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Can dogs get pregnant when they are not in heat?

Puppies are delightful to have around. Many people out there would have no complaints if they could spend an entire day playing with pups.

Of course, it’s different if you also have to care for and feed those puppies. You may not have the money right now to support more pets. That’s why you need to closely monitor your female dog.

You don’t need your pet dog getting pregnant unexpectedly, but is that something you have to worry about all the time? Is it possible for your female dog to become pregnant at any point throughout the year?

Those are just some of the important questions we’ll be answering in this article. Stay tuned so you can learn more about your pet’s chances of getting pregnant.

Can Dogs Get Pregnant When They Are Not in Heat?

The female dog’s heat cycle may not be something you’re completely familiar with. That’s understandable, but you do need to change that if you want to avoid unplanned pregnancies.

One important thing to note about canine pregnancies is that they can only occur during certain times. To be more specific, a female dog can only get pregnant while they are in heat.

The heat cycle for a dog can be quite long and it has multiple stages as well. Notably, they cannot get pregnant during the entirety of their heat cycle. Female dogs can only get pregnant during what is known as the estrus stage.

You can tell that your pet has entered the estrus stage because she will start becoming more receptive to male dogs. Dogs in heat are also known to leave some bloody discharge behind. However, the amount of blood your female dog discharges while in the estrus stage is likely to decrease.

So, how long will your dog’s fertile period last? It can last for a while.

Some dogs will remain in the estrus stage of the heat cycle for 24 days, although the average is closer to 10. Keep a close eye on your pet during that time so the both of you can avoid unplanned pregnancy.

Do Dogs Mate if Not in Heat?

Many of us assume that animals often do the things they do because it’s essential to their survival. While yes, their survival instincts certainly influence their decision-making, they are not the only factors that carry weight.

For example, dogs will mate and mount not just for the purposes of breeding.

A male dog may suddenly try to mount or mate with a female dog simply because it helps them feel good. Mounting is also something dogs may do as an attempt to display their dominance. They may also engage in that behavior because they’re having fun and getting carried away.

Male dogs won’t even seek out their female counterparts who are in heat. If they want to mount, just about any dog will do. Dogs may even mount inanimate objects in some scenarios.

Not all instances of two dogs mating can lead to a pregnancy. As long as your dog is not in heat, the mating your pet is engaging in is not something you have to worry too much about.

Can a Female Dog Be in Heat Without Bleeding?

The signs of a dog in heat can be quite obvious. They may include your pet becoming more interested in male dogs, frequent urination, and a swollen vulva.

Another sign of a dog in heat is bloody discharge. That may even be the sign that most pet owners will notice immediately.

Does that mean that all dogs in heat will leave bloody discharge behind? Notably, that may not be the case.

There are times when a dog may enter their heat cycle without you ever noticing. That can happen because their symptoms were very subtle. Your dog may have released a bloody discharge, but it was so scant that you missed it.

Pet owners should know that some dogs don’t always bleed noticeably while in heat. The other symptoms may similarly be difficult to detect. That is known as a silent heat.

A silent heat is not necessarily a cause for concern. It could be something that just comes naturally to your pet.

Still, it’s a good idea to take your dog to the veterinarian just to see if she is indeed going through a silent heat. You don’t have to stress out about a silent heat, but it’s different if your dog doesn’t go into heat at all.

Does a Dog Stop Being in Heat When Pregnant?

Dogs will enter a different stage of their reproductive cycle after they are impregnated. The familiar symptoms will stop at that point. If your dog isn’t pregnant, she will instead enter a different stage of their heat cycle.

After estrus, dogs enter a stage known as diestrus. In diestrus, your pet’s attitude towards male dogs may change. She will no longer show much interest in them.

Female dogs will remain in the diestrus stage until they give birth. Take this time to get ready and also make an effort to keep your pregnant dog comfortable. She will greatly appreciate that as she continues to deal with the changes in her body.

Can a Dog Be in Heat Without Showing Signs?

As we mentioned earlier, dogs may indeed enter their heat cycle without showing any obvious signs. That may happen because they are in the middle of a silent heat. A silent heat is normal and you don’t need to get worked about.

However, you shouldn’t mistake a silent heat for a missing heat. A missing heat is troublesome because it’s symptomatic of potential health issues. We’ve highlighted some of the health issues that can cause a missing heat below.


A missing heat is just one of the many symptoms that can be caused by cancer. If the missing heat is accompanied by the appearance of lumps, sudden weight loss, and other troubling symptoms, you must take your dog to the veterinarian right away to get her checked out.


Diabetes is another possible explanation for your dog’s missing heat. Dogs with diabetes need special care so make sure your pet receives treatment as soon as possible.

Ovarian Cyst

An ovarian cyst growing inside your dog may be causing all kinds of health issues. The missing heat may just be one of them.


Hypothyroidism occurs when the dog’s thyroid gland slows down significantly. A dog affected by hypothyroidism may miss their heat cycle, grow lethargic, and they may also gain a noticeable amount of weight.

It’s worth pointing out that hypothyroidism itself is a symptom of other diseases. Make sure you bring your pet to the veterinarian so you can understand exactly what is wrong with her.