Raising a pet is no less than raising a baby! Once you decide to keep a breed as your pet, you need to be responsible enough to give it good surroundings and satisfy all its needs. This would be possible only if you are able to know your pet’s body system, several signs which means it needs several things, its moods at different period of time etc. Dogs are emotionally vulnerable like humans, and may be more that is how they are considered to be more loyal than a human even. However, it is mandatory that to get love and loyalty, you as a pet owner have to be more cautious towards liking and disliking of your dog and give it the love you expect from it. Like, a baby girl is brought up with more care and delicacy, a female dog also needs more delicacy in its upbringing. Let us know why?
Know Little More About Caring Your Female Dog
Often many people have dilemma about female dog’s menstrual cycles and thus often wonder do female dogs have periods or even in that case do dogs have periods. The answer to these questions is yes! This is the whole and sole reason why you’re female dog needs little more care and love as it cannot speak and explain you her dis-comfort or pain during those period of time. If as owner you do not give them that extra tinge of comfort and care in those days, it becomes difficult for them too.
Knowing About Female Dog Periods
Even when the answer to the question, do girl dogs have period is yes, the process is not exactly similar to that of the human body. A dog’s period is known as, “Getting into heat” or “Oestrus cycle” commonly. There are various signs by which you come to know that your female dog (Dam) has already entered her Oestrus cycle. Once your dam is sexually matured or reaches its puberty age, it will start getting into heat. The puberty age of a normal healthy dam is about when it reaches six months of the age. This age group varies from various species to species as well as the size of the female dog, ranging from as young as merely four months old to a good two years of age.
Signs Of Female Dogs In Heat
- The very first and easiest sign to observe of your female dog in heat is swelling of her vulva. This can be few days before her getting into heat cycle. She will start licking her parts when this happens more often than usual and also start humping other female dogs or even you sometimes.
- The vaginal bleeding then starts after few days and she may also start littering more urine in such days. The bleeding may last for about 6-9 days, post which the blood discharge would be less and this stage is considered to be safe and fertile for the mating of the dogs.
- The urine discharge will also release more of the hormones which attract the male dogs from the vicinity as your female dog needs some action during her heat.
- She might also give her signs in her behavior, like she would be more alert than what she is usually may be nervous and gets distract easily with any minute thing in the vicinity.
- Her nipples will also be swollen as compared to the nipples she have in normal course.
- The male dogs will be attracted towards her, as she discharges a strong smell in her urine. She would also act flirty towards the male dogs during in heat.
- She would also act very furious and would be very aggressive with other pets in the house. She would try to act very dominating with them and may also try to harm them by humping them. This behavior will elope once she is out from the heat cycle.
- This behavior will increase to become more worst if she is not allowed to mate with the stud.
Duration Of The Oestrus Cycle
The duration varies from species to species of dogs; however on an average the oestrus cycle in female dog lasts for two weeks to three weeks i.e. for the span of 14-20 days. This includes maturing of the eggs inside her and rising of the oestrogen hormones till releasing of the eggs from the ovaries and oestrogen hormones decreasing in amount while progesterone hormone increases in amount. This is the phase when male dogs are attracted to the female dogs and mating can be fruitful. Commonly, a healthy female dog comes into her ‘heat cycle’ every six months. There are various female dogs that will come into heat only once in entire year and few which will come into heat almost after every four months or so, however such female dogs will not be reproductively active and cannot produce puppies.
Taking Care Of Your Dog In Heat Cycle
It is very much required that your dog should be given that extra care and her hygiene should be increased to avoid the chances of infections. Here are few tips which can help you to take care of her in a better way.
- Buy pet diapers for your female dog if she gets heavy bleeding during her heat cycle, you can also stitch her some pants which will also give her that hygiene factor. This would also keep your place clean ad free from bacteria.
- Give her a comfort bed of her own in a private room. Though do not keep her alone all the time as she would like a company more than the solace.
- Make her bed with the sheets of plastics and paper sheet which can absorb blood as well as the urine. Also, change it every day to keep the area clean.
- Take your dog out for a walk more than you usually take them, because they feel the urge to urinate more during their heat cycle.
- Be very careful while taking her out for a stroll, as she might attract lots of male dogs and try for the mating or intercourse.
- Provide them with more nutritious food which will pack them up for the energy they need during the cycle.
- Do not give them bath when they are into heat cycle to keep them away from any infections.
- Give them all the love and attention more.
Heat Cycle And Mating
If you are looking forward to mate your dog, the first oestrus cycle is not a good time to do so. The eggs are very immature and your dog’s body is also not ready for such a big task. Just take an example of a human girl who also gets into her first periods between the age of 14-16 years, but that is not the age when she gets pregnant. Similarly, give your female dog also time to mature and grow up to an age where she can bear her puppies. You can perform tests on her to check whether she is physically ready for the mating process.
Checking Whether She Is Ready For Mating
Performing following two tests on her will give you exact idea about her readiness for mating.
1. Vaginal smear test:
- This test is used since a long time and is a pain free method.
- Here the vagina is examined with microscope for vaginal cells which will provide the information on the number of the vaginal cells and the changes they undergo.
- This test is performed over a period of days; this will show the changes of vaginal cells and by the graph of the changes of cells, veteran forecasts the ovulation and thus the preferable time for breeding.
2. Serum test:
- This is a blood test done for measuring the progesterone level in the female dog.
- It is an accurate but sensitive test, and it would require a series of repetition of tests for ovulation determination.
As we discussed earlier, a male dog is attracted to the female dog when she is in her oestrus cycle and this is considered to be the best time for mating. Let us now learn, how mating occurs:
- The female dog will flag her tail towards the male dog, which is a green signal for a male dog to satisfy her thirst for him to come and touch her vulva.
- A male dog also should be attracted towards her to get into action, and this may also take good hours of time or even few days.
- Once, both of them are equally interested, the male dog will start licking her vulva and try to mount over her gradually.
- They should be given a sound surrounding for them not to get afraid of anyone while performing and they do not run away from each other without mating.
- It is a wise idea to supervise the process as the dogs should not hurt each other during the process.
- If a male finds difficulty in penetrating the vulva, you can apply a jelly or any product which will moist the vulva and allow easy penetration of the penis.
- Once, the process is successful that means the penis swells inside her and she holds it tight with her vaginal muscles, the mating process is in action. This can be a long duration process which can last till 45-50 minutes.
- For the female dog to conceive, it is necessary that she is not allowed to urinate for 15-20 minutes post mating.
Knowing Your Female Dog Is Pregnant
Post mating process it is very much necessary to know the result, there are several symptoms which can help us to know whether the dog is pregnant or not.
- Your dam might show loss of appetite if she is pregnant; however this depends from one dog to another.
- You might observe your dog getting more tired and less energetic if she is pregnant. She will spend most of her time resting only and not prefer more of wandering.
- Slowly and gradually, when her babies start growing inside her, the abdominal area starts showing a growth and diameter increases.
- The teats i.e. the nipples start making milk for the puppies and hence it also increases in size gradually.
- Dog’s pregnancy test kit is available at the dogs care shop or you can also buy it from the veteran. This will give you the results.
- Ultrasound can also be used to know whether the dog is pregnant with puppies or not.
- An X-ray can also be performed to see the images of the growing puppies after around 49 days.
Is Spaying A Good Idea?
If you do not want your dog to undergo the process of mating or reproduction, it is a wise idea to get her spayed after her first cycle. Spaying is removal of her ovaries as well as uterus surgically. This is a major surgery and your dog needs lots of rest post the surgery. However, post the surgery she will be able to enjoy her life more freely.
Benefits Of Spaying
- Female dogs are often witnessed to a life threatening disease called, ‘pyometra’ which causes infection of mammary gland or uterus. Once, uterus is removed she will be saved from any chances of such disease.
- Stops the chances of unwanted pregnancy as your dam would not be mated by any random stud.
- It will reduce the population of the dogs.
- It will stop her from getting into heat cycle, thus freeing her from the pain and uneasiness of the cycle twice every year.
It is always better to take your female dogs for a regular check up to veteran doctor and this will protect her overall health. Give her all the necessary vaccinations also, which will let her leave a disease free life. Make sure, you do make up your mind whether you want to carry the reproduction cycle on her or not, if not do not wait longer and get your doctor’s advice for the time when the spaying surgery can be performed on her, this will not even make her free from the painful cycle, but also you from cleaning her mess when she is in her heat cycle.