Once your dog reaches sexual maturity, she'll experience estrus, also known as "heat," every six months or so for the rest of her life. During this time, you'll have to keep your dog as comfortable as possible, contained in the home, busy with exercise, and outfitted with diapers.
To stop the heat cycle from occurring altogether, you'll need to get your dog spayed, which prevents unwanted pregnancies and unpleasant behavior in your dog's lifetime. But, if that isn't possible, keep your dog safely away from other dogs and take steps to ensure she's in no discomfort.
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Use dog period diapers
To prevent messes within the home, you'll need to outfit your dog with dog period diapers. That's because your dog menstruates and will bleed while she's in heat and may also urine mark within the home. A dog's heat cycle lasts between two and four weeks and occurs roughly every six months.
During estrus, bleeding may vary from light to heavy. To get your dog used to period diapers, reward her with praise and attention when she wears them so she associates them with good things. And, remember to change the diaper often during estrus to keep her clean.
Provide pain relief for dogs in heat
While your dog is in heat, she might be experiencing cramping, nausea, and pain during ovulation. To help her feel better, some natural pain relief for dogs in heat will relieve her discomfort. Ensure she has a comfortable bed to sleep in and place a hot water bottle or heating pad inside, which should help with her pain.
Don't give your dog any over-the-counter pain relievers for humans like acetaminophen or most non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, which could be harmful to dogs. If you explain the symptoms that your dog is having, your veterinarian may have some helpful suggestions of products you could choose that would relax her, relieve her symptoms, and calm her down. Most importantly, always consult with your veterinarian to ensure that you are using a pet-safe pain reliever with your dog.
Keep your dog contained
Dogs in heat have one thing on their mind and that's to mate with a male dog. The only way to prevent this is to keep your dog contained in your home or a securely fenced yard. You'll also want to avoid dog parks and doggie daycare, too.
When out for a walk with your dog, products like Heat-X for dogs can help mask her scent so that she doesn't attract unwanted male dog attention. This is a powder that you dust lightly on your dog's genitals after she urinates to help cover her scent.
Before heading out your door, always remember to leash your dog to prevent her from escaping. In addition, don't leave windows or doors open with your dog in the home because she's more likely to try to make a quick getaway while she's in heat.
Spend time with your dog
The best home remedy for a dog in heat is simply to keep her company. Play some games like fetch or hide-and-seek indoors with her to keep her mind and body occupied. Or, provide her with some puzzle toys to keep her busy and less likely to vocalize.
Your dog may actually be quite affectionate while she's in heat, so sit with her and enjoy some quality time together. Brushing her coat may help relax her and help her bond with you, as can simply snuggling up with a good book and your pup.
Consider spaying your dog
While home remedies will help keep your dog as comfortable as possible during her heat cycle, the best way to stop the heat cycle is to have your dog spayed. You can spay your dog at 8 weeks of age or older, but speak with your vet to determine when is right for your dog.
Spaying will ensure that you won't be dealing with a dog who wants to escape while in heat, a pup who attracts unwanted attention from male dogs, and unwanted litters of puppies.