how long do dogs stay in heat and bleed

how long do dogs stay in heat and bleed


How Long Do Dogs Stay in Heat and Bleed?

Understanding the Dog’s Estrous Cycle

Your beloved dog is more than just a pet; they’re a member of your family. Therefore, understanding their physiology, specifically their reproductive cycle, is crucial for their well-being. Unlike humans, dogs have an estrous cycle, not a menstrual cycle. The estrous cycle has four stages:

  1. Proestrus
  2. Estrus
  3. Diestrus
  4. Anestrus

Each stage is unique and may present its own set of signs and symptoms, which are crucial for you to be aware of as a caregiver.

Proestrus: The Beginning of the Heat Cycle

Proestrus is the first stage of the estrous cycle. This is when you might notice your dog is “in heat”. During this stage, which lasts approximately 9 days, your dog may exhibit the following signs:

  • Swollen vulva
  • Bloody discharge
  • Increased urination
  • Behavioral changes (clinging, nervousness)

Although your dog will attract male dogs during this stage, she won’t be receptive to mating just yet.

Estrus: The Breeding Stage

The second stage, estrus, is when your dog is most fertile. This stage can last between 3 to 21 days, with the average being 9 days. During this period, the bloody discharge may change to a yellowish color. Your dog will be more receptive to male dogs and could potentially get pregnant.

Diestrus and Anestrus: The Non-Breeding Stages

Following estrus is diestrus, a 60-90 day period where your dog is no longer receptive to breeding. If she has mated and become pregnant, diestrus will last for the duration of the pregnancy.

Anestrus is the final stage, a period of sexual inactivity that lasts for around 100-150 days. After this stage, the cycle starts again with proestrus.

How Long Do Dogs Bleed?

Typically, dogs bleed during the proestrus stage. The bleeding can last for about 9-10 days, though it may vary from dog to dog.

Stage Estimated Duration Symptoms
Proestrus 9 days Bleeding, swollen vulva, behavioral changes
Estrus 3-21 days Yellowish discharge, receptive to mating
Diestrus 60-90 days No bleeding, not receptive to mating
Anestrus 100-150 days No bleeding, period of rest

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often does a dog go into heat?
A: On average, a dog goes into heat twice a year, but this can vary between breeds and individual dogs.

Q: Can I stop my dog’s heat cycle?
A: Yes, spaying your dog will prevent them from going into heat and getting pregnant.

Q: Is it normal for my dog to bleed heavily during heat?
A: The amount of bleeding can vary, but if you’re concerned, it’s always best to consult your vet.

Q: Can my dog get pregnant during her first heat?
A: While it’s physically possible, it’s not recommended due to the health risks to both the mother and the puppies.

Remember, as a responsible pet owner, it’s up to you to monitor your dog’s health and well-being. If you notice any unusual changes or if you have concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your vet.