When your dog is in heat, walking her can make you feel a bit like the Pied Piper luring a pack of enthusiastic male dogs through the streets. Intact strays may literally come running when they smell your dog, while those safely fenced in their yard will try desperately to get out. It's her scent that makes them come running, and run they will from up to three miles away. You can never eliminate your female's heat scent completely, but you can reduce it so she attracts less attention.
Make sure you're not advertising
The simplest way to handle your dog's come-hither aroma is to make sure you're not spreading it around. Keep your dog inside as much as possible. When she is in the yard, make sure she is never there alone and always has supervision. Close the windows in your house when she is inside so that her scent stays as contained as possible.
Even if your dog normally toilets in your yard, take her for walks at potty break time while she is in heat. This will keep her from urinating all over your property and leaving behind a tempting aroma. The more contained and controlled you keep her scent, the fewer males will enjoy it and come over for a visit.
Keep her clean
Keeping your dog clean during her heat cycle minimizes her scent and keeps any discharge under control. Some owners achieve cleanliness by bathing their dog regularly using a mild shampoo that won't irritate her skin. Others prefer to spot clean, periodically dampening a clean cloth and wiping down their dog's rear end.
Ultimately, it may not be your choice at all. While you may favor a particular cleaning method, your dog may prefer the other. Females can get a little cranky when they're in heat, so go with the method with which your dog seems most comfortable.
Try a little perfume
Widely available and easy to use, female dog in heat sprays such as scented sprays and essential oils can help mask your dog's odor during her time. Menthol spray for dogs in heat emits a strong odor which helps to disguise your dog's smell. If you dislike the scent, you can also try products with scents of lavender, wintergreen, peppermint, eucalyptus, or clove.
No matter what scent you choose, know that it will likely seem fairly potent. You are, after all, attempting to cover a scent that you can never completely eliminate. If you're bothered by certain smells or prone to headaches, masking your dog's odor with another may not be the best choice for you and your dog.
Chlorophyll for dogs in heat
Studies have shown that dogs in heat who ingest chlorophyll from plants attract less male attention than others, suggesting that chlorophyll may reduce heat odors in dogs. Chlorophyll is available in both tablet and liquid form to make giving it to your dog easy. Proponents claim this treatment works best if you start giving it to your dog as soon as her heat cycle begins.
Before giving your dog chlorophyll, there are two things you should do. The first is to speak to your vet to make sure the product you're giving your dog is safe and to find out how much you should give her. The second is to prepare for the repercussions. Chlorophyll supplements will turn your dog's feces an odd (and sometimes panic-inducing) shade of green, so be prepared.
A little help for the guys
If your neighbor's female dog goes into heat, there is no way to know whether or not her owner will attempt to mask her heat scent. If not, your poor intact male will go crazy from her scent and have a rough couple of weeks. To help him, look for a product called Lust Buster.
Often used to minimize distraction in show dogs, Lust Buster is a topical solution that you apply to your male dog's nose. The product has a strong scent that will help block out other odors, including the scent of a nearby female in heat.