You have to be a responsible dog owner before getting one. Apart from the basic things like grooming and pet visits, other responsibilities come with female dogs. One of them is understanding the estrus cycle or “periods.”
Dogs don’t have periods like humans but have the estrus cycle.
When do dogs have the estrus cycle?
Female dogs reach sexual maturity at six months old and experience their first estrus cycle. The estrus cycle is when the dog is on heat caused by the sudden rise of estrogen levels, followed by a sharp decrease. The ovaries will then release eggs ready for fertilization.
The estrus cycle lasts three weeks but can extend to four weeks.
Smaller dogs can have their first heat at four months, but large breeds can take up to two years. Also, small breeds go into heat up to four times a year.
How to know if your dog is in heat
Behavioral and physical signs can help tell if a dog is on heat. The dog produces a blood-tinged discharge and urinates more than usual. Also, the dog may seem distracted and nervous. They may even initiate sexual contact with male dogs.
The discharge slowly lightens to a pinkish color.
How to tackle your dog’s estrus cycle
Use reusable diapers
Reusable diapers have multiple layers that absorb the discharge and are also washable. They are ideal for people who want to conserve the environment and are economical. They are available for all types of breeds, including large ones.
Disposable dog diapers
Buy these diapers if you don’t fancy washing dog diapers. They are comfortable, secure, and absorbent too.
Full body diapers
These diapers are ideal for dogs that struggle to keep diapers on. They are antimicrobial to protect your dog from germs.
You have to treat your dog well during the heat cycle. Dogs are vulnerable in such periods and shouldn’t be scolded.