A heat/season is the fertile period of a dog’s cycle when they can get pregnant.
Each heat tends to last approximately 16-18 days.
Dogs continue to come into season for their whole lives, unless they are spayed.
A season can make your dog feel unsettled, uncomfortable and generally under the weather.
Here’s our personal experience of our cockapoo being in season –
Lottie is the first dog I’ve ever owned completely by myself, I have had family dogs at my parents home and they have been female, so have obviously had seasons too, but if I’m honest I didn’t really take much notice to the signs and symptoms (other than the obvious, the bleeding).
When Lottie had her first season, it was completely new to me, but I had carried out a little bit of research to know what sort of things to expect.
Lottie had her first season in March 2020 so when she was around 9 months old. She had started to behave a little strangely leading up to it, she would lick us both a lot to the point where we would have to tell her off to make her stop! She also started to hump us which was completely strange as she hadn’t ever done that before!
She also went off her food and started occasionally vomiting. The vomiting was really strange, it always seemed to be in the night / first thing in the morning (we would notice it when we would go downstairs in the morning to let her out) and not every night either. So, we were never too concerned because she wouldn’t be sick throughout the day, so we knew it wasn’t a sickness bug or anything along those lines, we thought she might just be hungry or just be feeling a bit off!
We also found that Lottie would pant a lot more than usual. When we would take her for a walk, she would be panting so much it became a real concern for us! We actually took her to the vets to be checked out and they advised this can be normal when they’re in season / due to be.
So, when we noticed the first spots of blood, we realised that she had come into season and all of these symptoms added up and made sense!
We were prepared for Lottie coming into season, we knew what sort of age to expect it after carrying out some research – any time from around 6 months. We did lots of research into how her behaviour might change and also looked into ways of controlling Lottie bleeding around the house.
Lottie is free to roam around our house all of the time when we’re home, so she’s allowed to sit on the sofas (even though we said she never would be!!) and she sits on our bed with us at night.
We didn’t want to have to contain her in one place as we knew this would make her really unhappy, but we also didn’t want her getting blood on the furnishings and carpets, so we looked into doggy nappies!
We tried these ones from Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Simple-Solution-Disposable-Female-Diapers/dp/B000BHHD84/ref=sr_1_5?crid=26QR4FTWU909Y&dchild=1&keywords=dog+nappies&qid=1611081054&sprefix=dog+nappie%2Caps%2C311&sr=8-5
They’re really good and do exactly what we wanted them to do, but unfortunately, Lottie absolutely hates wearing them, so we only put them on her when she’s sitting on the sofa or walking on the carpets. When she’s in the kitchen where we have tiles, we take it off of her, and also she doesn’t wear it at night when she’s in her bed. We try and keep the time she has to wear them to a minimum, as she makes it known how much she hates wearing them, she has real mood swings!
The bleeding lasted roughly 1-2 weeks for Lottie.
Lottie has recently had her second season so that was 10 months after her first. Again, the signs were similar with her going off her food and vomiting randomly some nights. Her behaviour changed this time too and she was generally just not herself, not as playful as usual and more anxious and less affectionate.
After carrying out some research, there are more signs to look out for in a female dog in season –
- A large, swollen vulva
- Licking the back end more than usual
- Urinating more than usual
- Behaviour changes (being more unsettled, being overly friendly with other dogs, more anxious than usual)
- And for us, occasional vomiting has been common and from reading different dog forums, other people have said the same for theirs.
Some general tips to be aware of when your dog is in season –
- Your dog will be at their most fertile, so it is really important to be aware and cautious of them around other dogs when you take them for a walk. It is best to keep them on their lead and supervise them or take them somewhere quiet where you are less likely to come into contact with other dogs if you do not want an unexpected pregnancy.
- Your dog will most likely be feeling hormonal and out of sorts, so keep her entertained by playing games and taking her for a walk to cheer her up!