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What should I do when my dog is in heat?

A dog’s heat cycle is made up of two basic phases. The first, proestrus, is when she is bleeding but hasn’t yet ovulated. That usually lasts anywhere from seven to 14 days. The second phase is estrus, when the bleeding slows down or even stops. This is when the dog is ovulating and is fertile.

This is important to understand, because many owners will keep their dog inside until the bleeding stops and then let her outside. Soon after, they have a pregnant dog. To be on the safe side, keep your dog indoors for at least two weeks after she stops bleeding. When she has to go out to eliminate, keep her in your yard and watch her very closely.

To protect your carpet and furniture from the blood, you can buy “doggie diapers” at most pet stores. They come in range of sizes, and most dogs adjust to them fairly quickly.

Unless you are planning on breeding your dog, you may want to consider having her spayed. There are several health advantages to spaying female dogs and cats.

Information courtesy of The American Animal Hospital Association

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