Zeal in bitches - Phases, duration and behavior

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The sexual and reproductive cycles of the bitch have nothing to do with the hormonal cycles that govern sexuality and reproduction of the human species. It is important to understand this before continuing..

In this article we try to explain what the heat cycle in the bitch consists of, how long it lasts and when your pet is fertile. We will also review some hormonal changes that can be the cause of aggressiveness, crying or general discomfort. Read on to find out everything about zeal in bitches in this comprehensive AnimalWised article:

You may also be interested in: Heat in dogs - Symptoms, duration and phases Index
  1. The first heat of the bitch
  2. How often does zeal appear?
  3. Phases of the estrous cycle and main symptoms
  4. How long does the zeal of a bitch last?
  5. Panties for the bitch's zeal
  6. When is the ideal time to spay a female dog??

The first heat of the bitch

The arrival of the first heat is an indicator of the appearance of sexual maturity and it can vary greatly depending on the size of the bitch. In general, we can see that it occurs in the following months of life:

  • Small dogs: between 6 and 12 months
  • Medium and large dogs: between 7 and 13 months
  • Giant dogs: between 16 and 24 months

Heat is an indicator that the bitch is sexually receptive, however, we must remember that the arrival of heat does not mean that a bitch is ready for pregnancy. At this stage it is considered to be still "young " so it is in development. Pregnancy does not allow this stage to be completed correctly, in addition to there are many risks of complications in childbirth.

How often does zeal appear?

Generally, the bitch's heat appears twice a year, every six months, approximately. Keep in mind that this period varies in each bitch and can be affected by age or by her health. There are bitches that experiment a single heat per year. Whenever you have doubts or observe any anomaly, go to your trusted veterinarian.

Phases of the estrous cycle and main symptoms

1. Proestro

This stage can be somewhat difficult to detect at times, especially in those bitches that produce light bleeding. It usually lasts between 3 and 17 days and at this stage the bitch it is not fertile.

We can observe an inflamed vulva that gives off bloody discharge, more or less diluted. The bitch may regularly lick her vagina as well as be eager to leave the home. In some cases they experience sexual behaviors similar to riding.

2. Estrus

The fertile stage, also known as estrus, it occurs after proestrus, at which time the bitch is responsive for riding. It lasts similar to the previous stage, between 3 and 17 days approximately.

At this point in the cycle it is very common for your dog's character to change. She will be especially affectionate and predisposed, uneasy and eager to go out. In the street, he may stop to attract males in the area and he will urinate on many more occasions, trying to leave all possible pheromones.

The first stage of estrus is the most fertile days of the bitch, so you should pay close attention if you do not want an unwanted pregnancy.

3. Right-handed

The duration of the right-hander can vary between 60 and 100 days. This will depend directly on whether or not there has been fertilization, in which case it will occur gestation, childbirth and breastfeeding. At this stage the bitch rejects the mount, eats abundantly and her character stabilizes..

Due to the genital stimulation that she herself can produce in the vagina or in the breasts, if the bitch has not become pregnant she can develop a psychological pregnancy, directly related to her high hormonal production.

4. Anestrus

In the case of pregnant bitches, the right-hander ends with the delivery, giving way to the anestrus, the period of sexual inactivity. On the other hand, bitches that have not been fertilized will show no obvious sign of the passage from the previous phase to this.

It usually lasts about 130 days and helps the dog to have a rest stage after giving birth so that her body can recover properly. At the end of this time, the non-fertile bleeding that we mentioned at the beginning will reoccur, the proestro.

How long is the zeal of a bitch?

The duration of heat for a bitch can vary depending on her size, age or health. Generally lasts between 15 and 21 days, but in some cases it can be almost non-existent as well as in others very abundant.

Do not forget that during estrus, that is, after half the heat in bitches, conception is possible. If you do not want a pregnancy, do not hesitate to follow our advice to scare dogs away from your bitch in heat.

Panties for the bitch's zeal

In the market you will find all kinds of products for the dog's heat that will help you keep your home clean. They are generally used panties for zeal, in addition to compresses that you should change regularly for proper hygiene.

When is the ideal time to spay a female dog?

Sometimes the fertile process and of heat of the bitch supposes discomfort of all kinds, both for her and for us. Although it is not an easy decision we should think about sterilizing our pet for an improvement of their health and behavior among others.

Remember that if we sterilize our bitch before her first heat, we already considerably reduce the appearance of various types of cancer. In addition, it is a supportive option with the number of abandoned dogs that exist in the world, considerably reducing the chances that our dog will become pregnant. At AnimalWised we always want to highlight the benefits of sterilization in dogs.

The indicated date will always be recommended by our veterinarian, but in general, the ideal time to sterilize a dog is before the first heat, since it reduces to practically zero the possibility of the development of breast tumors. With each heat that is allowed to pass, this percentage increases.

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