First heat

If you’ve got a little female puppy at home, first heat might catch you off guard, so it’s not a bad idea to make some preparations ahead.

First heat in a female dog takes place differently according to the breed and the size of the dog. It usually happens between the 7th and the 14th month in smaller and medium sized breeds, later in the bigger ones. In the same manner, the length of the heat may differ as well, count with approximately 14 to 21 days. This the repeats twice a year, in large breeds only once. On the other hand, it may be more frequent in the small breeds.

In this period, the behaviour of the female dog may change, signs of tiredness and disobedience may appear or tendencies to run away. But it’s really quite individual and therefore, you should pay more attention to your female dog.

During the first phase (about the 1.-10. day), the mucous membrane of the uterus distends, the vulva swells visibly and the bleeding begins. At this moment, the female is usually dismissive of dogs. In the second phase (about the 11.-23. day), the ovulation occurs, the colour of the outflow crosses over to pink and orange and then it starts to fade. At this moment, the bitch is willing to mate. So it is in this period, when it is necessary to be most cautious and to not let her out of sight.

If you live in a flat, consider purchasing heat panties. This way, you will prevent soiling of the floor and the furniture. However, they definitely don’t serve as a prevention of undesirable mating! Female dogs should wear these panties for the entire period since they prevent natural licking and cleaning. For example, with our first female dog, they weren’t necessary at all. She was so neat that she didn’t leave a single mark. However, if you are not planning to neuter the dog, she should get used to heat panties since her first heat, otherwise, she may try to take them off on her own. If the carpet or furniture gets soiled, clean the stain immediately with cold water. Female dogs have the need to clean after themselves: some of them so thoroughly that they will bite the stain out.

If you’re not considering to have puppies and you’re planning to neuter the dog, the best time is after their first heat. This way, you will maximally eliminate the risk of cervical cancer in the future. A neutered female dog usually avoids even getting even a tumour and inflammation of the mammary glands. Some female dogs also suffer from false gravidity. In this case, they might bring toys into their bed and take care of them carefully, they may whine or aggression or introversion may appear. In case of a false gravidity, the mammary glands will fill with milk and that must be dealt with by the veterinary. Definitely don’t ignore it, the glands could become inflated and such state must be resolved operatively.

How did your female dog take their first heat? Have you got any good tips how to make this period more pleasant to them?

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