Approximately every six months, a female dog comes into heat. At this time her hormones are preparing her body to attract a male and become pregnant. If you are planning to breed her, this is the time to do it. But if not, her cycle can cause stress for both of you. Follow some easy guidelines and minimize the problems.
How to Care for a Dog in Heat
Sterilize your pooch if you are not going to breed her. Not only will it prevent unwanted puppies but it also may prolong her life.
Keep her inside and close the windows. Male dogs are attracted by the scent of a female in heat up to 3 miles away. Minimize the effect by keeping the windows shut.
Keep an eye on your fence. Even if your female dog can't jump out, male dogs may be able to jump in. Chain link fences are easy for some dogs to climb and owners report that even cedar fences won't always deter a dog seeking romance.
Apply a little menthol rub to a spot just under the female dog's tail to thwart would-be suitors. Some veterinarians also recommend a little dab on a male's nose to mask the female's scent.
Give her some chlorophyll tablets. Dog owners use these with varying success in an attempt to mask a female's odor during her heat cycle. Ask your vet for the recommended dosage based upon your dog's weight.
Keep your pooch calm. She's anxious during this time and needs attention. Schedule extra time to pet and brush her and play some soft classical music to soothe her nerves. Avoid allowing youngsters to frolic and get her excited.
Dress her in a pair of protective doggy panties to protect your floor and furniture from discharge stains. Available in pet stores, these pull-on diapers have a hole for her tail to stick out. Keep enough on hand to last for the first two weeks of her three-week cycle.