It’s a popular belief that female dogs are safe during first days of the heat. It’s indeed hard to reorganize your life right the moment when you see the first drop of blood on the floor. I’m very lazy and am tempted into looking with one eye only after my dog at the beginning. And I am not the only one as many of us have read or heard something, that nothing bad will happen during first days of heat. However, don’t let the calmness of your dog fool you.
During first days of the heat your dog can’t get pregnant. It’s true, but that does not save you from your dog running away. Even if she is not giving you a crazy face when male passes by, she may run after him and not respond to you calling. My dog once jumped over a fence, and it was really hard to call her back.
How do you know how long it’s safe?
Despite the fact, your dog can’t get pregnant in the first days of the heat, problems arise if we need to define “first days”.
- Phase when dog can get pregnant during heat may be as short as three days. While on average it’s nine days, it may be as long as 17 or as short as three days. 3 days? Starting from when? Is it from the day you found out about the heat, or since it began? And how can you tell, when exactly it began? You don’t!
- It’s easy to miss the beginning of the heat. First sign is a bloody discharge from the vulva. I usually identify it when I see small drops on the floor. But what if the discharge is not red, but pink or yellow? What if your tiles are so dark, it’s not possible to notice them? What if a dog cleans after her? Most dogs do. While you may notice if your dog is licking herself a bit more often than before, the truth is, few dog owners are close enough to their pets to notice it.
- Sperm may survive up to seven days inside uterus. It’s a security nature provides. While professional breeders are able to tell, when to breed, dogs mating naturally do not know that. This is why sperm has the ability to survive inside the body of a female, until the time is right. Luckily there is another protection, female dogs do not allow males to jump on them in the beginning of the heat. However, I would not rely on this, because, first, exceptions happen, and a male trying to mount a female, with her not allowing it, may result in aggression from both sides.
Even if we consider (I often do) we can start with moderate protectiveness in the beginning, and increase it gradually as the heat progresses, make sure it happens rapid, as things will get crazy soon.
This post is a part of ongoing series about dogs in heat.
Photo by djg0333.