When Can I Expect my Female Dog to Come into Season?

Female puppy owners that have not spayed their pet need to be aware of when she will come into season.

You can expect your female dog to start coming into season when she is between six and fifteen months old. Smaller dogs tend to get there more quickly than larger breeds.

The average cycle length is fourteen to twenty-one days, give or take a few days, with younger dogs usually on the lower end of that time frame.

When a female dog’s cycle begins, they will start to bleed from the vulva. At the start, this will be nothing more than a few drops, but the flow will steadily increase, and the vulva will become swollen.

The general rule of thumb says that the female will begin to accept males for breeding somewhere between the tenth and thirteenth day of their season. This is when the blood flow will sometimes start to decrease, and her vulva will become swollen.

Female dog owners need to be incredibly vigilant during these three weeks.  Interaction with male dogs needs to be restricted, and owners should have their female dog in their sights at all times.

That means NOT leaving her out in the backyard alone, even if you have a well-constructed, high fence. Dogs of both sexes will go to extreme lengths to get at one another during this period.

Calm female dogs that are usually happy to stay in their yards, will climb fences and find ways out to get to a male.

This means that you need to keep females contained and in your sights at all times. If this is something you cannot commit to, your female dog needs to be spayed.

Is My Female Dog in Heat?

It is important that you take the steps required to figure out when your dog is in-season, which starts by knowing what her vulva usually looks like. Get in the habit of checking a couple of times per week and be on the lookout for drops of blood on her fur. Take note of the date you see that. Most females will come into season twice annually.

If you have no plans on breeding your female you should get her spayed for a variety of reasons:

  1. It is the responsible thing to do to help reduce overpopulation.
  2. It will eliminate the stress, the precautions and the mess that naturally occurs when a female dog is in heat.
  3. Health benefits – elimination of infections, cancers, and other diseases of the uterus because it has been removed. The risk of breast cancer is also reduced.

When Should I Get My Puppy Spayed?

There are some myths when it comes to spaying your female dog.

  • You shouldn’t consider spaying your dog until she has had a litter of pups because this will make her a better pet. This is not true. A good pet is a result of temperament and upbringing. 

This is not true. A good pet is a result of temperament and upbringing.

  • My female’s temperament or protection instincts will decrease after being spayed.

This is not true. A dog’s temperament or primal protection instincts stem from genetics, not the capability to reproduce.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has endorsed spaying and neutering pets as early as two months. The average age tends to be between four and six months of age. This will vary from Veterinary to Veterinary, so check with yours for more info.

For years it has been recommended by experts to spay your female puppy before her first heat cycle for health reasons. New data and research are discovering greater long-term health benefits in waiting for your dog to develop and mature before spaying or neutering.

Spaying (female dogs) and neutering (male dogs) is a very common procedure. The cost for the procedure varies but click here to find discounted services by a licensed veterinarian in your area. (Courtesy of the ASPCA)

If you purchased your female puppy for the purposes of breeding, you should take this endeavor very seriously. Dog breeding takes a lot of hard work, so you need to be really sure that this is something you are willing to commit to.

Responsible breeding is about breeding to improve the breed. It is a complicated process that is a lot harder than most people think, which is why only certain individuals make great breeders.

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