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Estrus in dogs

Estrus in dogs

When purchasing a girl dog, the owner must be prepared for the upcoming troubles associated with estrus. This physiological phenomenon indicates that the animal's body is fully ripe for fertilization and bearing puppies. In order to avoid unwanted pregnancy or successfully carry out mating, to ensure the normal development of fetuses, the owner is required to know the characteristics of estrus in dogs and the basics of animal care during this period.

When estrus begins and ends

It will not be possible to answer exactly when estrus begins in dogs, since the body of each animal is individual. Moreover, puberty depends on the dog's constitution, breed, conditions of detention (nutrition, temperature regime of maintenance, etc.). In most cases, estrus (or pustovka, estrus) occurs after the teeth change, at the age of six months to a year.

Attention: if in the future it is expected to receive offspring, then the owner needs to pay attention to the first estrus in order to know which heat to knit the dog. The first binding takes place on the 3rd pustovka.

Sometimes owners wonder when the dog's estrus stops. Estrus continues throughout life, and does not end at any particular age. By old age, periods of rest increase, the frequency of empty spaces per year decreases, but the dog is still capable of conception and the birth of puppies.

By what symptoms can estrus be determined

It is possible to determine the onset of estrus by a number of signs:

  • increased activity and playfulness of the pet;
  • the dog "forgets" many commands, refuses to obey the owner;
  • more often asks for walking due to increased urine excretion;
  • the vulva (loop) is swollen;
  • traces of secretions appear on the litter.

Estrus in dogs conditionally takes place in 4 phases, cyclically recurring throughout life with characteristic symptoms.

1. Proestrus
The loop swells, the discharge is noticeable, dark in color. The animal pays attention to the opposite sex, but does not allow it to itself.
1-2 weeks
2. Estrus
The highlights change their hue to pinkish. The dog assumes the appropriate instinctive pose when the male appears, stroking on the back. Admits the male to himself.
5-10 days
3. Diestrus
The swelling of the loop disappears, the discharge stops. The dog becomes calmer.
2-3 months
4. Anestrus
Resting phase
3-5 months

How long does estrus last in a dog

It is possible to determine how many days a pet's estrus lasts by observation, since the data may vary significantly from animal to animal. On average, the duration of the empty period varies from 20 to 30 days. The shortest is the first heat, the duration of which can be about a week. In this case, the owner requires increased attention to the animal in order to be able to plan the mating in the future.

Differences in estrus in different breeds

Features of estrus in dogs are due to the animal belonging to a particular breed. So, if the dog has a large size, then the first pustovka can be at the age of 13 months or more, while in representatives of small breeds it comes earlier.

Estrus in large bitches lasts longer than in small dogs. And the intensity of secretions in the latter is more pronounced than in large brethren.

Highlights Features

Discharge during estrus is caused by a change in the hormonal background, and is the norm. In the first phase of the cycle, they are bloody, may have different intensity – from insignificant, inconspicuous, to abundant. The appearance of a smell is also considered normal, but it should not be too sharp. A few days later, in the second phase of the cycle, the discharge becomes lighter, and then completely colorless.

Experts advise to teach the dog to lick the discharge from the first estrus. You can buy special underpants for your pet. If the animal flatly refuses "underwear", it is better to remove carpets from the floor in advance, and cover the furniture with a cloth.

General condition of the dog during estrus

A dog experiences hormonal stress during estrus, which manifests itself in a change in its general condition. Most of the manifestations are normal, and pass as estrus ceases.

Psyche and behavior

Each animal reacts differently to changes in physiology. Some dogs become overly affectionate and friendly, others fall into a depressive state (howling, whining, shunning others), others, on the contrary, begin to show aggression towards their fellows, other animals, people.


Most often, an appetite disorder manifests itself in "whims": the dog chooses what to eat, eats less than before. Some bitches may refuse to eat at all. Experts do not advise force-feeding the animal, since its entire body during estrus is aimed at conception and bearing puppies. Gradually, the appetite will return to normal.

Body temperature

Quite often, dogs have body temperature rises during pustovki. Its increase by up to 0.5 S is considered normal. At higher values of the thermometer, you need to consult a veterinarian.


Due to the high level of estrogens, the innervation of the bladder sphincter decreases. The result is an involuntary discharge of urine. Incontinence passes when the hormonal background of the dog returns to normal.

Features of the first heat

The first estrus in dogs can proceed imperceptibly: the discharge is not pronounced enough, the duration is not long, changes in behavior may stop suddenly, and the release of the egg may not occur. At the same time, the owner should mark such a void for further planning of mating.

Other symptoms will help to determine whether there is a heat or not. For example, the dog will often sit down to urinate, lick the loop. Even before the onset of estrus from the genitals, minor purulent discharge is possible, which is considered the norm. With an attentive attitude to the pet, you can also notice "oddities" in behavior.

Sometimes the first heat proceeds with almost no pronounced signs. However, fertilization is quite possible, so you can not relax: you need to carefully monitor the dog, do not let go of the leash.

Vaccination during estrus

There are mixed opinions about vaccinations for a dog during estrus. Some experts claim that it is possible to vaccinate an animal during this period. The procedure does not harm health, and estrus does not affect the formation of immunity to any disease.

Others, on the contrary, argue that during the empty period, additional effects on the body are undesirable. It is believed that the animal's immune system is weakened at this time, which can lead to unpleasant consequences.

The conclusion, whether to vaccinate or not, should be made by the owner together with the veterinarian. At the same time, many nuances should be taken into account, for example, the state of health of the dog, chronic diseases, features of estrus and others.

When is it better to carry out mating

Knitting a dog is recommended starting from the 3rd cycle. During the first estrus, fertilization may also occur, but the dog's body is not yet fully ready for gestation. The best age is considered to be 2 years.

To determine the day of estrus, on which you can mating, the owner needs to know the date of its occurrence. The period from the 11th to the 15th-16th day is considered the most favorable. Also, at present, a special test showing ovulation can be purchased in veterinary pharmacies and clinics.

Estrus and sterilization

Many questions arise from dog breeders regarding the sterilization of the animal and estrus. Is it possible to carry out an intervention if the dog is in heat? Experts do not recommend performing surgery during this period – it is necessary to wait for the end of the empty period. You can sterilize the bitch 14-20 days after the end of estrus.

Another question: can there be heat if the dog is sterilized? With complete sterilization, when the female's ovaries and uterus are removed, estrus does not occur. If, during the operation, only the pipes were cut or a part of the ovary was left (accidentally or intentionally), estrus with all its manifestations persists.

Estrus after childbirth

The onset of estrus after childbirth in a dog can be expected in about 120-150 days. This period depends on the number of puppies born and the duration of their feeding. Sometimes it takes up to 6 months or more. The manifestations of estrus after the birth of puppies are the same as usual. It is not recommended to carry out mating at the same time, since the animal's body must recover.

False heat

It manifests itself in young dogs and is characterized by the absence of ovulation with obvious manifestations of emptiness. Mating a dog at this moment will not lead to fertilization, since there is no egg. A special "sign" of false estrus is its abrupt termination. Such heat is within the normal range and does not pose a threat to the dog's health.

Hidden heat

This type of emptying in dogs also refers to normal phenomena, although rarely observed. Latent estrus is characterized by the absence of secretions. However, the egg matures and leaves the ovary, so in the case of mating, fertilization will occur.

In case of latent estrus, the dog must be shown to a veterinarian. In some cases, it is a consequence of thyroid disorders – hypothyroidism. In this disease, not only discharge, but also other signs of estrus may be absent.

Anxiety during estrus: what to do

Sometimes changes in the behavior of a pet during estrus lead the owners into a state of shock. The dog can howl, mark walls, furniture, whine, not listen to commands, and so on. It is useless to scold her at the same time. Experimentally, dog breeders have developed several ways that help calm the dog during estrus.

  • Take a longer walk.
  • Distract with a game.
  • Dip in water.
  • Give a sedative.

The last option can have two directions. The first is to use hormone–based products, the second is to give the dog a drug of plant origin. Among the hormonal agents that directly affect estrus, it is possible to note the Sex barrier, Sex control. From vegetable preference is given to motherwort or valerian.

Does the stomach hurt during estrus in dogs

Dog breeders often wonder if a dog experiences pain during estrus? Fears are caused mainly by the restless behavior of the pet, whining, sluggish state, apathy. Experts' opinions on this issue differ. Some believe that it is not necessary to attribute human sensations to an animal, others recommend giving an antispasmodic agent, for example, no-shpu. In any case, if the dog does not let you touch his stomach, squeals at the same time, often hides and whines, it is worth showing it to the veterinarian.

How to control a dog during estrus

In order to prevent accidental mating, to avoid health problems, to get healthy offspring at the scheduled time, the owner must control the estrus of the dog. To do this, follow the following rules:

  • enter each estrus in a special calendar, marking the features of the flow (how often, what kind of discharge, etc.), the start and end date;
  • do not let the dog off the leash while walking;
  • make sure that males do not approach the pet (you can buy a special drug that neutralizes her smell);
  • use special underpants;
  • it is advisable to choose places for walking with a minimum of animals;
  • exclude visiting exhibitions;
  • exclude bathing in reservoirs.

Dog underpants

Special products – underpants for dogs help to maintain order in the apartment. Among the positive aspects of these devices, not only the absence of "tags" is noted, but also the prevention of infection penetration into the genital tract of a bitch. The negative ones include the fact that most animals do not like to wear "underwear": in an attempt to take them off, the dog can chew them, swallow them. In addition, during licking (which happens instinctively), the underpants will quickly become wet, which will require their frequent change.

Underpants for dogs differ in models, fabric, design. For example, there may be products with a hole for the tail, with pockets for gaskets, cotton, synthetic or nylon. Before purchasing from a dog, you need to make several measurements: hips, tail circumference and others. It's great if the product can be tried on. When buying, you need to carefully inspect the underpants to exclude tight elastic bands and straps, thick seams and other nuances.

In which cases you need to contact a veterinarian

Dogs should have an extremely attentive attitude to estrus from the owner. There may be situations when you need to show an animal to a specialist:

  • the frequency of estrus is more than 2 times a year;
  • there was not a single estrus until the age of 2;
  • estrus has become more frequent compared to previous years, the intensity and volume of secretions have increased;
  • estrus is absent for a long period of time;
  • estrus does not stop (especially in an adult animal);
  • during the period when there should be no estrus, purulent discharge is observed, with blood, having a pungent odor;
  • the presence of a dark discharge after estrus.

It must be remembered that during estrus, microorganisms can enter the reproductive organs of a dog. Due to changes in the condition of the animal during the empty period, the inflammatory process can develop imperceptibly, and in the future it will acquire a threatening character. Therefore, in case of any deviations, you need to urgently contact the clinic.

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