How long do dog periods last?

how long do dog periods last

Dogs are favorite pets worldwide, and their popularity is only increasing. Many people adopt dogs because they want a furry friend that will provide them with companionship and love. However, before you adopt a dog, it’s essential to be aware of all the responsibilities that come along with owning one.

The dogs go through a lot of changes during their lifetime. One of the most noticeable changes is when they reach puberty and begin to experience their first heat cycle. On average, heat cycles in most dogs last anywhere from two to four weeks and occur twice a year. But how long does each stage of the heat cycle last?

Read on to learn more about the different stages of a dog’s heat cycle and how long they typically last.

4 stages of the dog heat cycle

If you’re wondering how long periods last, the answer is that it varies depending on the stage of the heat cycle. The female dog’s reproductive cycle stages are proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus.


Proestrus is the first stage of the heat cycle and typically lasts for nine days. During this time, your dog’s estrogen levels will begin to rise. You may notice changes in her behavior, such as increased urination, swelling of the vulva, and moodiness.


Estrus, the second stage of the heat cycle, is when your dog is in heat. It lasts an average of nine days but ranges from five to 27 days. During this time, your dog’s estrogen levels will be at their highest, and she will be most receptive to breeding. You may notice her vulva swelling even more, and she may have a bloody discharge.


This is the third heat cycle stage and typically lasts 60 to 90 days. Your dog’s progesterone levels will be high during this time as she prepares for a potential pregnancy. You may notice a decrease in her vulva swelling and bloody discharge.


This is the fourth and final stage of the heat cycle. It typically lasts three to four months but can last up to 18 months. During this time, your dog’s hormone levels will return to normal, and she will not be receptive to breeding.

When do dogs start their ‘period’?

The age at which a dog starts its first heat cycle varies depending on the breed.

dog season pad

Small breeds tend to reach puberty sooner than large breeds. This is because, in smaller breeds, their bodies mature faster, reaching sexual maturity at an earlier age. The life span of a small dog is also shorter than that of a large dog.

The average age for a small breed dog to start her first heat cycle is six to twelve months old. The average age is eighteen to twenty-four months old for a large breed dog. But remember that these are just averages, and some dogs may start their heat cycles sooner or later than these ages.

Some giant breed dogs, such as Great Danes and mastiffs, may not have their first heat cycle until they are two to three years old. The smaller the dog, the sooner she reaches puberty and starts her first heat cycle. For example, a Chihuahua may have her first heat cycle as early as six months old, whereas an English Mastiff may not have his first heat cycle until he is three years old.

The frequency of dogs staying in the heat cycle also varies depending on the breed. Smaller breeds tend to have more frequent heat cycles than giant breeds. For example, Toy Poodles may have two to three heat cycles yearly, while Great Danes usually only have one.

Common behaviors of a female dog in heat

You may notice behaviors in your dog when she is in heat.

Swollen vulva

Dogs have external genitalia called the vulva. It consists of the labia, the two fleshy folds of skin surrounding the vaginal opening, and the clitoris, a small protrusion located just inside the vulva.

During the proestrus and estrus cycle, the vulva swells and enlarges due to increased blood flow. There can be a range of swelling levels, often accompanied by your dog’s bleeding.

swollen dog in season


Your dog urinates more frequently during her heat cycle. This is because the increased blood flow to the vulva also causes an increase in urine production. Additionally, dogs in heat tend to mark their territory more by urinating on vertical surfaces, such as walls and furniture.


Many dogs become moody or irritable during their heat cycles. Hormonal fluctuations cause this. Some dogs may be more clingy than usual and want to spend more time with their owners, while others may be more aloof and prefer to be left alone.

Appetite changes

The changes in hormone levels that occur during a dog’s heat cycle can also lead to changes in appetite. Some dogs may become more ravenous and want to eat more, while others may lose their appetites altogether.

Behavior changes

In addition to the physical changes that occur during a dog’s heat cycle, behavioral changes may also occur.

Many dogs become more restless and may pace or circle more than usual. They may also be more vocal and bark or whine than they typically do. Some dogs may become aggressive during their heat cycles, while others may become more withdrawn. Each dog is unique and will experience the heat cycle in its way.

When do dogs stop having heat cycles?

The age at which a dog’s heat cycles cease varies from one dog to another. Smaller breeds may continue to cycle into their early teens, while larger breeds may stop at six or seven years of age.

Several things can influence when a dog’s heat cycles end. The most important factor is probably genetics. Dogs that come from lines of dogs that experience late-onset puberty are more likely to experience late-onset heat cycles.

Diet can also play a role when a dog’s heat cycles end. Dogs fed a diet high in calories and nutrients tend to reach puberty sooner than dogs that are not as well-nourished.

Finally, the environment in which a dog lives can also affect when her heat cycles end. Dogs that live in warm climates tend to reach puberty sooner than other dogs that live in cooler climates.

Do male dogs go into heat?

No, they do not go into heat. However, they can experience something called a “pseudo-heat.” This is when the dog’s testosterone levels increase, and he begins to behave in ways that are similar to a female dog in heat.

Pseudo-heats are more common in intact (not neutered) male dogs. They occur in the fall and spring when the days get longer and shorter ( respectively).

Pseudo-heats can last several weeks, but they are not associated with ovulation or fertility. A male dog does not experience actual heat cycle as a female dogs do.

Caring for a dog in heat

Dogs in heat require special care and attention. If you have a female dog, it is essential to be aware of the signs of heat and to take steps to make sure that she is comfortable during this time.

Here are a few things that you can do to care for your dog during her heat cycle:

Keep her away from male dogs: It is vital to keep your dog away from unneutered males during her heat cycle. If she is allowed to interact with them, she may become pregnant.

A Place to Call Her Own: Give your dog a special place to sleep during her heat cycle. This will help to keep her clean and comfortable. Dogs in heat often become tired and need a quiet place to rest.

Give her extra attention: Many dogs become more clingy during their heat cycles and appreciate extra attention from their dog owners.

Keep her well-groomed: Keeping your dog clean and well-groomed during her heat cycle is essential. This will help to reduce the risk of infection.

Watch for signs of discomfort: Some dogs may experience discomfort during their heat cycles. Signs of discomfort include panting, restlessness, and whining. These signs indicate that your dog needs to see a veterinarian.

Always know where your dog is: It is important to keep track of it at all times during her heat cycle. She may escape finding a mate, which can be dangerous. If you cannot keep an eye on her, consider hiring a pet sitter or placing her in a boarding facility.

Dogs in heat require special care and attention. By following the tips above, you can help ensure that your dog is comfortable and safe during this time.

Dog Period Questions Answered

1. What does it mean when a dog is in heat?

A dog in heat is “receptive to mating.” This means that she has reached sexual maturity and can have puppies. Heat usually lasts between two and four weeks. During this time, your dog will be noticeably more affectionate than usual and may become restless or agitated.

2. Tell me about the Estrous Cycle?

The estrous cycle is the time between a female dog’s heat periods. It is also called the “heat cycle.” Estrous cycles last an average of 21 days but can range from 17 to 24 days.

3. How can you tell if your dog is in heat?

A few signs will let you know if your dog is in heat. She may seem restless or agitated, urinate more often, and have a swollen vulva.


From all of this information, we can infer that the average dog period lasts between two and four weeks. Nevertheless, each dog will have different needs during its heat cycle. Always consult a veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s health. Thank you for reading!

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