Is your dog barking more than usual? If you have a female, she could be in heat.

The truth is, a female dog in heat can be rather unnerving for many dog owners. Dogs in heat can look so uncomfortable that it can often cause us to fret for their safety and wellbeing. We might consider taking them to the vet or lavishing them with extra attention in order to make the barking and crying stop.

Up ahead, we’ll take a look at what it means to have a female dog in heat and why this can cause your dog to bark — sometimes even uncontrollably and for long periods of time.

Do dogs bark when in heat?

Yes. In fact, this is quite common. For dog owners that have intact female dogs, going into heat on a regular basis is a standard occurrence, and you as the owner will know that the barking is part and parcel of this experience.

Of course, most dog owners don’t have intact female dogs that go into heat regularly without a reason. That is, most dog owners in this situation are breeders. If you do not plan on breeding your female dog, it’s a good decision to have your dog spayed as soon as possible. This will help you avoid a litter of unwanted puppies in the future and, of course, you can avoid some of the more uncomfortable symptoms of your dog going into heat as well (barking being one of them!).

What to do about my dog barking while in heat?

One of the main things you can do to help your dog in heat stop barking or at least tone it down a bit is to make sure they are kept far away from male dogs. The male dogs’ presence in this case could actually be causing the barking.

If you have both male and female dogs at home or at your kennel, however, this can be tough. Basically, you need to keep them as far away from each other as you can. For example, keep your female dog indoors and your male dogs outdoors or vice versa. Some breeders will even board their male dogs somewhere else when their female dogs are in heat.

Providing Comfort

Keeping your female dog in heat far away from your male dogs (and any other male dogs in the area) is the best way to limit the whines of your female dog. However, you also want to provide some comfort too.

This will not only soothe your dog and help them to calm down a bit emotionally, but it can also provide some respite from the barking (hopefully).

For example, you might try simply petting your dog and calming her down with your soothing words. Use a low and gentle voice. Pet her where she likes most to be petted – perhaps on her abdomen while she is laying down or even behind her ears, giving them a light scratch. Listen to and watch for her cues to know what type of touch she likes the most.

You can also give your dog in heat some treats! Give her something extra with her dinner. For example, pour some gravy over her dry food, or give her some bits of meat (just make sure there aren’t any bones). Little treats can give her some nourishment and comfort during this challenging time.

Why does my female dog bark so much?

This isn’t exactly known, although we can hazard some educated guesses.

Experts, for example, believe that when female dogs go into heat, they are basically uncomfortable, and this causes most of the barking and whining. This can be paralleled with humans, actually. It is a well-known fact that a female human experiences an array of discomforts during her menstrual period each month.

Dogs, then, may also experience some of these symptoms, such as nausea, bloating, pain in the abdomen, headaches, and more. In order to deal with the symptoms, your dog may whine and bark. They may be looking to you for help, or they may simply be seeking attention. They may want some comfort from you such as a belly rub or some extra yummy treats.

Of course, another common reason why female dogs in heat may whine is that they are trying to contact potential mates. In nature, for example, if they were in the woods or in a field, the barking that either their time of the month (or their overall discomfort caused) could result in barking that would spread far and wide. This would alert area males that there was a dog in heat nearby, and he could go to her.

Why does my dog in heat bark at night?

One of the most challenging aspects of having a female dog in heat is that they don’t seem to know what time of day it is. Your dog may bark all day long because she is in heat, and then you would expect that she would quiet down at night, right? For many female dogs, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, she may actually bark even more at night!

Basically, the same rules apply here. If you want to mitigate nighttime barking with your female dog in heat, you should always keep male dogs away. If you have neighbors with male dogs, for example, you may need to keep your dog inside even if she’s used to being outside. Any male dogs that you own should also be kept far away or in another kennel entirely.

Again, give your dog some added comforts to help relax them too. Make up a nice bed for her that is warm and has good air circulation around it. Give her some treats before nighttime. Pet her for a while before you go to bed to hopefully calm her down.

And if none of these things work? Wear some earplugs. What’s important to know is that a female dog in heat is not in danger in nearly all cases. It’s simply a phase that she has to go through and that you’ll have to go through too — whether you like it or not.

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.