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Do Female Dogs Have Periods? What to Expect and How to Respond

Dogs having periods—er, sounds icky, right? Well, here is everything you need to learn to deal with it without messing up.

Do Female Dogs Have Periods

Dogs having periods—er, sounds icky, right? Well, here is everything you need to learn to deal with it without messing up.

Ever seen your furry friend and done a double-take because of a little blood? Don’t worry! You aren’t alone. Many new pet parents are surprised to see their female dog experiencing vaginal bleeding. Perceiving that it’s menstruation, you anxiously search for if dogs have periods.

No, dogs don’t have periods as humans do. Instead, they go through ‘heat’ cycles, which involve some bleeding and discharge, giving the impression that dogs menstruate. However, their cycle is different from that of female humans and occurs only 2–4 times a year.

While you treat your dog as family, it’s important to be well-prepared for these special days. Though a female dog goes into heat after 4–6 months, it lasts for a few weeks, meaning you can expect some spotting and extra cleaning for potential messes.

When Do Dogs Start Having Periods?

Most dogs have their first period at 6 months of age. However, it’s not necessary, as different breeds reach the age of puberty at different times. For smaller breeds, they become sexually mature at an early age of 6 months. While some large breeds are about 18–24 months old when having their first period.

Do Female Dogs Have Periods And Bleed Like Humans?

No, female dogs don’t get periods and bleed like humans. However, a little blood-tinged discharge is normal during the proestrus stage. Unlike humans, the endometrium lining doesn’t shed during dog menstruation; therefore, it causes minor bleeding.

Human females experience monthly cycles that complete within 28 days. However, in dogs, the cycle repeats after 6 to 8 months. The dog’s estrus cycle differs from the human’s cycle in other aspects too, which we will discuss in this blog.

What Happens During A Female Dog’s Period?

When on her period, a female dog secretes vaginal discharge with traces of blood and also urinates frequently. You will notice swollen genitals (vulva) and behavioral changes, indicating your female dog is in heat. The dog may also become more aggressive and often escape outdoors in search of a partner. 

How Long Does Dog Menstruation Last?

Dog menstruation or bleeding occurs for the initial 7–10 days of their heat or estrus cycle. It’s the first stage of their cycle that prepares a female dog for mating, but she isn’t receptive yet. Once it’s over, the female remains in heat for the next 5–10 days and looks for a male companion for mating.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Gets Her Period?

The first thing you should be doing is keeping your dog indoors to prevent any chance of pregnancy (only if you don’t want them to breed). If outdoor walking is necessary, don’t let them go off-leash. Wash them up to keep them clean and avoid any infection. During the discharge, you can help your dog put on reusable pads or disposable diapers to save your furniture from spotting. 

Do Female Dogs Have Periods Every Month?

No, female dogs don’t have periods every month. Rather, their cycle repeats after 4 to 6 months. Usually, toy breeds have periods more frequently as they go into ‘season’ 3–4 times in a year. While giant breeds have their periods once or at most twice a year.

When Do Dogs Stop Having Periods?

It may take you by surprise, but dogs don’t stop having periods for a lifetime. They continue to go into heat and can become pregnant throughout their lives. However, you may observe irregular periods in female dogs as they age. It might be because of an underlying condition if dogs stop having periods without going through any medical procedure.

Do Spayed Female Dogs Have Periods?

No, spayed dogs can’t have periods because they don’t carry the organs responsible for the cycle. While it has been noticed that dogs and cats go into heat after being spayed for certain reasons, it’s not possible for them to conceive. It’s the leftover hormones in the system that might trigger a little bloody discharge.

The Bottom Line 

What happens during a female dog’s heat cycle is somewhat similar to periods. Knowing what happens during their heat cycle can help you manage your dog’s needs and provide them with comfortable living. By understanding the signs and being prepared, you can provide the best care for your furry friend during this time.


Do Cats and Dogs Have Periods?

Yes, both cats and dogs have periods, but they occur differently than in humans. Female dogs go through a heat cycle at least twice a year and experience minor bleeding. While female cats also have a heat cycle, they don’t bleed visibly. Instead, they display behaviors such as increased vocalization and restlessness.

How Can I Stop My Dog’s Period?

Spaying is the only permanent solution to stop your dog’s period for the rest of her life. Vets also recommend this surgical method to terminate your dog’s reproductive cycle, as it’s non-reversible.

Do Dogs Go Through Menopause?

No. There is no such thing as menopause in a dog’s reproductive cycle. They remain sexually active to mate when in heat. Dogs who haven’t been spayed will retain the ability to reproduce until they die.

How To Clean Dog Period Blood?

Always use fresh water without soap or rub the area with pet wipes. Be gentle, as their private parts become more sensitive after periods. While dogs are pretty good at grooming themselves, they might need a little help to clean the area between their hind legs. If you have a blood spot on any piece of furniture or floor, use an enzymatic cleaner to wash away stains and odors.

Rico Alanan

Rico Alanan

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