Tips for dog in heat

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by hockey390, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. hockey390 New Member

    My dog is in heat for the first time and I'd like to know if there are any tips out there for me? I do not plan on breeding her anytime soon, if ever, but I have no gotten her spayed in case I decide she would be a good candidate for breeding. Any suggestions for keeping messes to a minimum, or any change of behaviors I need to watch out for? Any information will be greatly appreciated.

  2. yoyopoodle Well-Known Member

    Breeding is a lot of work, high cost, and many potential health concerns (includingdeath of mother and/or pups)... make sure you'd be breeding for the right reasons :)

    The Book Of The Bitch is a good one, as is Successful Dog Breeding (by Wilcox and Walkowicz).
  3. hockey390 New Member

    I was looking for tips for in heat, not for breeding.. Like what works best for cleaning up stains.. Or if people suggest a diaper? Different diet? Anything of that kind..
  4. yoyopoodle Well-Known Member

    Yep... I just meant to consider your reasons for keeping her intact, since besides dealing with heat cycles chances of certain cancers goes up as well as pyometras etc.

    I haven't taken care of a female during her heat cycle yet, however the bleeding should occur for the first 15 or so days, but will have thinned a lot closer to day 12. When the bleeding stops it means she has ovulated and is only *now* ready to breed - it should be safe to have her around intact males after a week or two of no bleeding, as estrus generally lasts about 3 weeks. If males are interested in her, then it may be too soon - especially if she 'flags' (holds her tail to the side).

    This is a good article: Canine Heat Cycle

    Diapers are a good idea - you can use boys underwear (or cut a hole for her tail), and put a pad or folded cloth in it. There are specially made dog diapers on the market, but they tend to be really expensive and don't always work better than a home-made one.

    Behavior wise, some bitches get cranky or aggressive, and dominant behaviors are common. I guess it depends a lot on the dog's normal temperament. I would guess that a 'teenage' dog would be worse than when she gets a little older, but I don't know.
    The service dog Goldens that I have worked with are very soft, mellow, submissive dogs and the only behavior changes that I'm aware of are that they become really clingy and sometimes possesive of soft toys ('babies').

    I don't think diet needs to be changed unless there is a pregnancy planned - maybe the amount would need to be increased a little. If she is good about knowing how much she needs to eat I'd probably let her free feed, but the Goldens I know aren't so good about that, lol.

    Book Of The Bitch is all about the care of a female dog, though it also covers aspects of breeding. Many of the Amazon reviews call it a must-have for anyone with in intact bitch.

    Successful Dog Breeding is the other - but it's more are breeding, from thinking/planning to post-natal care. It's a fun book to read as the authors have a great sense of humor :D

    Good luck!
  5. leema New Member

    I've been told not to diaper bitches in heat because they won't learn to clean themselves? :| I don't know if this is true or not.
    I can give you hints in about 4 months time when I expect Clover to come in!
  6. Jean Cote Administrator

    Sorry I can't help you - both of my dogs have been spayed.
  7. heidib860 New Member

    The only female dog in heat that I've come in contact with is my mother's dog. She has some bleeding but not much. My mother didn't put diapers on her during that period of bleeding she kept her confined to the kitchen so staining wouldn't be an issue. With her dog the bleeding wasn't much at all probably because Chyenne was so good at cleaning herself (I'm guessing) I'm not sure if that is normal because of my limited experience with female dogs in heat. It was easy enough to clean up with some diluted bleach/water when it occured because it wasn't on carpeting.

    As for temperment, there weren't many noticable changes. Maybe alittle more moodiness then usual but then again growing up there were three females (humans that is) of us in the house so that wasn't a big shocker.
  8. leema New Member

    Mac's breeder had a bitch that went CRAZY when she came in season. She'd try to kill dogs she'd otherwise get along with! When she almost killed her sister, the breeder desexed her and sent her to a pet home when she was an only dog.
  9. hockey390 New Member

    Thank you for the inputs everyone. I think I will stay away from the diaper because I can spend enough time around her to keep her in area's where she can't stain anything. She's also been doing very good at keeping herself clean. So far she seems to be acting fairly normal, shes actually pretty mellow which is nice. She is panting a little more then normal, but other then that she is fairly normal.

    I plan to have her spayed in a month or 2, mostly for her safety and to reduce any health risks. I had the impression that it doesn't hurt anything to allow them to go trough one heat cycle prior to spaying, and having their body fully develop naturally is basically what I am trying to go for.

    I've heard that once you have a dog spayed you are to switch them to adult food because their body digests fat differently, is this true?
  10. leema New Member

    Dogs often put on weight after being desexed. I don't think this has much to do with the type of food they get, just that they probably need less. Some people may dispute this, but it does seem to be the case that desexed animals put on weight!

    I choose not to desex my animals except for medical abnormalities. As far as I'm concerned, they were born with those bits and are meant to keep them for normal development and throughout life. I would wait at least 18 months before desexing if taht's the route you want to go. If you have the facilities to keep your bitch entire but not pregnant, then I wouldn't have her done at all.
  11. yoyopoodle Well-Known Member

    The whole neuter/spay or keep intact issue is very debatable :)

    There are good, solid studies to back up every view-point, so the best advice is to talk at length with someone you trust... generally your vet, or your dog's breeder.

    IMO, spay/neuter before physical maturity will affect the dog's growth, but if their genes provide for decent structure they should be fine - you'd never even notice for a pet or low-level competition dog. I think they should mature fairly similar to how they look at the age you spay/neuter.

    If you are planning on agility at the national/world level, then the age of spay/neuter would mean a lot more... but females are essentially always spayed since a dog in heat isn't allowed on the show grounds, and males usually are neutered so they are less distracted or wanting to mark.

    At the service dog program, temperament is much more important than structure (as long as the dog can work comfortably), so all males are neutered by around 5-6 months. The females are spayed before their first heat cycle, unless they are being considered for breeding. Fortunately, in the lines they work with, many of the females don't have their first season until 18-20 months of age - by then they are mature enough that it's a moot point.

    I second the weight gain! My mom's Toy Poodle wasn't spayed until age 6, and she gained a little weight that we've never been able to take off (in 6 years!!). Granted, she's only 8 lbs now, but her build has changed... no more sleak figure - even though it's mostly muscle, she looks like a tank!

    But don't let that scare you off, lol! Younger dogs rarely show any signs of change after surgery, and are usually back to themselves within a couple of days. When they say it will calm a dog down, that doesn't mean they stop having energy, but rather that they are more content to relax and hang-out until *you* are ready to go - then they can go-go-go until you're ready to stop :)
  12. hockey390 New Member

    Thanks for the input once again. I more or less just wanted to make sure my pup had developed almost to her entirety before having her spayed. This whole process with having her in heat is quite a bit frustrating for both her and I, mainly because it limits her activities. I read that I need to keep her away from any male dogs, which I obviously believe, but I don't feel 100% comfortable taking her outside for play time and/or walks. Should I be as cautious as I am being? I hate to keep her cooped up inside, but I definitely don't want anything along the lines of pregnancy taking place.
  13. storm22 Experienced Member

    this is a good forum, as kodas going to be coming into her first season soon and its good to read up and ask questions, as all our others were speyed when we got them apart from timex, we got her when she was 18mnths and she stayed entire (even with 2entire boys, poor boys she hated them going near her) but she loved (adored, besotted with) humans when she was in season so for that reason she stayed entire because she had alot of issues with adults (kids she adored from the start) and she learnt to trust humans when she was in season, so it was a good natural rehabilation tool, we speyed her eventually, after she had one litter and she was getting old and it wasnt good for her health (she always lost condition when in season).

    but koda might be different, we're not speying her till after her first season also, but she will have limited access to the yard (storms entire) she'll be watched when out but also, (this annoys me as i have an entire dog) a friend of mine advised me to stick her on the car and take her to other places away from your home to go toilet and run around, so shes not peeing around home and bringing dogs round, it drives me nuts as storm will put his nose down if he can smell a bitch (he hasnt been breed, but ill come home to find bitches sitting at my gate or next to his kennel driving him nuts so he knows what a bitch is dam them)
  14. hockey390 New Member

    I never thought of taking her elsewhere to go potty. I've been letting her do her business in the backyard as usual. We have a fenced in yard and only one other dog, which is female. So far so good on my end.. I know Emma hates me right now because she is being limited as far as house access and she is crated while I am at school/work as opposed to her usual setting which is to roam free in my room while I am away so she can still run around and entertain herself. I feel awful though and this whole month is going to be a good learning experience. For me because I do not think I will let my next female dog stay intact beyond her first heat, and for her because she is really working on her "wait" command.

    Any suggestions for exercise? Today we got a fresh snow so I played with her for about an hour when I got home from work outside and just let her go nuts. I wish she could use her legs a little more, she is just a pup and needs to keep those joints loose =(
  15. bom abigirls mom New Member

    Hi hockey390- I am glad you posted this, as my hybrid BOM (Beagle/Pomeranian) Abigirl is soon to enter this phase, and we do not plan to spay her until she goes through this one first cycle- our vet said in his opinion, it is better for the dog to mature in this way before being spayed. So, I bought the doggie diapers- She does really well with "wearing" stuff- I often stick a little shirt sweater or coat on her when the weather is chilly, so I am hoping that while I am at the office (3 days a week) -hoping she will tolerate wearing the diaper.

    Your Emma is darling!!
  16. hockey390 New Member

    Thank you for the compliment, she's a little sweetheart =)

    As for heat, this has been my experience so far...

    I eventually went out and got the doggy diaper. I got a simple harness kind that has a tail hole and 2 straps that come up around the back legs and Velcro to the top on top. It has a lining in it to place the diaper pad, which I have been using 1-2 per day depending on how often I have it on her. While Emma is sleeping I take it off because I kennel her, and I also kennel her while I am at work/school. While I am at home and awake, I keep the diaper on her and let her do her normal running around like normal. It hasn't been too bad, but I would not recommend leaving the dog unattended with the diaper on. I learned this the hard way.

    I always let Emma roam my bedroom (which is where her kennel is and we spend most of our time). She is not a chewer, so I don't have a problem with her being in here by herself with enough toys and water for the day. Emma went into heat on a Friday, I got the diaper Saturday, and she wore it all of Sunday with no problems. I left her at home with the diaper on Monday, and left her out of her kennel as usual. Now keep in mind she has NEVER chewed anything she wasnt supposed to. She took the diaper off, shredded the pad, chewed a hole in my couch and got stuffing all over. Not to mention she was in heat, so there was mess on the places she laid down... ***Lesson Learned***

    As for everything else.. Emma has not eaten as well as she normally does, so I am going to start doing more training to incorporate her meals. She is not cooperating as well as she normally does either, but I have good patience, so oh well. I have heard that you can buy pads for women as opposed to buying them for "dogs". They are supposedly the same, but cost less since they aren't marked up for the dog owner. I haven't checked into this yet. Another thing that has worked for me is I have an old towel that I have dedicated to Emma, in which I can lay down in her kennel while she is in there so she doesn't stain her crate pad, and I also lay it down on places like my couch, and her bad. This is just to keep the messes as little as possible, and she is learning she can lay where the towel is.

    Hope this helps anyone.. I've sure appreciated tips from everyone else!
  17. hockey390 New Member

    Does anyone know how to tell when the dog is no longer in heat? My dog is no longer bleeding (or at least that I can tell), but she is still swollen. Any tips?
  18. storm22 Experienced Member

    well i think koda has been i heat for the last week, but she hasnt bleed much at all, is this normal for there first heat?
    she does keep herself really clean normally so if she is bleeding shes probably cleaning it straight away (shes kinda fussy bout that) but she is swollen and storm has been interested (before you say anything i am keeping them apart, they're only around each other under supervision) and he seemed abit keen, but then remebered it was koda, or koda wasnt quite in full heat, you now what i mean

    my burning questions are

    do they bleed alot in the first heat? koda doesnt seems to be
    how long do they stay swollen for?
    whens the next closest time i can take her to the vet? (to spey and a worming)
  19. hockey390 New Member

    I'm not a vet, but I would imagine it could vary.. My dog's first heat was very light at first (or she was keeping herself very clean) and then got a little heavier towards the 2nd week. It lasted right around 2 1/2 weeks, maybe 3. I am not exactly sure when she stopped because she kept herself clean for the most part, and for the middle of the heat I had her in a diaper. You can take the dog to the vet anytime during, just make sure to inform them prior to brining her in. They can actually do a spay during a heat as I found out.. I asked for pricing on all of their procedures and was shocked to find out they can do almost anything.. Spay during heat, they just charge more, and can even stop a pregnancy, which sort of made me mad that anyone would be that careless with their dog.

    Hope this helps a little.
  20. storm22 Experienced Member

    well i actually looked at my calender of when koda went into heat and she has been in heat for 3weeks silly me, so shes past most of it, she kept herself soo clean, i went away for the week inbetween to some funerals so its been longer than i thought, anywhoo on a good note ive booked her in to get speyed but its not till the 24july, which gives me time to get her back to normal and do some more running with her, and some good hard training

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