When owning a female dog you may want to learn about a dog's heat cycle. This will help you be able to keep your dog safe and guarded against unwanted pregnancy.
Dog Heat Signs
There are a few signs to be aware of when learning about dogs in season.
First of all, a dog can start their heat cycle as young as six months old, but will typically start between the ages of 6-12 months.
The dog's heat signs are pronounced, and you'll be able to realise when it is happening.
First of all, your dog's vulva will swell and she may start bleeding from her vagina; similar to a menstrual cycle. This is what is called the proestrus cycle and although male dogs will try to mate with her, she will not allow it until the second phase, which is the estrus phase. During this phase your dog will want to mate with male suitors.
She won't be picky about it so it is imperative to keep any males away if you don't want to take the risk of having unwanted puppies or puppies of a mixed breed.
How long do dogs stay in heat?
This second phase of the estrous cycle will last approximately between four days to two weeks before she returns to her normal self for a total of about 3-4 weeks of the dog's heat cycle.
Dogs and Pregnancy
Once your dog is pregnant you may wonder,
How long do dogs stay pregnant?
A dog's pregnancy term is approximately 63 days or nine weeks from the ovulation period. This is simply the average time and it can vary by a few days. However, the dog will give birth on a date depending on the size of the litter.
A small litter can take longer than a large litter of puppies, but the average is around 56 to 70 days. A visit to a veterinarian can tell you how far along your dog is as long as it has been at least 28 days. A variety of tests can confirm the dog's pregnancy such as an ultrasound or blood test. After approximately two months of pregnancy, the veterinarian can not only feel the fetus of a puppy but can also inform you of how many is expected in the litter.