Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40

Are you going to recognize the signs of heat before this

Are you going to recognize the signs of heat before this happens?

cc-by www.flickr.com dalechumbley 4421464579

What Does It Mean When a Dog Is In Heat and When Is It Going to Happen?

When we say that your dog is in heat, it means that she is undergoing changes
to her body so that she will attract male dogs, get bred, and have puppies.

Your dog will first come into heat when she is still a puppy. With toy breeds
it may be as early as four months, but with giant breeds it may not happen
until their second year. The first heat cycle is usually kind of mild though,
so unless your front door becomes a gathering place for the neighborhood male
dogs, you may not even notice your dog’s first heat cycle.

Doggie diapers are a way to prevent spotting around the

Doggie diapers are a way to prevent spotting around the house.

cc-by www.flickr.com misskrissi 3046990902

How Can I Tell If My Dog Is in Heat?

You’ll be able to tell if your dog is in heat based on signs like personality
changes and spotting.

Personality Changes

The first sign you will notice, long before any physical changes, are a few
changes in your dog’s demeanor. She may be nervous, shy, more affectionate
than usual, or even aggressive. There is really no way to tell how a dog is
going to act. As she gets closer to coming in to heat she will have a swollen
vulva; some dogs will even have swollen nipples. For about a week before she
starts spotting, your dog will urinate every chance she gets when you walk
her—this is her way of alerting the other dogs in the area that she will soon
be ready to breed.


Your dog will begin “spotting” (having a bloody discharge from her vulva), and
when she starts with this stage you will definitely notice. This may be
considered the first day of heat. There may be a lot or just a few drops, but
it almost always decreases as the time of ovulation approaches (usually one to
three weeks after the bleeding starts).

Bleeding in the house is one of the best reasons to get your dog spayed. If
you do not want to have her spayed for some reason, doggie diapers are
available and will cover her up so that she does not stain the carpet or
furniture. The diapers have to be removed every time you take her outside
since, if you do not, she will urinate in the diaper and ruin it.

When Should I Allow My Dog to Breed?

Male dogs are going to be attracted to your female from the first day, but it
is not until the second to third week of heat that your dog is most likely to
be bred—whether you want it or not. The reduced spotting is a sign of
ovulation and your best indication of when she will stand to be bred.

This is the time to take her to the breeder. You can plan on the greatest
success if you breed her every few days during the time that she will stand
and allow a male to mount.

If you do not want to breed your female, it is also the time you need to watch
her carefully and keep her away from the male dogs in the neighborhood. She
will not be bleeding anymore but will still be able to conceive puppies.

When no one knows the signs of heat...

When no one knows the signs of heat…

cc-by www.flickr.com mojotrotters 4716075357

Should I Just Get My Dog Spayed?

To avoid all of these symptoms and the hassles associated with a dog that
comes into heat, you should have your dog spayed. There is a lot of
controversy as to when it should be done, but if you cannot watch your dog and
protect her during the first heat cycle, you should have her spayed while
still young.

What If I Do Not Spay My Dog?

There are a lot of reasons people choose to keep their female dogs intact. If
you are going to show your dog or compete in some agility competitions, having
your dog spayed will keep her from being able to participate.

Other people want to breed their female dog and produce puppies when the time
is right.

Scroll to Continue

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If you choose not to have her spayed, do not plan on breeding her unless you
are willing to have her hips and elbows x-rayed to check for dysplasia, and
her eyes checked for changed in the retina. The father should also be tested
and found free of all genetic diseases.

A lot of puppies die every day at animal shelters because some people allow
their dogs to breed when they should be spayed. Make sure that you have a home
for the puppies before you get involved in this process.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It
is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription,
or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional.
Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a
veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: I just found my German Shepherd locked onto my rottweiler and
do not want her to be pregnant. What can I do to prevent a pregnancy?

Answer: There are several options available but all of them are available
only through prescription. You can read https://pethelpful.com/dogs/morning-
after-pills-fo… to learn more, but you need to call your local vet
immediately and ask what method he uses and when he needs you to bring your
rottweiler into his clinic.


[email protected] on December 18, 2019:

EXTREMELY helpful! Thank you so very much for your expertise and caring to
share with pet owners who love their pets so much! I’ll always check Dr Mark
first for helpful advice!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 07, 2018:

Normally the male “ties” when he ejaculates, so if you were able to separate
them quickly there is probably no problems.

You can contact your local vet and ask him about a “mismate” injection. Not
all vets will give it because of the side effects.

You can also wait and have a pregnancy test done later, with a dexamethasone
injection if the test is positive. This will cause her to resorb the puppies.

If you do not want her to breed again the best thing to do is have her spayed.

You are correct. If you just got rid of the last litter a month ago it is
still too soon to have another litter. Let her body recover for another six

Knickie669 on June 07, 2018:

Just found my dogs but they weren’t lock in. Was able to pull them apart and
it was less then 15 min should I worry about her getting pregnant also she
just finished nursing a month ago

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 26, 2014:

It varies a lot so I cannot give you a definite answer. One of my Pitbulls
just came out of heat, she bled for only 3 days. Most dogs bleed from 7-10
days. Plan on watching her closely for about 10 days after that.

If she is a mix breed, and you have no interest in breeding her in the future,
it will make your life a lot easier if you go ahead and have her spayed. When
a dog is in heat you have to watch her like a hawk!

It may be better to spay her after the first heat. Do some more reading on the

mindi on March 26, 2014:

Approximately how long does the bleeding with first estrus last? I have a lab
mix pup.

Bob Bamberg on September 07, 2012:

That sure makes the pizza delivery guy look boring.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 07,

Yes, that is a funny point because the dogs are all real nice, but around here
people are afraid of big dogs. Oh, and the correct answer? A female that likes
to visit all the males in the neighborhood.

Bob Bamberg on September 07, 2012:

Well, after lengthy analysis I’ve ruled out Pug, so that leaves either a bon
vivant male Husky or a promiscuous female Husky.

Jeez, I’m only kidding, folks!! In some places sexist humor is OK and in
others, it’s not. I’m not a knuckle dragger, really!

I’ll bet not too many people try to break into your client’s property!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 07,

Big cultural difference! There is not even a place to spay a dog around here,
even if she shows up one day in fishnet stockings! I was training at a home
yesterday with a Husky/lab cross, a Husky/German Shepherd cross, and a
Husky/Alaskan Malamute cross. Guess what her first dog was?

Bob Bamberg on September 07, 2012:

Interesting and informative hub, DrMark. I’ve never owned a dog, so I always
thought the first sign was fishnet stockings under a leather mini-skirt. Now I
are enlightened 🙂

Around here, owners (unless they are serious breeders) who don’t get their
dogs spayed or neutered during puppyhood are looked upon with some scorn.
There is some serious social pressure exerted.

Most pet adoption organizations, if they haven’t already had the surgery done,
require a commitment to do so (sometimes an actual appointment date) before
they will release a dog to an adopter.

Interesting read, as usual. Voted up and interesting. Regards, Bob