What to Do When Your Dog is in Heat: Simple Home Remedies

What to Do When Your Dog is in Heat: Simple Home Remedies

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What to do when your dog is in heat? Your dog’s heat period is a very uncomfortable time for both of you. This is because she tends to change behaviourally and otherwise. You can’t blame her; it’s due to the hormonal changes she’s undergoing. It is even worse if this is her first estrus cycle as young puppies’ behavior can’t accurately be predicted. However, you need to give her care and affection.

As a dog owner, it is in your (and your dog’s) best interest to carry out certain routines during your dog’s heat period, which is what this article educates you about in the first place.

What to do when your dog is in heat

What to do when your dog is in heat

Below are simple home remedies for what you should do when your dog is in her heat:

1. Clean up your dog

One of the foremost visible signs that your dog is in heat is a bloody discharge from her private, following PetMd. While this announces the beginning of your dog’s estrus cycle, it is also reminding you that your dog needs more cleanup now than ever. How can you do that?

a. Invest in dog diapers

Dog diapers ensure that your dog’s discharge is contained, thus, reducing the possibility of blood stains around the house. You can get reusable or disposable diapers.

Each one has its pros and cons. while disposable diapers are easier to use and cancel out the chances of any infections due to long hours of use, they are quite pricey. Reusable diapers, on the other hand, are sturdier and stronger because they are meant to last longer, but they can cause skin irritation on your dog. To prevent any skin problems with the latter, you are advised to change diapers frequently and not allow them to become too wet. Overall, diapers are good for dogs in heat.

b. Create a hard-floored room for your dog

If your dog’s crate has a hard floor, it makes it easier to clean up when she’s in heat as soft floors can get soiled with her discharge, making it harder to clean up. In addition, your dog needs to spend more time in his crate during heat, otherwise, she’ll keep drooling her discharge as she moves about the house.

c. Use dog odor-control shampoo

Dog odor-control shampoos are ideal for masking your dog’s odor during the heat. Take your dog to the bathtub and wet her with warm water. Then work the shampoo thoroughly on her skin. While bathing her, be careful to not hurt your dog’s private parts as they become very sensitive during her estrus cycle.

2. Keep Your Dog Comfortable

Your dog does not understand the changes she’s undergoing, which may cause her to become aggressive, anxious, or depressed. You must comfort your dog through this period; she needs reassurance that nothing is wrong with her. What can you do to keep your dog comfortable?

a. Exercise your dog

Dogs are very loyal pets, and one thing they fear is that you’ll despise them during this confusing time for them. Exercising your dog isn’t just about keeping her fit, or reducing chances of anxiety or during her period, but also about reassuring her that you are there during this distressing time.

It comforts your dog to know that you are there for her and that you are not mad at her. A two-hour rigorous exercise will suffice to expend any pent-up emotions there might be.

b. Do not scold your dog

Scolding your dog during her heat period makes her feel she’s doing something wrong. The heat period is an estrus cycle that is a natural occurrence in dogs which causes them to behave differently, including making a mess.

If she makes a bloody mess during her heat period, clean it up calmly and provide her with some warmth afterward.

c. Ensure your dog eats well

Your dog’s appetite could dwindle during heat period. This could result in weight loss or even in health conditions due to the essential vitamins and minerals she’s losing during this period. She needs food and lots of water during this period to stay healthy.

Help your dog regain her appetite by providing him irresistible delicious treats and ensuring she drinks a lot of water.

3. Prevent Pregnancy

The last thing you want to worry about now is pregnancy and new puppies. Unless you are ready for new puppies, you might want to prevent your dog from getting pregnant by following the tips below:

a. Shoo male dogs away

During the heat period, your female dog gives off a scent known as pheromones. Male dogs ca n smell this scent with an instinctual nose even from afar and would attempt to mate with her. Monitor her at all times including during outside potty breaks to prevent male dogs from mounting her.

b. Be vigilant

Male dogs tend to be aggressive around a female dog in heat so they might exhibit stubborn behavior around your male dog. Be sure to always be around your female dog to prevent any mishaps, and provide her the support she needs in such distress.

In the same vein, if you have male dogs in the yard, make sure you separate them from your female dog during her heat period.

c. Put her on a leash

Leashing your female dog helps you be in charge of her movements. You can pull her away from aggressive males when necessary. However, do not make the leash too tight around your dog’s neck to avoid hurting her. A leash also prevents your dog from moving about or even running away from home to search for a male dog to mate with.

How long do dogs bleed in heat?

Dogs bleed for approximately 7 to 10 days. That’s about half the time of the 2 to 4 weeks heat period. Some dogs bleed heavily while some dogs bleed lightly and it’s barely noticeable. The volume of bleed is highly dependent on the dog’s breed.

The stopping of your dog’s bleeding does not mean that her period is over. Even when the vulva returns to its normal size, it does not signify the end of her estrus cycle. In fact, from the point where bleeding stops till the end of her period is the prime fertile time. At that stage, mating with a male dog will result in pregnancy.

Is my dog in heat in pain?

According to experts, unlike humans, dogs do not experience pain during the heat period, at least not cramps. This is because a dog’s estrus cycle is different from a female human’s menstrual cycle.

However, bleeding may cause your dog to become uncomfortable during heat. Your dog may also become agitated, aggressive, anxious, or whine excessively during heat but none of these translates to pain. If any of the heat symptoms are causing your dog pain, consider consulting your vet.

How do you clean a female dog’s private area?

During heat, a female dog’s private area becomes very sensitive and requires utmost care when cleaning, otherwise, you will hurt your canine friend.

To clean your female dog’s private area, keep a spray bottle of water at hand for a quick spray and wipe down.

Do this throughout the day anytime you notice blood stains around her private parts. You can also keep wet wipes handy and swipe at your dog’s private area to keep her clean. In addition, you can use a dry towel to dab her wet areas down to her bottom to keep her dry.

Be careful to not hurt her as her private parts can become very sensitive during heat.

What are dogs first heat like?

Dogs’ first heat is usually distressing to them. They are completely ignorant of what is going on in their body which makes them tend to behave eccentrically, in some cases, wildly.

Physically, at first, the discharge is very bloody, but as the days go by, it thins out and looks pinkish, clearer, and watery.

Your dog may also begin to urinate more frequently during heat, or she may develop marking behavior in which she urinates a small amount on objects around the house or at the roadside during walks. In this stage of her estrus cycle, her urine contains pheromones and hormones which signal to male dogs that she’s ready to mate.

Generally, your dog may become confused and anxious during her first heat. This is because she has never witnessed a heat period. Ensure that your dog is under close supervision to avoid any mishaps that may occur during this period.


Your dog needs your attention during the heat period. Therefore, as a dog owner, you are expected to provide all the love and care you can during this anxious time for her.

Do not punish your dog at any point as that will make her feel worse than she already feels during heat. If you notice behavior or development outside dogs’ heat symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact your vet.

Dr. Rebecca Black

Dr. Rebecca Black is an absolute gem of a Veterinarian. She brings decades of experience to Handy Pets Guide and has overflowing talent and passion for breeding and caring for pets, their people, and the team around her. Dr. Sophia was born and raised in Columbiana, Ohio. She completed her undergraduate studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After earning her DVM from The Ohio State University in 1980. She has experience of over 3 decades and is very happy to share them. Her goal is to give pets all over the world a better life and to recommend the best tips, advice, and also recommend the best product for every pet owner.

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