Do Female Dogs Have Periods – How to Take Care of Them?

Do female dogs have periods? Is that what you are searching for? Well, if you plan to buy a female dog or own one already, it is natural to worry about their periods or heat cycle. Just like humans, dogs do undergo their menstrual cycle. It is natural you would be concerned about handling their periods, cleaning them, and everything else that surrounds your pet’s heat period. So, to relieve all female dog owners from their stress, we thought of giving you an idea about dog menstruation symptoms, tips and tricks, and much more! Start scrolling down, and you will surely not have to worry about your pet after you finish reading this article!

Do female dogs have periods? – Everything that you must know about the heat cycle

The answer to your question, ‘do female dogs have periods’ is ‘yes’! They do get their menstrual cycle just like any other female.

When your female dog is on her heat period, it is the most fertile phase. It is also known as the mating season. All of which makes a significant change in the behavioral pattern, body, and even hormone distribution. Once the female dog reaches their stage of puberty, they undergo this change in their body.

Just like it happens in human bodies, female dog’s puberty onset marks their sexual maturity. However, the commencement of the heat period of female dogs may vary from one dog to another.

The two factors that determine the beginning of their period cycle are their matured size and adult age. You will notice small dogs have the beginning of the periodic cycle within six months of their age, while larger breeds might get their heat period at 12 months. If you are worried about their frequency, then let us tell you, that also varies. Small dog breeds might have their heat cycle every four months, while others like Dingos, Basenjis, or Thai Ridgebacks have it only one time in the year.

Do female dogs have periods

What are the four phases of periods dogs have?

Now that we’ve answered your questions ‘do female dogs have periods’ and ‘how often do dogs have periods,’ let us check the four phases of the heat cycle they go through.

Fear of your female dog having an unwanted pregnancy, pesky stains all over the house, strange pet behavior, and more are natural dog menstruation symptoms. All these changes in your female dog are worries every pet owner gets.

Plus, their duration and timing of the heat cycle are different. But all female dogs do follow the same pattern of heat period. You can divide the period cycle into four phases, which are:


You can pinpoint the pre-oestrus quite precisely. That’s because you will notice visible changes in your pet. You will notice their vulva swell up with blood discharge from their vagina. Generally, the phase lasts for around nine days. However, if you see any variation from three to 17 days, that is also not unusual. You will notice the bloody discharge of dogs to vary from one another.

Some dogs have discharge that isn’t visible at all, while others may stain up your upholstery and carpet. Another underlying sign that you will notice in your female pet is a keen attraction towards the male dogs.

Even though the dog is not in the stage to become fertile, they still give a tempting smell that male dogs cannot resist.

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At this stage, you will notice the female dogs not allowing the male dogs to get too close to them. They can even become violent and start baring their teeth if the male dogs become extremely insistent.


At this stage, the female dogs do not resist themselves from their male counterpart. Their behavior of rejection begins to change, and they show interest in the male dog’s attention. So, this is a phase that every pet owner should take extra care of.

That’s because most pet owners would not want their female dog to breed. So, at this phase, you have to be careful and make sure she is not in contact with other male dogs. However, if you wish your female dog to breed, you can notice some changes in her behavior and react to it accordingly. The female dog at the stage of oestrus tends to curl and wag the tail towards a side. You can also refer to this phase as the ‘standing heat.’ The standing heat phase lasts for around nine days. It is essential you know that during this phase, there are many ovulations that occur on average. You will notice the vaginal discharge to be watery and even much like mucous. Reproduction during these nine days is highly possible.


Just as the oestrus phase finishes after nine days, the post oestrus period starts. You will see dogs’ menstruation symptoms such as watery discharge and swollen vulva start disappearing gradually at this phase.

External symptoms of the menstrual cycle in dogs will gradually disappear. However, the hormones present internally to make sure all the changes are occurring.

Whether or not the dog was impregnated, the corpora lutea starts to produce the progesterone hormone. All of which encourages embryo growth and implantation. You must know that the corpora lutea, which emerges just after ovulation, starts decomposing only after nine to 12 weeks. As the progesterone level goes down, the prolactin hormone starts to boost up. Further, the prolactin secretion boosts milk production that leads to false pregnancy.

Do female dogs have periods

Anoestrus (rest period)

Now the female dog comes to a resting period after several weeks of hormonal imbalances. At this stage, the sexual hormones come to a normal level. However, you will find the progesterone to remain at the same level. But you will surely find changes in the estrogen levels.

Anoestrus is the other name for the resting phase that can last up to many months. It is a phase that lasts long until the pre-oestrus or the next heat cycle begins. Anoestrus is a phase where you will notice the female showing no signs of heat cycle and is surely not fertile.

Distinctive features of the first heat phase

Since your question was ‘do female dogs have periods, we are sure you would be concerned about everything your pet will go through during their heat cycle. So, we thought of informing you about the distinctive features of the first heat phase a dog goes through.

The first heat phase is also known as the ‘quiet heat period.’ It can be different from the usual heat phase. You might not notice any external indications that show your pet is going through a heat phase. However, only a few recognizable hormonal changes might be the indicators. It usually occurs in breeds like the Cocker Spaniel, Miniature Pinschers, American Staffordshire Terrier, or the Beagle.

When is the heat phase interrupted?

It is normal for female dogs to have periods. But in certain cases, there are chances that the heat phase fails to occur. It only takes place when there is an interruption of adrenal gland hyperactivity or ovarian functionality. So, in that case, it is always best you consult a vet at the earliest.

It even applies to a phase where the heat phase carries on for a really long-time span. Some of the symptoms you must notice are reproduction, feeling lasting for long or blood discharge continuing for a long span.

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Do dogs have menopause?

Unlike human bodies, dogs do not go through menopause. Thus, you can be sure that your female dog will continue having their periods for as long as they will live. But it is essential you keep in mind that female dogs after the age of seven will have a heat phase only once a year. The intervals of their heat phase might increase, but they will not stop.

How to avoid pregnancy in female dogs?

It is true you cannot pinpoint the day your female dog enters into the estrous, but there are chances you can indicate the heat phase. When you notice your female dog’s discharge becoming a little watery, that is the time you can be sure they would want to spend more time with their male counterpart. Here you have to make a strong move and not let other male dogs come close to your female pet.

You can try and take your female dogs on walks when there are no chances of other dogs being around. Take her out in a place where there is hardly any other dog, let us play around a little and bring her back home. You can also try playing intensive games when you are on a walk with your female dog. This will distract her and keep her instincts of mating away from her mind. If you happen to have a garden, then try to keep her in the garden within a closed-door during her heat cycle to avoid any pregnancy.

Do female dogs have periods and require nappies or diapers?

As you know well know the answer, ‘do female dogs have periods? You must be wondering if they require nappies or diapers; well, yes, they do! If you use dog period diapers, it will keep them safe and also save you a lot of extra work. However, it is essential you clean them and change them regularly to avoid infection. Also, it is not a way you can prevent pregnancy in your dogs.

Should you get your female dogs spayed?

As you were enquiring if female dogs have periods or not, we thought of informing you about something pet owners are trying out. It is spaying! A process that is being exercised by many female pet owners is spaying. It helps you avoid the entire stress of heat cycle. However, it would be best if you did not confuse spaying with sterilization.

Sterilization is a process in which the female dog will not have offspring but will continue with its hormonal changes. However, spaying is a process in which the heat cycle is completely avoided. You can avail yourself several advantages like reducing the risk of cancers, tumors, and even the female dog becomes calmer after spaying.

But there are several pros and cons to this as well; after being spayed, female dogs become obese. Plus, they also increase the chances of urinary incontinence during their old age. Another side effect of spaying is that the fur might start to felt in some dogs after spaying. So, it is advisable always to take the opinion of a vet or breeder before you spay your pet.

Do female dogs have periods

How to handle female dog periods?

Now that you know female dogs have periods let us check out some ways to handle them well. Check out the following:

Get a potent dog diaper or nappy

Always et a suitable dog diaper that makes your dog comfortable. You can always get them a bodysuit or suspenders. Several online stores sell these liners that are great for your dog.

Keep a special blankie for your dog

It is essential you keep one designated blanket, especially for your dog. It will help her snuggle into it whenever she feels uncomfortable or tired. More so, it will lessen your work and let it to cleaning up only one blanket.

Quickly clean up to avoid work buildup

If you keep work pending, it will naturally buildup and make it stressful for you. So, always get disposable wipes to clean up the furniture or floor if you notice any stains.

Use a heating pad for your pet

Your dog will go through a lot of pain during their heat cycle. So, it is advisable for you to always use a heating pad for your pet. It will comfort her and relieve her from the pain.

Final Thoughts

As we bring you to the end of our article, ‘do dogs have periods,’ we hope you know how to keep them safe and comfortable. Follow the tips we have given above, and you will notice yourself handling your dog’s period cycle in the best way!

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