How To Comfort A Dog In Heat
We’re going to skip the birds and the bees talk and assume you already know a little bit about dogs in heat. Your good girl has grown to maturity and is now undergoing bodily changes like most other mammals. Like in humans, dog heat cycles can be uncomfortable and distressing for your furry family member, and it's important to learn about what to do when a dog is in heat.
In this article, we'll identify tips and tricks on how to comfort a dog in heat, what to do when a dog is in heat, and how to calm a dog in heat. These tricks aim to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. So grab some treats, and let’s dive in!
What to Do When a Dog Is in Heat: Knowledge Is Power
Before you can learn how to comfort a dog in heat, you have to understand the canine heat cycle itself. A female dog's heat cycle typically lasts around three weeks. This is a general estimate that can change depending on the breed of pup. Regardless, during this time, your beautiful good girl will experience several different stages of her heat cycle.
The first stage is a stage known as “proestrus.” This initial stage typically lasts around nine days. During this stage, your grown puppy will experience a swollen vulva and begin producing a bloody discharge. This is the time when your dog is most fertile, so it's essential to keep her away from male dogs - assuming you don’t want to be a doggo grandparent! To mitigate the mess, you can try using doggie diapers for females in heat. There are disposable and reusable variations; choose a style that works best for you.
The second stage is “estrus,” which lasts around nine days. During this time, your dog will be more receptive to male dogs and may exhibit changes in behavior, such as increased restlessness, irritability, and other unusual patterns of behavior.
The final stage is “diestrus,” which is the longest-lasting stage that lasts around two months if your puppy princess does not become pregnant. During this time, her changes in behavior will return to normal, she will be less receptive to male dogs, and her heat cycle will come to an end.
What to Do When a Dog Is in Heat: Provide Opportunities for Exercise
Regular exercise is essential for dogs during their heat cycle, as it can help reduce stress and anxiety. However, you should avoid taking your dog on walks in busy areas where she may come into contact with other dogs, like the dog park.
Consider taking your dog for walks in quieter areas or, if you have access, let her play in a fenced-in yard where she can't escape. While practicing training is always encouraged with any dog, be aware that her temperament may be a little different due to her hormonal changes. Practice patience and remember to give her high-quality dog treats for correctly performing tasks and tricks!
What to Do When a Dog Is in Heat: Offer Nutritious Food
During her heat cycle, your puppy princess’ dog body is working hard to produce hormones and support her reproductive system. Providing her with nutritious and high-quality food can help support her overall health and well-being.
Consider feeding your dog a balanced diet that is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. You may also want to consider adding supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and promote overall health during times of heat.
How To Comfort A Dog in Heat: Provide Plenty of Water
During a heat cycle, your poor puppy princess can become more easily dehydrated, which can exacerbate her discomfort. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh water at all times (day and night). If your puppy is excessively panting or you suspect she may be having difficulty regulating her body temperature, consider adding the occasional ice cubes to her water bowl to help keep her cool and comfortable.
How To Comfort A Dog in Heat: Use Comfortable Clothing
Many dog owners find that using comfortable clothing can help their dogs feel more comfortable during their heat cycle. Clothing can help absorb any discharge and can help prevent your dog from licking or scratching herself excessively.
There are many different types of dog clothing available, such as dog diapers, shorts, or skirts. Make sure to choose clothing that fits your dog comfortably and that she is not allergic to the materials.
How To Comfort A Dog in Heat: Consider Natural Remedies
If your dog is experiencing discomfort or anxiety during her heat cycle, there are several natural remedies you can try to help alleviate her symptoms or help her calm down. Some of the most popular natural remedies include brewing some chamomile tea or using a lavender oil diffuser. Camomile tea can help soothe your dog's nerves and promote relaxation. Try brewing some tea, and allow it to cool completely before serving the tea to your puppy.
If you plan to use lavender, try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to a diffuser or spray bottle and use it where she likes to hang out. Be sure to start with a small amount to see how she responds in case she does not care for it. Being aware of her preferred environment ties into our next trick on how to comfort a dog in heat…
Provide a Comfortable Environment
While dogs cannot speak human language, it's not terribly difficult to anticipate their needs. Like with humans, it's essential to provide your loved one with a comfortable environment. Make sure she has a comfortable bed or crate to rest in, and consider using a cooling mat or fan to help keep her comfortable and cool.
You may also want to consider keeping her in a quiet and calm area of your home, away from any potential stressors like loud TVs, rowdy children, or any other noisy sources that could stress out your good girl.
How to Calm a Dog in Heat: Provide Plenty of Attention
Your dog may feel more anxious or needy than usual during her heat cycle, so it's important to provide her with plenty of attention and affection. Spend time cuddling and playing with her, and consider giving her extra treats or toys to keep her occupied. Giving her a high-quality chew is great because chewing releases dopamine and serotonin! Providing a Bully Bunches all-natural chew is a great way to allow your dog to self-soothe and calm their anxiety.
However, it's also essential to give your dog space when she needs it. If she seems irritable or restless, she may need some alone time to rest and relax. Respect her boundaries and let her come to you when she's ready for love, pets, and attention.
If Problems Worsen, Consult with Your Veterinarian
If your dog is experiencing severe discomfort or unusual symptoms during her heat cycle, it's important to consult with your veterinarian. They can help determine if there is an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed and provide you with advice on how to manage your dog's symptoms.
Your veterinarian may also be able to provide medication or other treatments to help alleviate your dog's discomfort and promote her overall health and well-being.
Dealing with a dog in heat can be a challenging experience, but by understanding the heat cycle and providing your dog with the right care and attention, you can help make the process as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Remember to provide your dog with plenty of water, a comfortable environment, nutritious food, and lots of love and attention.
For more helpful information, like how to calm a dog in heat, how to get rid of stinky dog breath, or how to socialize your puppy, check out the Bully Bunches blog! Visit Bully Bunches today to find high-quality dog treats and more!