When your dog is in heat, it can be stressful for both of you. You want to ensure your dog gets her usual exercise. Still, you also want to avoid any embarrassment and confrontation if you run into male dogs. Here are a few ways to cope with the behavioral change your dog will display when she is in heat.
Should I Walk My Dog While She is in Heat?
The simple answer is yes. You can walk your dog when she is in heat season. Depending on the size of your dog, the heat season usually occurs every six months and will last about three weeks. You cannot expect to keep the dog locked up in your home for the entire period without walks.
Is it Safe To Walk My Dog While She is In Heat?
It is entirely safe and healthy for your dog to take a walk while she is in the heat season. It is also necessary as it helps calm her down during this period.
Do Dogs Act Differently When They Are in Heat?
Your dog is going to show a few signs to indicate it is in the heat season. This can prep you for how you will walk it. Some of the signs to expect include:
- Swollen vulva
- Frequent urination
- Licking the genital area excessively
- Bloody or a pink discharge from the vulva
- Change in tail position
- Nervous, agitated, and aggressive behavior
How Should I walk My Dog While She Is In Heat?
The main thing is to keep your dog in the lead every time. As she will be releasing pheromones, male dogs in the area can sense and will be approaching. Also, during this period, your dog can behave irrationally and defensively. A leash, therefore, is non-negotiable.
What Are Some Tips To use When Walking My Dogs while She is in Heat?
Here are other things to keep in mind while walking your dog during this period.
Time Your Walks
You may want to walk your dog during unsociable hours. For instance, there are not many people on the road during early mornings and late evenings, which reduces the chances of running into other dogs.
Try Some New Routes
Put your dog in the car, and go somewhere different. Park the car and take your dog for walks. Male dogs will not be able to trace the scent back to your home.
Consider Other Dogs As Well
As much as you are concerned about your dog, it is good to be mindful of the local dogs. Note that there will be people who will be walking their dogs off lead, which means your dogs in heat will spark the interest of the males in the area. Therefore, walk your dog away from the local dogs to avoid confrontations.
Avoid Busy Places
It is best to avoid busy places like parks where dog owners allow them to run up and down and play. Despite having your dog in the lead, if a nearby male is off lead and senses the pheromones, it can turn into a tricky situation. Aside from that, if most dogs sense the smell and start approaching you to investigate the scent, your female dog can get anxious.
Even a well-trained dog is likely to disobey commands when she is in heat. Their hormones are all over the place, and they can be a little rebellious. Therefore, no need to be worried that your dog is getting out of hand. This is temporary.
How Can I Avoid Male Dogs When My Dog Is in Heat?
As you walk your dog, she will be giving off pheromones which advertise she is in season. This is going to attract the males in the area. Also, a male dog may follow the trail your female is leaving, hoping that he will mate with her. Therefore, avoid other dogs as much as you can to avoid a disaster. Some male dogs may be off the leash, and this can lead to an uncomfortable situation. Sometimes, even males on a leash can break free to follow your dog. Therefore, the best solution is to avoid other males.
Should Dogs Exercise When in Heat?
Even during this period, ensure that your dog exercises as it prevents boredom and depression. This is particularly important for dogs that exercise often or have too much energy to release. However, during this period, your exercise has to be modified. For instance, if you have a yard, exercise from there instead of the usual exercises at the park.
Exercises for female dogs while in heat
Some exercises that can help your dog during this period include:
- Clicker training
- Game of catch
- Agility training
How Long Should I walk My Dog While She Is In Heat?
You can walk your dog the same duration you usually do or even add a few minutes on top. Because dogs in heat require mental stimulation, adding a few minutes on top will help them greatly. Some female dogs are extra energetic when in heat, and they need an outlet for this pent-up energy. If you walk your dog for 30 minutes, you may want to do it 45 minutes during the heat season.
How Far Away Do Male Dogs Smell A Female in Heat?
Since dogs have a strong smelling sense, they can smell the pheromones the female is releasing up to 3 miles away. Generally, dogs have geographic boundaries and can sense females within those territories. Most of the time, they will be receptive to females within those boundaries. Still, it is also not unusual for some to travel long distances to get to the female.
How To Help My Dog While She is in Heat
When your dog is in heat, she will need some extra attention and care. However, there is no need to panic. Some of the ways you can care for her include:
Please Pay Attention to Her Hygiene
One of the signs of the estrus cycle your dog will display is discharging a mucoid fluid that is either bloody or pinkish. While she will try to clean herself by licking, you will also have to clean her a little. You can opt for spot cleaning or bathing her. This is good for both of you. You will be helping her stay clean and at the same time keep stains off the carpet and furniture. You can also use doggie diapers as they can help keep the stain on furniture and carpet.
Check Her Appetite
During this period, appetite changes are usual. Different dogs will display different signs. Some may have an increase in appetite, while others may have an increase. Either way, ensure your dog is getting a nutritious meal with a balance of fiber, vitamins, and other essential nutrients to keep her healthy.
Do Not Let Her Go Outside Alone
To protect your female dog from an unwanted pregnancy or males in the area, you need to be with her when she is playing in the yard. A male dog may suddenly appear, and if he senses the female is in heat, he will try his best to get to her.
Get Her Some Toys And Chews
If you are going somewhere for a while and you are leaving your dog alone, leave her some toys or chews. That simple repetitive act of chewing allows her to cope with stress, which is typical for dogs in the heat season. You can then put them away when you get back to maintain your dog’s interest in them.
Balance Between Exercise and Rest
Observe your dog, then create a balance between exercise and rest. Note that most dogs are restless, but at the same time, they can be lethargic. Therefore, they need a balance of both to release energy and rest as well.
Avoid Group Training and Dog Shows
Whether you have signed up your dog for group training or dog shows, it is good to avoid them at this time. The scent that your female dog will be releasing will be distracting to male dogs. This not only affects performance but can also create chaos at the event. Cancel these plans till the heat season is over.
Offer Extra Attention
Most females can be a little anxious during this period. With her body morphing, she will likely experience mood swings. She may either seek extra attention from you or less. You have to provide care according to the situation. If she wants extra attention, try to be there for her. If she wants space, give her that as well.
How to Calm a Dog in Heat
To help your dog during this period, you can make your home a calm place where the dog can relax and rest. Your home does not have to be completely quiet, but you can avoid sudden noises that will scare the dog and make her more anxious. You can also try some oils and perfumes designed to calm the dog.
Can I Mask the Scent of My Dog While in Heat?
Yes, you can mask the scent your dog is giving if you want to avoid attracting male dogs during walks or around your home. While you may not mask the smell completely, it will help reduce the number of males coming around your home.
What Are The Ways I Can Use to Mask the Scent my Dog is Giving?
- Use some doggy diapers, which can help reduce the scent
- Try applying a menthol spray on her as it will help mask the smell.
- Wash her often during this period, using a strong scented perfume for dogs.
- Rinse away her urine with cold water or something with a strong scent
- Keep your home clean as well to reduce the smell the dog is leaving on carpets and furniture.
- Try spraying your home as well.
Why Do Dogs Give a Scent When They Are In heat?
This is a natural part of canine reproduction where the female releases pheromones because it is her time to mate. While a human cannot detect this smell, male dogs have a strong sense of smell and will answer this call.
You Might Want to Consider Spaying Your dog
If you are not planning to breed your dog, consider spaying it. Spayed female dogs will not come in the heat season, which means you can walk them at any time of the year, and she can play with male dogs at any time.
Is Spaying Dangerous?
This procedure is done under anesthesia, and the risks involved are pretty low. You only need to find a skilled vet to do the surgery. Most dogs recover within 10 to 14 days.
What Is The Right Age For Spaying My Dog?
Wait for your dog to be at least six months old and if it is a larger dog, then wait for it to be a bit older. Your vet will advise you on the right age, depending on the size of your dog.