If you have a female puppy, you ought to be prepared for her estrus cycle. It is similar to a women’s menstrual cycle except that it only happens twice a year. Your puppy can go in heat as early as six months, so you need to watch out for the signs.

Let us help you with all that you need to know about dog menstruation.


Your dog can come into her first heat any time between 6 to 24 months. Small dogs tend to come into heat sooner than larger breeds. Typically she will have two estrus cycles, or heats, a year, and each one lasts for between 18 to 24 days. She is likely to show signs that her heat is about to start by changes in her behavior.

Some of the signs are an increased clinging to you, restlessness and sudden signs of irritation with other pets. She will also start licking her vulva frequently. The seasonal timing of the two estrus cycles is typically between January and March and August to October.

The estrus cycle has four stages.

  1. Bleeding Stage


The first stage is called proestrus. This lasts approximately 10 days and it is during this stage that your dog will bleed from the vaginal area. This is your dog’s preparation for pregnancy phase, but she will not want to mate with a male during this time.

As a pet owner, there are a few ways you can cope with the bleeding and keep your home clean. Your dog will clean herself, but you may find that blood spots get sprayed everywhere if she shakes her body, or you’ll find a trail of spots around the house. If you live in a home with wood or marble flooring, it is easy enough to keep a mop and bucket on hand to clean it up. You should put towels down for her, especially if she is allowed to sit on your furniture.

2. Mating Stage

The next stage lasts between five and nine days. This is the tricky time when your dog is prepared to mate with any male, and every male in the neighborhood is trying to get to her. If you don’t want her to mate, you will need to keep her securely in the house. If you let her out in the yard, don’t leave her on her own or she may find an escape route under or over the fence.

3. The diestrus phase follows this whether she gets pregnant or not, and lasts about six to 10 weeks. During this time your dog will have no interest in mating, nor will she show any signs of hormonal changes.

4. Anestrus– This is the resting stage which remains till the female doggy comes into heat again.

It Lasts Forever

Your female dog will go through estrus cycles for the rest of her life. There is no such thing as a dog menopause.

Irregular menstruation

Female dogs may face some problems during menstruation. Some of them are as follows:

Absent Heat; Silent Heat; Split Heat; Prolonged Heat; Too frequent cycling; too rare cycling.

We advise you to contact the vet in such a situation to put your dog out of misery.

Menstruation Pain

Dogs do not feel pain like humans during menstruation so you don’t need to worry but your dog might certainly become irritable during her periods and you got to watch out for her.

Menstruation Symptoms

First phase:

  1. Excessive licking of her genital area
  2. Behavioral changes
  3. Increase in appetite
  4. Sometimes her temperature will increase

Second phase:

  1. Dogs will become willing to mate
  2. Excessive behavioral changes
  3. Tail wagging and change in gait
  4. Vulva becomes softer
  5. Increase in urination


How to take care of your dog when she’s menstruating



1. Keep a note of the first day of the menstruation of your dog, so you can easily prepare for her next season of menstruation.

2. If your dog bleeds heavily, buy diapers or pants to not only keep the house clean but to also maintain hygiene.

3. Female Dogs don’t like to be alone during this period so make sure you are always there to give company to your furry friend.

4. Female Dogs tend to urinate a lot when they are in season so make sure you take them out for walks frequently and make sure you don’t let them stray as male dogs might be on the lookout for intercourse.

Do not panic when you see some irregular behavioral signs in your dog during this period. Besides the above information, we will advise you to have a full-fledged one-on-one with an established veterinarian so that you are fully aware of the needful.

You may reach out to PetSutra in case you need any assistance.

Happy Parenting! 🙂

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