Puppies are the cutest things in the world—but an unplanned litter of them can be an unwelcome surprise. Owners may be concerned about the likelihood of having unexpected puppies. Conversely, breeders may be curious and concerned for the opposite reason.
So, can dogs tie if not in heat?
While possible, it is doubtful. Any female dog not in estrus will be unreceptive to sexual advances from males and will reject the attempts. The estrus stage is the only time female dogs are fertile.
If your dog got pregnant while not in heat, you likely didn’t realize she was in the midst of her estrus cycle since the signs are sometimes difficult to identify.
Whether you’re looking to breed some pups or hoping to prevent them, it’s always helpful to have more information to address the situation how you need to. Read on to learn more about dog fertility and the canine reproductive cycle.
How Often Does the Estrus Stage Occur?
The estrus cycle will begin at around six months of age, though it differs from breed to breed. Once it becomes regular, it will typically occur every six months, lasting between two to four weeks.
Cycle frequency and duration also vary from breed to breed. Large dog breeds normally have one cycle a year that lasts longer, while smaller dog breeds can have more frequent cycles. It will usually take one to two years for a female dog to establish a regular estrus cycle.
How Do I Tell if My Dog Is in Heat?
There will be a few tell-tale signs that your female dog is in the heat. It’s essential to pay attention to your female dog because she can be in heat and not yet be bleeding.
- Noticeable swelling of the genitals
- Bleeding is similar to a human female menstrual cycle discharge
- She will spend more time than usual cleaning herself
- A change in urination pattern– she will need to do her business more often and do it in more places than usual. By marking her territory this way, her hormones signal nearby male dogs that she is ready to mate.
Beyond the physical signs shown by her body, your female dog’s actions and body language will also reveal that she is in season.
During this time, your female dog may have shifts in mood, becoming either overly affectionate or temperamental. Pay attention and be vigilant to make this stage comfortable for you and your dog. Giving your dog space if that’s what it’s looking for will prevent any aggression or agitation from your pup.
Likewise, if she is clingy, returning her love and cuddles will help her feel secure during this uncomfortable time.
When Should I Spay My Dog if I Want To Avoid Heat?
Pups should be spayed before their first cycle, around 6-9 months. However, sometimes a sudden estrus cycle derails plans. Whatever happens, do not attempt spaying during a cycle, as it can be dangerous and painful for your pup.
After the cycle ends, you should spay your pup soon to prevent the heating season the next time.
What Do I Do if My Dog Is in Heat?
If you’re a pet owner who is not looking to have puppies, you must keep your dog away from male dogs. Making sure that your backyard is enclosed and monitoring your dog when you let her outside are a few ways you can be proactive in the situation.
It’s advisable to avoid walks altogether, but if that’s not possible, using a leash and keeping her close will help. Try scheduling your walks during quiet hours when other dogs are unlikely to be out.
If you are a breeder hoping for puppies, your male dog will be ready to go anytime. A dog in heat will be trying hard to flirt and call attention, so it will be no problem for her to attract your dog through her hormones and sensual body language.
When two dogs tie, it is essential for a breeder not to intervene. Doing so can harm both dogs involved and also disrupt the cycle. Be there to comfort your pet the best you can.
Canine Heat Cycle | The dog Period!
Caring for a Dog in Heat
The estrus cycle, like human menstruation, can be uncomfortable. The best thing you can do is tend to your dog the best that you can. Your dog might be moody or disgruntled, but she still loves you.
You can use doggie pants or diapers to keep discharge at bay for bleeding. You must be very gentle at bath time as their genitals and nipples will be extremely sensitive.
Remember also to keep their mental state in mind, too. If you avoid walks for the estrus period, your dog will benefit from other stimulating activities. New toys will help in this department to keep them satisfied and entertained. Straying from traditional bones and getting toys made from durable materials will ensure hours of playtime.
While mood will determine if she wants to play with you, she can still play with the toy alone.
Making her bed as comfortable as possible is another option since she’ll spend more time than usual on it. More pillows will work magic!
Above all, be patient with your dog. Your respect and care will go a long way.