Do Female Dogs Have Periods?

Do Female Dogs Have Periods
Photo by JACLOU-DL

Do female dogs have periods? Yes, and it’s more common than you might think! While female dogs don’t experience menstruation as we do, they experience a period of hormonal activity called estrus, which causes many physical changes.

This cannot be very clear, so we’re here to explain the details! Here’s everything you need to know about female dog periods!

What is a Dog’s Period?

Female dogs do experience a form of bleeding during their cycle called spotting.

When the female dog’s eggs are released from her ovaries, the lining of her uterus is not yet thick enough for the egg to implant. 

The eggs will then float in the fallopian tubes until they reach the uterus, where fertilization can occur. If fertilization does not take place, then these eggs will be reabsorbed by the body.

Spotting may occur when the eggs pass through the cervix. Dogs may also experience light spotting after being spayed.

So do female dogs have periods? The answer is yes, but you shouldn’t see much other than the occasional discharge because they don’t undergo the same hormonal changes as human women. 

Spaying removes the risk of an unplanned pregnancy, often leaving the dog with irregular cycles.

A heat period (also known as running heat) refers to an estrus cycle, including vaginal discharge or bleeding, swollen vulva, restlessness, and tail flagging (wagging). 

Some female dogs will only exhibit one or two signs, while others might show all four symptoms.

Female dogs have a reproductive cycle with four stages: proestrus, estrus (or heat), diestrus (or resting), and anestrus.

The anestrus stage is when female dogs do not go into heat or show signs of being fertile, but they will still go through regular uterine contractions and periods if they become pregnant. 

If she does not get pregnant during this time, she will have a false pregnancy which can last up to 11 weeks before coming out of it in her next period.

To ensure your dog gets the right amount of nutrients, we recommend speaking with your veterinarian about supplements. 

As long as there are no medical issues, females should leave their false pregnancies on schedule and return to normal energy and appetite levels.

However, hormonal fluctuations can sometimes cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. It is recommended that owners contact their vet in cases like these.

What happens during a female dog’s heat period? Females typically enter their first heat around 6 months old, although the timing varies greatly depending on breed and size. 

They usually have between 3-5 heats per year, lasting anywhere from 5-20 days each time. Heat periods usually end after mating occurs or 14 days without mating occurring.

Signs of going into heat include a swollen vulva, moodiness, crying when being petted near the genital area, increased urination, increased thirst, and potential swelling in mammary glands.

You may notice bloody vaginal discharge after intercourse or spotting at other times.

Vaginal infections can also cause such symptoms as redness and swelling near the opening of the vagina, along with itching or pain when urinating.

These infections require veterinary attention because they could lead to infertility problems later on down the line.

How Often Do Female Dogs Have Periods?

Female dogs can have a seasonally variable cycle that is typically four months long.

The average cycle is 60-90 days, with an estrus (or in heat) period lasting 12-14 days. Some females may experience an estrus period every six months or even annually. 

The in-heat period begins when the animal experiences ovulation and ends when she no longer ovulates. A dog will not experience her first heat until she has reached 6-7 months of age.

While all dog breeds can menstruate, some specific breeds are more likely than others: Chow Chows, Dachshunds, English Bulldogs, Shar Peis, and Afghan Hounds. 

A female dog can continue to have normal cycles after spaying but can stop entirely. For your pet to become pregnant after being spayed or neutered, it must be given hormones by injection.

If you want your dog to experience their first heat, it should only be spayed after they turn 5 months old. 

So do female dogs have periods? If you own one, then yes, most definitely. But if you don’t, now is a good time to adopt one from our shelter who needs a home for life and would love nothing more than to give birth in yours! 

There are still too many unwanted pets in Australia. You can make a difference by adopting an animal instead of buying from a breeder or pet store.

And while you’re waiting for your new addition to arrive, read this blog post on Do female dogs have periods.

How Long Do Female Dog Periods Last?

We’ve dealt with the question, “do female dogs have periods?” Now we’ll be considering how long female dogs last. Typically, the average menstrual cycle lasts from 5-7 days.

The first day is called the menstrual phase, where bleeding occurs. This phase typically lasts 3-5 days. The second phase is called the proliferative phase, lasting about 12-14 days. 

This is when follicles develop in a female dog. If there is no fertilization of an egg cell by a sperm cell during this period, then menstruation will occur again at the end of the cycle. This process can happen up to five times per year. 

Female animals do not always ovulate once per month as humans do so that they can get pregnant during other parts of their reproductive cycles.

That said, because most women only ovulate once or twice per month, it can be hard to tell if your pet is pregnant based on a single litter box event. 

Additionally, many animals (including dogs) do not show any symptoms of pregnancy until later in their pregnancies. The gestation period of dogs varies between 60-70 days, with an average of 63 days. 

What does this mean for my pet?: The best thing that you can do to avoid confusion is to take your pet to a vet who specializes in animal reproduction and gives them the details of your pet’s cycle history, especially if they have been recently diagnosed with diabetes or another hormonal disorder that may affect her menstrual cycle like thyroid disease. 

It’s also important to keep track of changes in appetite and activity level since these could indicate something is going on.

If you still suspect your pet may be pregnant but want to wait for a more accurate diagnosis, call your vet before giving her any medication designed for terminating pregnancies. 

Some medications work very well in non-pregnant females, while others might not work as effectively.

If your veterinarian recommends termination, they can provide the appropriate drug while they run tests to find out for sure.

What Are the Signs That My Dog is Having Its Periods?

The signs that your dog has its periods are relatively straightforward. You may notice blood in the dog’s urine or stool, an increase in the amount of licking its genitals area, red blood on the fur around the vaginal area, or an increased appetite. 

If you’re unsure if this is normal for your dog, take them to the vet for a checkup. They can also do a urinalysis to ensure that there isn’t any infection.

It could be possible that it’s something else entirely, so don’t panic if it doesn’t seem like everything adds up 100%.

 But if these symptoms persist, get the vet involved right away. And remember, some females might experience heavy bleeding during their time of the month.

If your dog starts bleeding more than usual, give them plenty of water and snacks, as they might be dehydrated. 

Some natural remedies can help, too, such as feeding them lots of spinach, green beans, or kale.

It’s important to keep your dog calm and reassured during this process- it will help with both the physical and emotional effects.

As long as they eat well and drink enough fluids, they should return to themselves soon. 

Do female dogs have periods? Yes! Female dogs have menstrual cycles just like humans do.

The only difference between the two sexes is that male animals’ sperm cells swim upstream into the reproductive tract while female sperm cells swim downstream. 

Female animals ovulate once every four weeks, which means they release one egg from the ovaries each time.

Female dogs usually show signs of being in heat (heat cycle) when they are ready to mate; however, sometimes, there aren’t any noticeable symptoms.

Can I Stop My Dog’s Period?

While it might sound like a blessing that your dog can’t get pregnant while she has her period, it can be really difficult to deal with.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to make sure your pup is as comfortable as possible when she gets that time of the month.

Here are a few tips for handling your dog’s menstruation:

  1. Keep an eye on her water intake. When dogs get their period, they often drink more water to help regulate their body temperature. It can be hard to keep track of how much water your pup drinks each day, so it may be good to use extra caution during this time of the month. 
  2. Make sure she stays cool. 
  3. Give her extra love and attention. 
  4. Provide plenty of comfy places for her to lie down and rest comfortably. Dogs experiencing cramps or discomfort from their period want to find somewhere soft and quiet to relax. You should provide plenty of space for them, so they don’t have to fight over it. – Spaying your pup may also help stop her from getting her period, which could give her a little relief from all the unwanted side effects. Remember to consult your vet before making any major decisions about spaying or neutering procedures.

Do Female Dogs Have Periods? Yes, and if you’re considering having your dog spayed but aren’t sure whether or not you should, then talk to your veterinarian about the many benefits of spaying and why it’s such a great decision for you and your pet.


Do female dogs have periods? Yes, Female dogs menstruate every six months, just like human women do. They have a reproductive cycle of four stages: proestrus, estrus (or heat), diestrus (or resting), and anestrus. 

Proestrus is the first stage of the cycle when a female dog’s vulva becomes swollen. The next two stages are when the dog goes into heat (also called estrus) and rests again.

During this time, ovulation occurs, and eggs travel from the ovaries to the uterus for fertilization. 

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