Huskies are a beautiful breed of dog that resembles wolves, though anatomically, these animals are just like all other dog varieties, which means husky types exhibit the same signs when they are in heat. If you are a breeder, husky heat is important to recognize since it signals that your dog is ready for reproduction. When the husky breed is in heat, estrogen levels will increase and then suddenly decline, allowing for the release of eggs from the dog's ovaries.
If you're the owner of a single female husky and you're not keen to feed and train a half dozen new puppies, it's smart to learn the stages of husky heat so you know what to expect as well as how to handle your dog if she's looking for a male mate in your neighborhood.
Husky breed in heat
The start of a female dog's estrous, or reproductive, cycle takes place when she reaches puberty, and this phase consists of three different stages. The one when a husky breed (or any female pup) is considered to be in heat and can become pregnant is called estrus. In general, dogs reach their sexual maturity around 6 months of age, though large and extra-large canines may take as long as 18 months to two years to enter puberty. The husky breed is considered medium sized, so this dog's heat cycle will likely fall between 6 and 12 months of age.
Most canines go into heat twice a year, and it lasts for about three to four weeks, though again, this depends on the breed type and size of your pet. Small dogs, like Chihuahuas, can cycle through the heat stage three times in a calendar year, while a much bigger dog (like a Saint Bernard) may only experience this reproductive urge once a year.
Husky heat stages
Whether you're looking to raise puppies from your husky or simply understand the mechanics of a female dog's reproductive cycle, learning the three stages of heat can help.
- Proestrus: This phase is characterized by the swelling of your puppy's vulva, bloody vaginal discharge, and a need to pee more frequently. You might also notice that your pet is more anxious and needier than usual.
- Estrus: Your pup's vaginal discharge changes color during estrus (it will appear clear or a brownish shade). Chemicals known as pheromones are emitted from a dog's genitals and anus to entice male dogs and advertise a female's readiness to mate. She may also wag her tail to signal her heat status, which can attract male dogs and possibly anger other females. Keep a tight leash on your dog during this particular phase to avoid a dust-up or errant mating.
- Diestrus: This last stage of husky heat means an end to vaginal discharge and a return of her vulva to its normal shape and size. You'll also notice her interest in mating has waned.
Handling a dog in heat
The best way to deal with a dog in heat is to not let it get too far along in the process. The fix, of course, is to spay your female dog. For the most part, dogs are neutered or spayed between the ages of 6 and 9 months, though healthy puppies as young as 8 weeks can also undergo this medical procedure. If you're on the fence about whether to spay your female husky and you're thinking about allowing her to bear a litter first, know that it's better for her health if you skip the puppy part. The reason is that accidental breeding can occur, as can mating with close family members.