Q:

How long is a dog in heat?

A:

The length of a dog's heat varies, but on average, it lasts between 12 and 21 days. Some dogs may have a heat cycle that lasts for as little as two days, while others may be in heat for up to four weeks.

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Estrus is assumed to begin around the time the first external symptoms appear. The first visible sign is the swelling of the external vulva, but depending on the dog, this may not be obvious. The most commonly noticed sign is bloody discharge from the vulva. Dogs usually ovulate about seven to 10 days into their heat cycle, but this varies. In order to prevent accidental pregnancy, female dogs should be kept away from intact males during the entire heat cycle.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you know if your dog is in heat?

    A:

    A dog in heat may appear nervous, easily distracted and more alert than usual. Heat, or estrus, is a period in a dog's reproductive cycle that occurs when a female dog becomes receptive to mating with male dogs, according to WedMD.

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  • Q:

    Can a dog be spayed while she is in heat?

    A:

    An experienced veterinarian can spay a dog while she is in heat according to the ASPCA. The risk to the animal increases, and the operation is more complex and requires greater skill. These factors tend to make spaying while in heat more dangerous and more expensive than regular spaying.

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  • Q:

    How long is a female dog in heat?

    A:

    Although the heat cycle varies from breed to breed and in individual dogs, the average time a female dog is attractive to male dogs (or in heat) is 18 days. Most females are attracted to males for less time than that.

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  • Q:

    What are the signs that a female dog is in heat?

    A:

    Behavioral changes such as becoming clingy, overly affectionate, grumpy or more distant than normal are all signs a female dog is in heat. While this is broadly true of most female dogs, some show no behavioral changes while in heat.

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