Dogs in heat (having menstrual cycle) will have a swollen vulva, increased attention from intact males and/or vaginal bleeding.
The heat cycle lasts three weeks. The first week the dog will have a swollen vulva. The second week, the vulva will remain swollen, and she may or may not bleed vaginally. The third week, the vulva remains swollen but the bleeding stops.
Frequency of Heat Cycles
Dogs generally have their first heat cycle between 6 months to a year but some start as early as 5 months of age. Dogs generally go into heat every 6 months for the rest of their lives.
Recommendation for Dogs That Are in Heat
Dogs spayed during or within 8-9 weeks after their heat cycle can exhibit signs of false pregnancy. These signs can include aggressive behavior. Though we can easily spay dogs in heat for an extra charge, we recommend waiting for surgery unless she is housed with or exposed to sexually intact male dogs, including littermates.
Why We Are Willing to Spay Dogs in Heat
Some veterinarians refuse to spay dogs in heat. Our veterinarians are highly experienced and have no issues with performing the surgery when needed. Some dogs need to be spayed in heat to prevent pregnancy or for personal family reasons. We are here to help.