Predicting a time when the dog will come in heat is important for dog breeders. In most cases, female dogs are those who travel to a male, and, without knowing an approximate time of the next heat cycle, it’s hard to make any arrangements.
Besides that, owners of intact female dogs, are usually struggling with planning their vacations, because entrusting a female dog to a friend for a weekend, might turn out into a nightmare for the friend, if a female suddenly comes in heat.
Keep the record of previous estrous cycles of your female dog
Unfortunately, keeping a record of past estrous cycles is the only way to, at least approximately, predict, when the next heat cycle will begin. Normally dogs come in heat every five to eight months, with twice yearly, or every six moths, being the most common pattern.
However, abnormalities happen, and some dogs may even come in heat up to four times a year, or not come in up to one or one and a half year. Luckily, in normal conditions, dogs heat cycling frequency stabilizes, as they mature. This means, when it is about time to breed, healthy dog should have established a stable cycling pattern.
By “stable pattern”, we mean, you should be able to predict the time when your dog will come in heat, with a precision close to one or two months. We know, it’s not even close to satisfying, but there is some good news, as well.
After heat cycle starts, you still have some time before breeding
Starting from the fist day of the heat, you still have some, in most cases eight, days up till breeding. That should grant you some time to book a flight, arrange a hotel, and inform the owner of the stud.
Close to the time, when your dog is about to come in heat, you must watch for the heat signs carefully. Bloody discharge is the first symptom that appears. It’s not always blood red, but may be in yellowish tone, and, unfortunately, is easy to miss, if you are not intentionally observing for it. Dog cleaning herself a lot more, may be a signal, the bitch has come in heat, as well. You may wipe the vulva of your dog with a white napkin to see if there is a discharge.
Next step, after your dog has shown first signs of being in heat, should be visiting a vet, and checking if you are correct. Remember, relying on symptoms may be misleading if you want to confirm that your dog is in heat.
If you are expecting your dog to come in heat about this time, chances are high, your dog is in heat as the bloody discharge appears and the vet’s confirmation may be skipped, if you have experience. However, confirming the estrous cycle at a vet’s office is much cheaper than taking a trip to the kennel of the stud, and discovering, your dog is not in heat at all.
Besides that, if you want to breed your dog successfully, a vet may help you a lot. Especially for the best timing of the mating, which is detected by hormonal tests.
This article is a part of series about female dogs in heat.
Photo by GCSE Jack.