How to Handle a Female Dog in Heat

How to Handle a Female Dog in Heat

Last update: 25 June, 2018

Not knowing what to do when having a female dog in heat at your home for the first time is normal.  Going out for walks is a hassle because all of the male dogs in the neighborhood will approach you, and sometimes they do it aggressively. They even go up to your front door and mark their territory by urinating on it. What do you do when your dog is in heat?

Isolation and the estrous cycle

Isolation is the most typical way of dealing with a dog in heat, but it’s not that complicated. It’s recommended to keep the dog in a fenced yard while she is in heat.

Female dog on the couch

Updates on estrous cycles

There is a certain effective method used to care for your dog while being in heat: doggy underwear. This new device can prevent fertilization but not mounting. Inexpensive doggy underwear is sold in several adjustable sizes. The 100% washable versions work the best.

Sprays are useful for covering up the odor that the dog gives off. Likewise, it also confines the pheromones to a certain extent, in order to make them undetectable to male dogs.  Sprays are easy to apply and have been proven to be effective.

Pheromones and the estrous cycle

While dog is in heat, it’s normal for her to emit pheromones that males perceive from meters away. It has been proven that these olfactory pheromones are a fragrant and attractive aphrodisiac for males.

How can you prevent all those “Romeos” that stalk your dog during a stroll through the park? One of the most effective tricks is changing your walk schedule. The afternoon walk can be pushed to the night, and the morning walk can be moved earlier.

Contraceptive injections

Injections have become another widely used method. They’re useful if your dog has already had intercourse with a male. However, many experts are against this treatment. The hormonal side effects aren’t healthy for the dog.

There is another type of contraceptive injections which must be administered by a veterinarian. They temporarily stop a female from getting in heat. If they’re used continually, they could be seriously harmful for your dog. They affect the liver, fertility, and can even cause breast cancer.

The best solution to eliminate all estrous cycle problems is sterilization. This simple out-patient operation is carried out by a vet and does not require the dog to stay the night at the clinic.

Keeping your dog tied

When you’re out for a walk with your dog, keeping her on the leash is pure common sense. Female dogs that are in heat tend be nervous and anxious and might try running away if she feels threatened by a male.

During the first week of your dog’s estrous cycle, she will not allow males to mount her. However, during the last week, her bleeding will increase, she’ll be willing to mate and even seek out males herself.

If there’s a male at home

dog in heat

Another uncomfortable situation is when there is a male dog at home while the female is in heat. One of the most sensible options is to take contraceptive action with the male.

This treatment is very simple. After the physical sterilization of removing the male’s genitals (done while the animal is still very young), the chemical vasectomy can take place. This final procedure is done through injections. It does not affect his abilities to mate, it only removes the risk of fertilization.