnancies.
Signs and behavior when a dog is in heat
There are several signs and behaviors that your dog may display to indicate she is in heat, including:
Vaginal bleeding, spotting and discharge
General changes in behavior i.e. she may be more forthright or submissive around male dogs, as well as exhibiting nesting behaviors. She may also seem more skittish or anxious
Licking of the genitals, also her vulva may appear swollen.
You may choose to invest in dog diapers for females in heat - think of them like dog period pads - to help manage your dog’s period and keep both her and your furniture clean and comfortable.
Should dogs in heat wear diapers?
Dogs in heat are not only more susceptible to pregnancy during this time, but as we’ve mentioned they can also experience vaginal bleeding and discharge.
Female dog diapers for heat cycles have become a popular way of keeping messes to a minimum, whilst also being quite an effective pregnancy deterrent.
Diapers for dogs in heat allow your dog to move around freely whilst also keeping any excess blood or discharge off the floors and furniture. Dog heat diapers will also discourage your dog from over licking her genitals, and can make her feel safer and more secure during this more sensitive period.
Female dogs in heat are likely more submissive or eager around male dogs, and they will also become more attractive to male dogs. Using dog diapers for heat periods can be a successful way of reducing the risk of pregnancy in your dog, protecting them from the unwanted advances of male dogs.
Should you choose a dog diaper for your dog in heat, it is vital to monitor her closely, ensuring that the diaper is changed and cleaned often to avoid discomfort, irritation, as well as bacteria and odor build-up.
Find the perfect dog diaper fit
It is important to make sure that you buy the right size dog heat diaper for your female dog. Too loose and discharge may leak, and too tight will cause discomfort and distress for your dog.
Here are our tips to correctly measure a female dog for diapers, as well as other things to consider when fitting a diaper:
Weight - While this is not the only measurement that should be done - getting an idea of your dog’s weight can be a good starting point for any diaper fitting process.
Waist measurement - The most important measurement to get of your dog is their waist, as this is wear the diaper will be secured. You can do this by using a flexible tape measure, or even using a piece of string and measuring the length against a ruler afterwards.
Age - It is also important to consider your dog’s age when choosing a dog diaper. For example, puppies have a tendency to grow very rapidly, meaning they will likely grow out of their diapers fairly fast.
Dog breed - All dog breeds are different shapes and sizes, with unique bodies that will need unique attention when finding the perfect diaper fit - there is no one size fits all solution in the dog world!
Adjustability - To leave room for growth and bodily change, as well as ensuring that the diaper is not restrictive, it can be beneficial to choose a diaper with an adjustable waistband, perhaps in the form of velcro. This will help you be able to manually gauge the fit of your dog’s diaper from day to day.There are different styles of dog diaper to suit the shape, size and needs of your dog, all of which will sit slightly differently.
At Potty Buddy™ we offer a standard diaper which can be paired with a belly band for male dogs (to assist with potty training, marking or incontinence), as well as skirt diapers which are particularly effective for female dogs in heat.
It is important to measure your dog against the diaper sizing charts to ensure a comfortable and suitable fit.
Why choose Potty Buddy™ Dog Diapers?
It just so happens you have come to the perfect place for dog diapers! Here at Potty Buddy™ we have a range of fun and colorful dog diapers to suit the needs of your furry friend; especially female dog diapers for heat cycle.
They work great for both puppies and older dogs, and are size adjustable to fit any breed.
Diapers for dogs in heat and pads for dogs in heat are one of the most effective ways to keep your pup safe and comfy during her cycle.
There are different styles of dog diaper to suit the shape, size and needs of your dog, all of which will sit slightly differently. We offer a standard diaper which can be paired with a belly band for male dogs (to assist with potty training, marking or incontinence), as well as skirt diapers which are particularly effective for female dogs in heat.
Our ultra comfy dog diapers are super absorbent, with 3x better liquid absorption than the average diaper. They are also leak resistant and planet-friendly - as all our dog diapers are reusable, helping save the planet and your wallet!
Potty Buddy™ reusable dog diapers allow you to keep your pup secure and comfortable, whilst also keeping your home free from unpleasant messes, stains and smells. Less time cleaning up and more fun bonding time with your beautiful buddy!
Bring home a Potty Buddy™ Reusable Diaper for your dog in heat, to make her experience as calm and comfortable as possible.
Learn how Potty Buddy™ products help pet-parents keep their homes clean and their pets comfortable
Leak-Free Potty Pad
A durable and super-absorbent potty pad that can be washed and reused for years. It saves money and the planet.