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How To Care For A Dog In Heat | 10-Step Definitive Guide

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Tim Rhodes

How to care for a dog in heat?

We love our dogs.

Our friends cheer us up when we are sad and make us feel better when we require help.

However, are we helping our dogs when they need it?

When a dog is in heat, dealing with her may seem hard or even impossible sometimes.

Since it is your dog’s breeding time, you need to be careful and help your dog whenever it’s possible.

Table of Contents

10-Step Definitive Guide On How To Care For A Dog In Heat

There are many ways to help the owner and dog.

Even if you’re inexperienced in that and you have a dog in the heat, you can do these necessary steps and find your solution.

1. Get a Dog Diaper

It’s their naturalness to bleed in heat.

 To maintain hygiene when they are in heat, you need to clean as they bleed. 

But it may be hard to do that every time. 

There is a diaper for dogs to prevent bleeding! 

It’s not hard to use, and also they are cheap.

Types of Diapers

There are certain types of dog diapers, as listed below. 

Choose the best diaper for your dog when she is in heat.

  • Reusable Dog Diapers
  • Disposable Dog Diapers
  • Premium Diapers for Female Dogs

Finding a diaper for your dog might be hard sometimes. 

So, if you don’t know, you can always call your vet for further information.

How to Use It?

When you have the dog diaper, you’re ready to use it on your dog. 

There are specific steps to use it. 

Put the diaper on your dog. 

When she uses it, change it immediately, and clean your dog with wet wipes. 

Keep in mind that if it isn’t changed, it can cause several problems, such as bacterial infections.

 Don’t forget to see a vet if something is wrong. 

2. Create a Comfort Zone for Your Dog

Like humans, dogs have feelings too.

Sometimes they can feel stressed, and sometimes they can feel happy.

While they are in heat, their behavior can change, and they might want to be alone.

When they are in that mood, act accordingly, and set a comfort zone for them.

Don’t be a problem for them and observe if needed and take care of them if they need it.

If they feel energized, then find a way to slow them without abusing them.

Remember that they can be angry and don’t want to obey the rules, so with some games and rewards, keep them calm if necessary.

Having a comfort zone makes the dog feel freer and resulting in more happiness for your dog.

Dogs that have comfort zones are more likely to be happy and less tend to bark, etc.

In case of emergencies, there are pills for helping your dog.

3. Record Your Dogs Heat Cycle

The more you know about your dog, the more you can help your dog. 

Most dogs go to heat cycles about twice a year, and the process lasts about 28 days. 

A female dog’s heat cycle has four main stages. 

While the proestrus stage and estrus stage lasts about a week each, the diestrus stage lasts 60-90 days, and the anestrus stage lasts about 100-150 days. 

Proestrus Stage 

In this stage, your dog bleeds. 

You can observe behavior changes in your dog. 

She may want to go to the toilet more often. 

She may cover her body with her tail so as not to send signals to her mates. 

Depending on the breed, she can be quiet or energized.

  • Estrus Stage

This stage is known as the “flagging stage.” 

When she comes to this stage, the bleeding is no longer a problem; however, she is fertile in this stage. 

You should be careful at that stage if you don’t want to have an unwanted pregnancy. 

She will “flag” her tail to send the sign to male dogs. 

If you observe this behavior, you can easily understand she’s in this stage.

  • Diestrus Stage

This stage is a pregnancy stage. 

Whether the dog is pregnant or not, she will not seek any male company anymore, and she is no longer fertile. 

She tends to go back to normal if she is not pregnant. 

If she’s pregnant, this stage will end with puppies.

  • Anestrus Stage

This stage is also known as the “Resting Stage.” 

In this stage, the female dog is resting and getting prepared for the cycle.

How to Understand When the Dogs are in Heat?

As listed above, the proestrus stage can be observed when a female dog bleeds.

In that stage, you can start using dog diapers for hygiene purposes.

When the bleeding phase is over, the dog goes to the estrus stage.

In this stage, she can wag her tail to search for a male dog, and for an unwanted pregnancy, you need to be more careful.

When she’s no longer wagging her tail, you can understand that she is in the diestrus stage.

She’s no longer fertile, and you can go back to normal.

What to Do if She is Pregnant?

Remember that it’s forbidden for your dogs to take pregnancy pills.

If you feel that she’s pregnant, then take her to your vet.

Since ultrasound isn’t harmful, you can see puppies.

When you’re in the vet, ask if you have any questions and learn what you can do to your dog.

Also, when she is pregnant, she may need to eat pregnancy foods to get more energy.

4. Hide Your Dog From Male Dogs

When the dog is fertile, to prevent unwanted pregnancy, the best way is to prevent male dogs’ connection.

If you have male dogs in the house, you may consider sending them to a friend.

Even if they are brothers and sisters, they will want to reproduce since they have no “incest.”

And if they reproduce, many problems will come from similar genetics such as diseases.

If they are not neutered, the best solution is to remove their connection.

If you don’t have male dogs, it is still dangerous.

Since the male dogs from the street can sense the hormones, they will come close to the house and bark if necessary.

To prevent it, either there should be a garden which is protected from the dogs such as having big walls, or you shouldn’t let your dog go to the park.

Hiding your dog from male dogs can be hard sometimes.

Since it is their instinct to conceive, your dog may want to have a male companion as well.

It’s better to find new activities for your dog to help her better in this situation.

5. Don’t Do Off-leash Walks

There are many ways to walk with your dog.

Don’t do off-leash walks when she is fertile.

Even the best dogs can disobey you since their instinct to reproduce, and intuition is an order which cannot be breakable.

If a male dog is coming to her, protect her, or leave the area with her.

Remember that if they start conceiving, you cannot break them because if you break them up, this will cause disability on both of these dogs.

So, it would help if you observed all the time when you are walking.

Another trick is to put a bit of menthol to her tail.

This will prevent male dogs from coming.

However, it would be best if you were careful about menthol because it may be poisonous to your dog.

If needed, you may consider calling your vet.

If you let her walk alone or without a leash, you need to know that she will probably be pregnant.

So you need to be aware of what she’s doing all the time.

6. Find Alternatives to Walks

The average dog needs to exercise 30-60 minutes per day. 

When your dog is in heat, especially during a pandemic, it’s tough to go outside and take walking sessions. 

So, it is obligated to find some indoor activities for your dog. 

If you are searching for some examples, there are some examples below.

  • Playing hide and seek

Hide and seek can be played by you and your dog.

Also, you can hide the treat, and they can find the prize. 

  • Setting Obstacles

This method will help them learn objects while they are having fun and using their energy.

  • Keep Away

As you can guess, it’s an easy game if you have a backdoor or a large indoor. 

The game is necessary.

You are throwing an object, and they will catch it and have some fun. 

If you have more than one dog, you aren’t even required! 

They can play with themselves.

  • Wrestle With the Dog

In this method, you will just wrestle with your lovely dog to use some energy. 

With this method, both of you can maintain the connection. 

Multiple dogs can play without a person. 

However, be careful about aggressive behavior because they may be too competitive. 

  • Replacing the Toys

When you replace the toys, they love playing.

They will remember toys and play more with them.

  • Which Hand Game

It is a mental game for you and your dog to play with. 

When your dog seems stressed, with this game, you can make her feel better.

  • Teach Your Dog Treadmill

If they learn, they can use a treadmill as well as humans do, maybe even better!

With this indoor activity, they can have fun and use their energy for their health.

As shown above, there are a lot of ways to play indoors. 

Also, you can create your own game with them, and they will love it!

7. Be Careful with Possible Diseases

When they are in heat, they are vulnerable to diseases. 

They can be infected more quickly, and they might not fight as in previous times. 

Especially with the “pyometra.”

What is Pyometra?

The name is coming from the Latin “pus-uterus, ” which means a lethal disease and a disease that infects the uterine. 

It affects mostly older or unspayed female dogs.

The disease can be infected within 1-2 months in heat. 

To prevent pyometra, the most definitive solution is to spay your dog. 

Although there are treatments in veterinary, it is not an easy task to cure this. 

So, prevention is essential for this disease

Apart from that disease, they can be infected with various diseases. 

So, if you are unwilling to spay them, you need to be careful about hygiene and your dog’s food quality. 

If their immune system is supported, they won’t have any problems with their heat.

Risk Of Having Cancer

If you have a dog that isn’t fertilized, there are lots of cancer types that will cause lethal problems. 

So, you need to make sure that your dog is always healthy. 

Also, to stay healthy, your dog should see a vet more often.

8. Use a GPS tracker

While your beloved dog is in heat, you need to track her to prevent any unwanted pregnancy. 

Although there are several ways to do it, such as calling a dog keeper, we’ll talk about using a GPS tracker.

 There are benefits of using a GPS tracker.

Benefits of Using a GPS Tracker

The dog can go out while in her heat.

However, tracking her can prevent any unwanted things.

When you’re at work, with the GPS tracker, you can track via your mobile phone.

This way, you will learn the path of your dog and secure her if she goes to dangerous areas.

Not only in heat, but also a GPS tracker gives your dog freedom when your mind is relaxed.

In some GPS trackers, there are health report features as well if it is needed.

Some types of GPS trackers are waterproof.

That means your dog can swim when you are not home.

There are GPS trackers with daily goal features.

As listed above, there are many benefits of GPS Trackers

9. Consider Spaying Your Dog

When they reach puberty, female dogs can have issues due to adulthood. 

Although spaying your dog may cause some ethical questions on you, we will focus on spaying benefits. 

There are a lot of benefits of spaying to be considered.

Benefits of Spaying 

  • Avoid Cancer Types

There are a lot of cancer types that can cause destructive issues. 

Only breast cancer has a 50% chance of survival. 

If we mention the other cancer types such as uterine, cervical, or ovarian cancer, you will consider spaying for your dog’s health

  • Avoid Dealing with Female Dog When She is in Heat

When a female dog is in heat, you need to take care of her, and it isn’t that easy. 

You need to take a dog’s diaper, and you need to clean her, hide her from other males, prevent unwanted pregnancy, etc. 

These things can be a problem sometimes. 

If you spay your dog, you won’t have any of these problems.

  • Keeping Other Dogs

If you have other male dogs, you don’t need to move them away to prevent unwanted pregnancy. 

Instead, they can stay and play with your female dog. 

You won’t miss your other dogs anymore. 

  • Decreased Cost

When they are in heat, female dogs need a lot of items, such as dog diapers. 

To maintain hygiene, there won’t be any extra cost. 

Instead of giving those things a lot of money, you can spend to get the treats.

  • Happier Dog

When they are in heat, they are searching for a male companion. 

If they can’t find any, they may feel depressed. 

If they are sterilized, they can focus on being happy and make you happy.

  • Good For Community

There are lots of puppies in the shelters and the streets.

 If you want to get a new dog, you can get one from the shelter. 

In this way, not only will you save a puppy’s life, but also you will help the community. 

You may want to have the same dog, but keep in mind that your dog won’t be replaced even if the new puppy is from your dog. 

Also, you can find the same breed in shelters!

When to Spay Your Dog

According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the ideal spaying ages from 4 months to 6 months. 

The cancer risk will be reduced significantly if the dog is fertilized in these months. 

However, new research shows us that it’s better to spay the dog at later ages in certain dog breeds. 

There is no conclusion about this topic, so the ideal behavior is to ask a vet what is best for your dog.

There is a discussion about if sterilized, can dogs gain weight? 

It would be best if you didn’t worry about it. 

Because it’s a myth. 

Your dog can be healthy if the right diet is used on her. 

10. Contact With Your Vet

There are nine steps to care about your dog.

However, every dog is unique, and we may not give the right answer for you.

To understand your dog, the best way is to contact your vet and listen to their advice.

The vet can understand your dog’s heat cycle and act accordingly.

If you decide to spay your dog, you need to go to your vet before your dog’s heat cycle so that your vet can make operations.

Please choose your vet carefully since the operations can be troublesome for your dog.

How to Choose the Correct Vet?

Choosing the correct vet can be challenging for your beloved dogs.

To choose a vet, first, you need to ask for personal recommendations.

If they have good recommendations, then learn their profession.

Not everybody can do everything.

So, in that case, they should be experts in dogs in the heat to treat your dog.

Also, keep in mind that they need a license to run the veterinary, so check their license.

Hygiene is also one of the most critical topics since they will have sick pets in the clinic.

When you’re in the clinic, you need to make sure that your pet is treated well when you aren’t there.

You should consider the prize and the location as well.

What You Should Do?

Yes, there are ten essential steps to care for your dog.

However, if you still don’t know what to do, read this section.

If you have this situation for the first time, you shouldn’t be worried.

First, observe your dog, make sure your dog is in the proestrus stage.

When you are sure, start buying diapers for your dog.

Make sure about your and your dog’s hygiene and clean your dog more often to avoid diseases.

When your beloved dog stops bleeding, it means that she is in an estrus stage, and she is now fertile.

To avoid unwanted pregnancy, you should be careful, and you shouldn’t walk with her if possible and instead, try having fun in the garden or indoors and make sure she exercises.

If she’s pregnant, you need to help her accordingly.

If she isn’t pregnant, you can go back to your routine.

Keep in mind that you should give treats for their behaviors at these times.

Final Thoughts 

These are some of the tips on how to care for a dog in heat.

Taking care of a dog is hard

If they aren’t fertilized, it gets harder.

If you aren’t experienced in that matter, it’s a good idea to get some help from a vet or a person with some experience.

Although it’s hard, it may be the best thing ever.

Taking care of a dog that loves you unconditionally makes us feel amazed when they need help.

So, when your dog is in a heat cycle, you need to help her and yourself without second thoughts.

Remember that they are our best friends that will never leave us!

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