Why are My Dog’s Nipples Enlarged After Heat

Why are My Dog’s Nipples Enlarged After Heat

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Among living things, with maturity come lots of changes and dogs are not left out of these many changes that are associated with maturity. If you have always cared for a dog, then, you perhaps already know what to expect as your dog gets mature. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for an individual that is taking care of a dog for the first time.

So long as you have never really taken care of a dog, the various changes that occur in maturing female dogs might be quite confusing to you.

As a first-time dog owner, you might need to put yourself into the shoes of one that is used to owning dogs and pay attention to the many changes that are taking pace with your dog. There are several changes that dogs experience as they grow older. However, for the sake of this article, we will be focusing on the enlargement of dog nipples after heat.

Do Dog Nipples Always Get Enlarged After Heat?

You might already know that your dog’s nipples could get bigger after heat. However, this is not something that everyone knows.  The enlargement of your dog’s nipples is something that is strongly associated with heat and it will always remain that way shortly after heat. Some dog owners believe that dog nipples do not always get large after heat. While it might seem like this is the case, it is directly opposite to what really takes place.

After heat, the nipples of every dog get bigger. However, this change is not so obvious. Due to this, one might not notice it. You might have to take a very close look at your dog’s nipples to notice any change in size after heat.

When nipples swell after heat, it is important to note that they might not swell to be the same size. It is perfectly normal that after swelling, your dog’s nipples will be of different sizes.

Why Do Dog’s Have Enlarged Nipples after Heat?

There could be various reasons why your dog’s nipples could get enlarged after heat. However, the major reason your dog’s nipples are enlarged after heat is that it is pregnant. The swelling in its nipples is related to the accumulation of milk. In addition to the growth in the size of its nipples, the presence of milk could change the colour of its nipples to a reddish colour.

In addition to being pregnant, your dog’s nipples could also get bigger after heat when it is experiencing fake pregnancy. Beyond just having swollen nipples, dogs going through false pregnancy could also produce a milk-like liquid from their nipples. The average person could assume that this liquid is milk. However, it should be noted that this liquid is not milk.

Other Reasons Your Dog’s Nipples could be swollen

In as much as the growth in the size of your dog’s nipple after heat is strongly linked to it being pregnant, there are other factors that could cause your dog’s nipple to get enlarged even when it is not pregnant or experiencing false pregnancy. Let’ see what these factors are.

There are masses beneath Your Dog’s Skin

The presence of masses beneath a dog’s skin could be responsible for its nipples getting enlarged. You can look out for these masses by touching your dog around its nipple.

If there are masses under your dog’s skin, then, all might not be ell. The emergence of these masses might just mean your dog is down with cancer. The only way to confirm if the appearance of these masses is cancer or not is by paying the vet a visit and running some tests.

Your Dog could be Injured

It is not out of place for your dog to get injured occasionally. However, to prevent it from getting injured frequently, you will always have to keep an eye on it.

If there is an injury close to your dog’s chest, its nipples might end up swelling. If the reason for the swelling in your dog’s nipples is an injury, you will be able to spot this easily as you will notice a couple of bruises.

Your Dog Could be dealing with an Allergy

Dogs suffer from allergies in the same way as humans also deal with allergies. So, the appearance of enlarged nipples on your dog might just be a signal that it is suffering from allergies.

There are various ways dogs could come in contact with allergens. This could happen when they are out in the field. Also, your dog could have been bitten by a bug very close to its nipples. If this is the case, then, its nipples will get swollen.

If the increase in the size of your dog’s nipples are caused by allergies, then, your dog might make attempt at biting or scratching its nipples because it most likely will be feeling itchy.


Infections could make a dog’s nipple enlarged after heat. One major infection that could affect the size of your dog’s nipples is mastitis. This infection is one which involves a form of bacteria infecting a dog’s body. This infection affects dogs that are pregnant, as well as those that are not pregnant.

Mastitis is a serious infection and has to be treated rapidly. If not treated, it could go a long way in making your pet unhealthy.

It might be difficult to tell that a dog has mastitis if you are not very observant. However, with proper attention to detail, you will notice your dog’s nipples bringing out pus.

Do Dog Nipples Become Smaller When Heat is over?

The increase in the size of your dog’s nipple is only temporary. So, you should expect a change in the size of its nipples when heat is ver.

A lot of times, the increase in the size of your dog’s nipples usually persists for about two weeks. After this period, the size of its nipples begins reducing. Although it is expected that your dog’s nipples stay enlarged for two weeks, there are times it could be enlarged for up to three weeks. The reason for this is a dog’s heat cycle is expected to last three weeks and through this period, its nipples might be swollen.

How to Deal with Issues of Dogs’ Nipples getting bigger.

If you notice your dog’s nipples have grown bigger, the first step you need to take is lookout for any masses. This is important as it helps you confirm that this increase in the size of nipples is not due to cancerous growth.

The implication of this is you will need to run a couple of tests. After running these tests, if you are certain the swelling in the size of your dog’s nipples is not due to cancerous growth, take out time to observe it. If you notice it is scratching or biting its nipples, it might be infected. This means you will need to see a vet. This is because it could be reacting to something and will need to get treated.


If you spot your dog with enlarged nipples, you will need to find out the exact reason its nipples are enlarged. Your first response is not to be alarmed.  In as much as there is a chance of something being wrong with your dog until there is a test, you can assume your dog is fine.

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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