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A little knowledge about the dog heat cycle and dog mating process might prepare you for the experience especially for first time dog owners. Whether your dog is male or female, knowing the female dog in heat symptoms will help you to prevent unwanted pregnancies as well as dangerous or unpredictable situations. Read on to discover more about the stages of the dog heat cycle as well as the dog mating process.
There are 4 stages to the heat cycles in dogs.
This is the first stage of the dog heat cycle and can last from 3 to 17 days, with most dogs averaging 9 days. During this stage, you may notice symptoms such as:
The Estrus stage is the second part of your dog’s heat cycle. This stage can last for 3 to 21 days and similar to the Proestrus stage, an average of 9 days.
It is during this time that your dog’s ovaries release eggs for fertilization. Your female dog may look for some male company by wanting to go outside more often. Besides this, you may also notice the following:
Once the fertile period of the Estrus stage comes to an end, it is called the diestrus stage. Your dog is no longer fertile at this point. This stage lasts until your dog gives birth to puppies if she has been impregnated, which will be in 60 to 90 days. During the Diestrus stage, you will notice:
The final stage of the dog heat cycle is also known as the resting stage. This period lasts for 100 to 150 days. The heat cycle starts over at the end of Anestrus stage.
The dog mating process can be divided into three parts.
First stage coitus takes approximately 2 minutes. The male dog will sit on the female dog. As dogs will not be able to stay in this position for long due to severe cramps that will occur, they will change position.
The turn to change position takes about 5 seconds. The males dog achieves this by swinging one of its hind legs over the female dog’s body.
Second stage coitues can be anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes. The male and female dog will be standing rear to rear during this stage. Part of the male dog’s penis swells and enlarges while the female dog’s vaginal muscles contract against the male dog’s penis. This ‘tie’ prevents the penis from being withdrawn.
You should never forcefully separate dogs during the mating act. As the female dog’s muscles are contracted and the male dog’s penis is swelling, it will not only upset the dogs but also cause serious harm to them.
While it can be rather embarrassing for onlooking humans, the mating act between the dogs is a normal dog behavior.
Dogs can be spayed when they are in heat but this might cause bleeding and other surgical complications. As such, most vets prefer to wait until the resting stage to avoid complications.
The best age to spay your female dog would be at around 6 months. Male dogs are usually neutered when they are between 5 to 10 months. Your vet will know the best age for surgery for your dog, depending on its breed and size.
Knowing when your dog is in heat will not only prevent unwanted puppies but also help you to plan for puppies if you want them. If you don’t plan on being a grandparent to your dog’s pups, it’s best to spay or neuter your dog before its first heat cycle. As always, do consult your vet if you have any questions or concerns with your dog’s heat cycle.
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