Do Dogs Menstruate?
We all know that caring for a dog can be a rewarding and positive experience, especially if the dog in question is loving and adorable.
However, that does not mean that looking after a dog is a simple process, as they can often scare or worry you in ways that you never thought were possible.
And if you own a female dog, then chances are you may have experienced a few scares over the years, especially when your dog has been leaving a bloody discharge all over your home.
But what is the cause of this bloody discharge and why do female dogs produce it? And how can you prevent it from happening again?
Well, the answers to these questions can be found in the following article, where we have compiled some useful information concerning female dogs and a process called the estrus cycle.
So if you are concerned about your dog’s well-being, take a look down below and learn what you can do to help.
Do Dogs Menstruate?
If you own a female dog and have suddenly noticed that she is bleeding from her intimate area, then you have probably wondered if dogs can menstruate. Although humans and dogs are considered very different animals, we do share more similarities than you may think.
The biggest similarity is that we both belong to the mammal family, which means that we reproduce using the same means.
So the notion of female dogs being able to menstruate is not entirely ridiculous. In fact, female dogs do have periods, although, unlike human women, these periods are not the result of the menstrual cycle and are instead a condition of a process called the estrus cycle.
The estrus cycle, otherwise known as the heat cycle, occurs when your dog reaches puberty at around six months of age, though that number can change depending on the breed and size of your dog.
For example, smaller varieties of dogs have been known to reach maturity sooner than larger dogs, which means they will experience their periods a lot earlier.
Unlike the human menstrual cycle, female dogs do not experience their periods on a monthly basis and will often undergo the estrus cycle every six months.
Although this number is also subject to change, as the estrus cycle is known to vary among different breeds of dog. For example, smaller breeds can experience their estrus cycle four times a year, while larger dogs may undergo the process every eighteen months.
When your dog enters the cycle, the symptoms will typically last for two to three weeks, although this can also vary depending on the dog.
During this process, your dog’s vulva will become red and inflamed, which could cause a pink or clear discharge to leak out of their private area. Other symptoms of the estrus cycle include jittery behaviour and overall alertness.
How Can You Help?
When your dog undergoes her estrus cycle, you may find yourself concerned about the amount of discharge she is producing, and how it can cause lasting damage to your home.
However, there is nothing for you to worry about, not only is the discharge a natural part of the estrus cycle, but it also contains very little pure blood and will often be released in small quantities that are barely noticeable.
The estrus cycle often begins with your dog producing a heavy and reddish discharge that over time will begin to lessen into a pink and clear spotting, which can be easier to wipe up and maintain.
However, if you are finding the cleanup process to be stressful and time-consuming, then you can always invest in doggy diapers for your beloved pet.
Not only do diapers help to catch the flow of the discharge, but they can also provide comfort to your emotionally unstable pooch.
Because the symptoms of the estrus cycle can be both painful and uncomfortable, you will also notice that your dog’s behavior may be more fretful or erratic.
When your dog undergoes her heat cycle, you should always make sure that you are showering her with love and care, as this will help to support her throughout the process.
Frequent baths should also be important during this time, as they can be used to clean away any leftover discharge.
You will also need to make sure that your female dog is not exposed to any male dogs during her estrus cycle, otherwise, she could become the victim of aggressive behavior.
To ensure your dog’s overall safety during this process, you must always keep her on a lead and make sure that she is behind a fence when playing outside.
Should You Spay Your Pet?
If you own a female dog and have no intention of using her for breeding, then there is no reason why she should undergo her estrus cycle.
Female dogs that are not being used for breeding should always be sterilized, as this can stop the estrus cycle and ensure her safety around male dogs.
Sterilizing female dogs can also result in gentler behaviour and can help to reduce the number of homeless dogs on the streets.
We understand that the idea of a litter of puppies can be adorable, but if you are not prepared for your dog to have babies, then you could find yourself spending thousands to maintain their care and well-being.
Not only that, but there are hundreds of puppies currently up for adoption, so if you want a new little dog in your home, going to a shelter is a much more rewarding solution.
Keeping track of your dog’s reproductive cycle can be a simple and easy way to ensure her well-being during the estrus process.
But if you know you will never use your dog to reproduce, then remember that sterilization is a viable and healthy option to stop the cycle altogether.