how long is a dogs first heat

how long is a dogs first heat


How Long is a Dog’s First Heat

Understanding Your Dog’s Heat Cycle

You may have noticed some unusual behavior in your pet lately. She might be acting a bit more affectionately, or perhaps you’ve noticed some physical changes like a swollen vulva or spotting. You’re not alone; these are signs that your dog is coming into her first heat. This is a natural biological process that typically starts when your dog is between six months to one year old, although the age can vary depending on the breed. The duration of a dog’s heat also varies, but it usually lasts between two to four weeks.

Recognizing the Stages of Your Dog’s Heat

Understanding the stages of your dog’s heat can help you provide the best care possible. Here’s a brief breakdown:

  1. Proestrus: This is the start of your dog’s heat, and it usually lasts about 9 days. You’ll notice physical changes like a swollen vulva and bloody discharge.

  2. Estrus: This is the stage where your dog is receptive to males and can get pregnant. Estrus can last anywhere from 3 to 21 days.

  3. Diestrus: After estrus, your dog will enter diestrus, a stage that lasts about 60 days. During this time, her body returns to normal.

  4. Anestrus: This is the period of sexual inactivity between heat cycles. It usually lasts for 4 to 5 months.

Preparing for Your Dog’s First Heat

As a caring pet parent, there are several ways you can help your dog through this process:

  • Provide a Comfortable Space: Make sure she has a cozy, stress-free environment. This can help reduce behavioral changes related to her heat.

  • Keep Her Clean: Regularly clean her bedding, and consider using doggy diapers to manage discharge.

  • Monitor Her Diet: She may have an increased appetite, so ensure she’s getting a balanced diet.

Do’s and Don’ts During Your Dog’s Heat

Do’s Don’ts
Keep your dog indoors as much as possible Don’t leave your dog unsupervised outside
Give her more attention and affection Don’t take her to dog parks
Monitor her physical and behavioral changes Don’t ignore signs of discomfort or distress

Spaying Your Dog: A Consideration

Spaying your dog is a personal decision that can have both health and behavioral benefits. It prevents unwanted pregnancies and reduces the risk of certain health issues. However, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best time for spaying.


Q: How often do dogs go into heat?

A: Dogs typically go into heat twice a year, but it can vary depending on the breed and individual dog.

Q: Can a dog get pregnant during her first heat?

A: Yes, a dog can get pregnant during her first heat. If you don’t want puppies, it’s important to keep her away from male dogs during this time.

Q: Is my dog in pain during heat?

A: Some dogs may experience discomfort, while others do not show any signs of distress. If your dog seems excessively uncomfortable, consult your vet.

Q: Do male dogs go into heat?

A: No, only female dogs go into heat. Male dogs do not have a heat cycle.