Dogs’ Menstrual Cycle
Female dogs that are not spayed may experience vaginal bleeding at least twice a year or every six to seven months. Female dogs start their menstruation cycle when they are 5 to 10 months old. During this period, the dog is sexually active and is ready to be pregnant. There are four stages in dogs’ menstrual cycle.
- Stage 1: The Proestrus Stage. During this stage, the female dogs experience vaginal discharge. The vaginal discharge may be a clear liquid or it can be accompanied by blood. The dog also frequently urinates during this period. The vulva also becomes enlarged. The female dog does not allow mating during this stage yet. The proestrus stage lasts for 8-13 days.
- Stage 2: The Estrus Stage. During this stage, the female dogs are now ovulating and are now ready for intercourse. The vulva may remain swollen. The vaginal secretion is now clear or becomes milky white. This stage usually lasts for 9 days.
- Stage 3: The Diestrus Stage. During this stage, the female dog is now either pregnant or experiencing false pregnancy. The vaginal discharge stops, and the vulva stops swelling. Even if the female dog is not pregnant, her hormones will trick her, making the dog believe that she is pregnant. During this stage, the dog no longer wants to mate. This stage will last for 70 to 80 days whether the dog is pregnant or not.
- Stage 4: The Anestrus Stage. This is the last stage that completes the menstrual cycle of dogs. The dog’s reproductive system becomes dormant and she would not want to have an intercourse during this stage. This stage also prepares the dog for another menstrual cycle. This stage will last for up to 130 days.
How to Care for Menstruating Dogs
Extra care and attention should be given to dogs who are menstruating. Just like humans, they are hormonal during this stage. Here are some tips on how to take care of menstruating dogs:
- Let your dog wear pants or diapers. This is important so that she will not stain the floors with her vaginal secretions. Make sure to regularly change the diaper or pants she’s wearing.
- Isolate the dog in a quiet, easy to clean place. The dog during this stage urinates more often and they are extra sensitive. Isolating them and leaving them alone would make them less irritable.
- Never leave the dog unattended when outdoors. Male dogs can smell her and would attempt to have an intercourse if she is left alone.