During heat, your dog may deal with some physical and mental challenges which can tire her out. If this is just her first estrus cycle because it’ll be a trying time for both you and your dog. As such, you want to comfort a dog in heat.
Your dog’s estrus cycle will begin when she’s as young as six months old, and when she begins, you’ll notice a paradigm shift in her behaviors. This may include restlessness, anxiety, depression, or even aggression. Even though your dog bleeds, she isn’t in pain during heat—WebMD.
As a dog owner, this is a time when your dog needs you more, that is why we have put this article together to will teach you how to comfort your male and female dog in heat.
How to comfort a dog in heat (female)
Heat can make a dog uncomfortable and fidgety. Do the following to comfort your dog in her heat:
1. Use dog diapers
Your dog may lick her bloody discharge when she’s on heat period. While you may have trained her hygienically, that’s her little way of keeping herself clean.
Using a diaper can help take care of the discharge by soaking it in, and relieving your dog of the uncomfortability that comes with dealing with her discharge on her own. Besides, it prevents any cases of infection that may ensue due to poor sanitary.
You can choose to use a reusable or disposable diaper. Find your dog’s right size as a wobbly diaper may spill her discharge and make her more uncomfortable at the end of the day.
2. Take her out for exercise
During the heat period, your dog may become anxious or even depressed because she doesn’t understand what’s going on with her body. You can help her by taking her outdoors for exercise. This will serve as an outlet to expend the built-up emotions in her.
It as well makes her feel wanted by you. You can opt for a rigorous two-hour exercise or a long walk. Ensure that you leash her though, as you can’t completely predict dogs’ behavior during the heat. If you must unleash her, make sure you exercise in an enclosed space where you can keep her on close supervision.
3. Schedule an owner-dog time
Your dog may become more affectionate around you or male dogs during the heat. This implies that she desires some cuddling from you if there’s no available male around.
Take out time to pet your dog; stroke her hair, pat her head, tickle her, anything to make her feel wanted and comfortable around you. When your dog gets such gestures from you, it sends a message of reassurance to her that everything is gonna be fine.
4. Ensure that she eats healthily
Lack of interest in food—including her favorite—is one of the behaviors that your dog may exhibit during heat. That’s because the hormonal changes she’s undergoing make her focus on nothing else including food. All she wants right now is a male dog to mate with her.
Don’t worry, it’ll only last between 2 to 4 weeks. But if your dog itself doesn’t last that lengthy period, then there’ll be no need to talk about her period duration. To avert such an incidence, feed your dog with healthy treats. Preferably, healthy foods she can’t resist. This is to help her retain vital nutrients she may be losing during this period.
5. Mask her scent
Use a good odor-control dog shampoo to bathe her frequently during the heat to conceal her scent. Some dog owners believe that adding liquid chlorophyll to their dogs’ bath water will help mask their scent.
Well, in addition to that, it’ll help give your dog a fresher breath and improve the health of their teeth and gums. Be careful when washing her genitals, as some of these dog shampoos can irritate such sensitive parts of your dog’s body.
How to care for your male dogs around a female dog in heat
Do male dogs experience heat? The direct answer to that question is no. However, male dog becomes sexually active when they hit puberty. This is just about the same time when their female counterparts begin their estrus cycle (6 months and above of age).
As soon as your male dog becomes capable of impregnating female dogs, they tend to become more attractive to him. Your male dog needs your care too, especially if you’re not ready for new puppies yet.
Let’s discuss ways you can care for male dogs around a female dog in heat.
1. Take him out
Let your dog have a medium of expending his energy rather than mounting and humping a female dog around—or anything that looks like a female dog. You can go for a long walk or some outdoor exercise. Anything other than to be around a female dog in heat.
2. Separate him from the female dog
As long as your male dog keeps seeing your female dog in sight, he will not be able to control his excitement. Therefore, find a way to separate your male dog from your female dog when the latter is in heat.
A makeshift kennel—until the female dog’s heat period has stopped—would do. Ensure to always close the doors that separate them. This will help prevent him from smelling her scent. Keep him under close supervision, and do not let him anywhere around the female dog.
3. Separate their Rooms
Ensure that the male dog sleeps in a separate room from the female. Preferably, put the dogs in separate rooms on far opposite sides of your room.
Shut both dogs indoors and do not let them be in the same place and at the same time. If one must go out, the other should remain indoors, and vice-versa. The male dog can smell the scent of the female dog from quite a distance, but with a shut door, it’ll reduce the scent.
4. Mask her scent
Put menthol spray on the female dog’s tail to mask her scent. This will help your male dog stay calm while he is in the same space as the female dog.
Apply the menthol at intervals throughout the day to keep the male off. Your male dog might attempt to lick the menthol off; distract him with play, and ultimately, take him away from her.
Menthol sprays might be irritating to or uncomfortable for your dog, make sure you speak to your vet before considering this option
Is it normal for dogs to cry when in heat?
During heat, your female dog could resort to all kinds of sounds ranging from whining, squealing, barking, moaning, or even crying. It is completely normal for her to behave this way, especially when there is an intact male around. You have nothing to worry about as your dog is only calling out for a male dog to mate with her.
Sometimes, they make these sounds due to anxiety or boredom as heat periods could be a trying time for them. In the same vein, your dog can cry when they are feeling mild pain due to heat. This is not necessarily cramps as dogs do not experience cramps like human females.
Can you tell if a dog is stressed in heat?
Dogs don’t sweat like us humans, instead they release heat by panting and sweating through their paws, pads, and nose.
When your dog is stressed in heat, she drinks a lot of water, becomes weak, and pants heavily. When your dog is showing these symptoms of stress, you should consider moving her to a shaded spot. Offer her fresh and cool water frequently, and lastly, suspend all physical activities until your dog is back up and all the symptoms have been resolved.
Generally, your dogs’ behaviors change during the heat. Rather than freak out, or punish them, care for them, as it can be distressing for them too. Consider going by the suggestions provided in this article if spaying or neutering your male dog is not part of your options.
Your dogs need help and get all the love they can from you. Be there for them and keep them comfortable at this challenging time.