Dog Health, Dogs

How Often Do Dogs Go Into Heat? How to Tell Your Dog Is In Heat?

Do you want to know the short answer? How often do dogs go into heat and don’t want to read the full article? Then the answer is twice a year. Or in other words, they come into heat every six months. But if you are not sure about the estrus cycle, this article is for you.

Keep reading this article, and don’t go anyway.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

When Do Dogs Go Into Heat?

Before discussing how often do dogs go into heat, it’s important to understand the estrus cycle. When a female dog gets six months old, they reach sexual maturity. During this stage or phase, a female dog is receptive to mating, called heat or estrus.

Generally, during estrus, estrogen level increases and then decreases sharply. After that, the female dog’s ovaries release eggs. The first cycle is generally around six months of age of a female dog. But it can vary widely.

For example, some dog breeds can go into heat when they’re just four months old. On the other hand, it can take up to two years for large dog breeds.

How to Tell Your Dog Is In Heat?

It’s easy to tell about estrus because you can find it through behavioral and physical signs. Female dogs urinate more than usual during the heat. Moreover, there will be swollen vulva and blood-tinged discharge. You’ll feel that your dog is nervous and distracted.

She will have a reception to male dogs and want them to make sexual contact. When they get into the middle of the heat cycle, they actively court males, and this will continue until the heat cycle is over. So, these are the distinct signs that tell you.

How Often Does Dogs Go On Heat?

How Often Do Dogs Go Into Heat

Let’s answer the main question. As mentioned earlier, female dogs go into heat every six months or twice a year. Some people say that it can vary. Therefore the best practice is to keep track, especially in the beginning. Sometimes, dogs can take 18-24 months to develop regular cycles.

It has been observed that smaller dogs go into heat more than larger dog breeds, and they go into it 3 to 4 times a year. In contrast, large dog breeds like Great Danes and others go into heat only once a year.

This estrus cycle usually lasts between 2 to 4 weeks. When the vulva returns to its original size and bleeding or discharge is stopped, the heat cycle is over. A female dog wants a male dog to mount her during the entire cycle. Again it depends on the dog breed. Some prefer to accept mounting after the heat cycle.

How Long Do Dogs Go In Heat?

Understanding the estrous cycle, often referred to as a dog “going in heat,” is crucial. The heat cycle of a dog generally lasts about 2-4 weeks and is divided into four stages: proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus.

The first stage, proestrus, lasts about 7-10 days. During this phase, the female dog’s body prepares for potential breeding. You may notice some physical changes, including swelling of the vulva and a bloody discharge.

Estrus, the second stage, lasts about 5-9 days. This is the phase when the female dog is fertile and ready to mate. Her discharge may lighten in color, and she’ll likely show interest in male dogs.

The third stage, diestrus, begins after ovulation and lasts around 60-90 days, whether or not the dog has become pregnant. The body will behave as if it’s pregnant even if it’s not, which can sometimes lead to a condition called pseudopregnancy.

The final stage, anestrus, is a period of sexual inactivity that lasts about 4-5 months before the cycle restarts.

It’s important to note that these stages can vary widely among individual dogs. Also, the first heat usually occurs when a dog is between six and nine months old, but it can happen as early as four months or as late as two years. Typically, smaller breeds will go into heat earlier and more frequently than larger breeds.


So, let’s conclude the article. Remember, your dog will go into heath throughout its life. But as they get older, the length of time between the estrus will increase. But with time, pet owners become experts, and they can take care of their dogs during the heat cycles.

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