Can You Bathe a Dog in Heat?

A female dog will go into heat a couple times per year and her first time will take place around the age of 9 to 12 months. 
Can You Bathe a Dog in Heat?

Last update: 10 September, 2018

A lot of people have heard that it’s not healthy for a woman to bathe while she’s menstruating. Many still believe it’s true, and some think it’s a myth. Whatever the case, it has made many people wonder if they can bathe a dog in heat. Continue reading to find out more.

Female dogs in heat

A female dog will go into heat for the first time between 9 and 12 months old, and repeat the cycle twice a year. It consists of four stages: proestrus, estrus, dexterous, and anestrus. 

The proestrus stage can last nine to fifteen days and it has a reddish-brown discharge. The second estrus stage also lasts about nine days, and the vulva has a reddish appearance and it swells. The dexterous stage can last up to 80 days and the dog appears to be pregnant. In fact, a dog can experience a false pregnancy during this stage.

Finally, the anestrus stage is the longest, and one could say that it’s similar to when woman ovulates phase. However, it can last up to 250 days. This takes place with some breeds that only menstruate once a year.

How to know if your dog is in heat

There are many noticeable factors that indicate your dog is in heat. Here are some of them:

  • Mood swings. Obviously, a dog’s heat cycle is hormonal, and mood changes are normal. Anything could happen with the animal’s mood.
  • Swollen nipples. When a dog is in heat, her nipples will be swollen and sensitive to the touch.
  • Obsessive interest from males. If you start seeing many male dogs around your dog, it’s best to get away if you don’t want to have puppies soon. This is a sure sign that your dog is in heat.
  • Bleeding. You might not notice some of the signs mentioned above, but vaginal bleeding is the most obvious sign that your dog is in heat.
A white dog in heat

Once you know about the heat cycle and how to identify it, you can then figure out answer to the following question: Can you bathe a dog in heat?

Bathe a dog in heat: yes or no?

Let’s make this clear: the answer is yes. There’s nothing wrong with bathing your dog in heat, as long as you take some precautions. A bath will be necessary if the dog’s flow has been heavy, and to make the animal feel better and drier by having good hygiene.

However, you’ll have to avoid causing stress because of their mood swings. So, don’t rush yourself and don’t force your dog. Using your usual positive reinforcement always works. You can use the usual shampoo, but be careful when washing her private parts.

Regulate the water temperature so it is consistently lukewarm. Water that is too cold or hot can cause heat or cold shock to the dog’s body and make her feel worse.

Dog in heat getting groomed

Use a clean towel when drying her off because her private parts will be sensitive and can easily get infected. Try to use soft material that is pleasant to the touch, and that makes her feel better instead of bothering her. 

On the other hand, remember that dogs lose more fur when they’re in heat. Therefore, it’s a good to brush your dog before and after a bath.

Follow these tips and you’ll have no problem bathing a dog that’s in heat. There are myths about many things, but being informed is the best way to make good decisions.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.