How Long Does A Female Dog Stay In Heat?

  • 10/05/2020

As a fur parent, you may want to beef up your knowledge about the upcoming stages in her life such as at what age does she become a ‘woman’ or what we call as the age of sexual maturity.

Allow us to guide you on the process of the canine oestrus (heat cycle), like when should you expect it to happen and how long does your female dog stay in the heat.

What Does A Dog In Heat Mean?

This is the stage where so many changes are happening in your ‘baby girl’s’ body. These are hormonal, physical, and behavioural changes.

You’d see her sex organ swells and releases a bloody discharge. She becomes flirty, too.

The reason is that her oestrogen level shoots up and then sharply decreases. This hormonal fluctuation causes the ovaries to release mature eggs. At this stage, she is ready to look for a mate that is willing to fertilise her mature eggs.

When Does your Female Dog Start to Go Into Heat?

The average age is 6 months. But, not all female dogs go into heat at the same age.

The smaller breeds may go into the oestrus cycle as early as 4 months of age while the larger ones may become sexually mature at around 18 to 24 months.

How Long Does your Female Dog Stay in Heat?

The heat cycle has 4 stages namely the proestrus, oestrus, dioestrus, and anoestrus.

But, among the four stages, it is the first (proestrus) and the second (oestrus) that are noticeable. These two stages are the equivalent of dogs being in heat.

From the start or the proestrus up to the end of the oestrus stage, the average time it lasts is roughly 21 to 28 days. So, that means your female dog stays in heat for about 3 weeks or thereabouts.

For most female dogs, they go into heat twice a year.

We do not recommend that you begin looking for a partner for her during the 1st and the 2nd cycles. At this time, her eggs are not yet mature and neither has she reached her full sexual maturity.

If you plan on breeding her, we advise that you ask the vet when is the perfect oestrus cycle for your baby girl to go out on a date.

What Do You Need to Know When Your Dog Is In Heat?

Your female pet is excreting pheromones at this time, so if you have no intention of breeding her, guide her as tight as you can.

If you can’t, you may want to try using a doggie diaper or avoid off-leash walking.


The heat cycle of your dog may seem a daunting task considering the amount of guarding (not to forget the bloody mess), but it is a natural process your dog will go through for an average of two times a year.

Just give her a bit more of your time, more so if you do not wish to become a ‘grandparent’ just yet.

Author's Bio:

Jaden is an author of, a pet blog sharing knowledge about taking care of pets. He has more than five years of experience in raising small animals like dogs, cats, hamsters, and freshwater fish. What he always focusing on is offering valuable and useful information to pet enthusiasts.

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