Les chaleurs chez la chienne

Female dogs in heat

What is it?

Heat periods in a female dog are characterized by blood loss at the time when females are fertile, during ovulation. The loss of blood must attract males to allow reproduction.

The first heat occurs when the female's body has reached sexual maturity.

At what age will a female dog go into heat?

The average age of the first heat is between 6 and 24 months. The difference will be in the size of the breed, because the more or less rapid growth and the final size of the animal will result in the appearance of heat more or less early.

  • Between 6 and 12 months: for small breed females
  • Between 7 and 13 months: for medium and large breed females
  • Between 14 and 24 months: for large or very large breed females

Certain factors such as the season, the presence of other females or the use of medication can have an influence on the rhythm of heat.

How long does it last?

The duration of heat will depend on the hormonal cycle of your dog, but in general, heat will last an average of 21 days (can last up to 4 weeks) and appear twice a year, every six months on average.

Females will never go through menopause! An aging female will continue to go into heat, although it will be less pronounced over time.

The symptoms and visible signs of heat

The arrival of heat means a rise in hormones, which will have visible effects on your dog, as follows:

  • Your female dog is more receptive to the presence of male dogs
  • Your female dog demands more attention from you than usual, she is more affectionate
  • Your female dog starts to cry and tries to run away
  • Your female dog no longer wants to play and seems more tired
  • Your female dog has a swollen vulva and insists on licking
  • Your female dog has lost her appetite
  • Your female dog is losing small drops of clear blood    

How to manage that period

During the whole period concerned, and if you do not wish to breed your female, you must take your dog out on a leash to avoid runaways and fights.

If you don't want blood stains on your couch, bed, floors and carpets, we recommend you invest in a hygienic protection, such as our washable and reusable diaper for dogs:

 Reusable and washable panties with pattern for female dogs in heat

Reusable and washable dog panties with pattern


Spaying allows you to stop your dog's heat for good, and is also a way to avoid reproduction.

If your female dog is not destined to have puppies, sterilization is recommended as soon as she reaches her adult size. The surgery will also limit the development of mammary tumors, nerve pregnancies or infections.


Watch this space for more updates on the Pets Ark!

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