Heat or estrus is the stage in a female dog’s reproductive cycle when she becomes receptive to mating with males. It is at this point the estrogen levels increase at first and then later decrease. This is also when the mature eggs get released from the ovaries.
Normally, you should spay your dog before she enters her first heat cycle. As long as you have not gotten your female dog spayed, she is most definitely going to go into heat. So, if your female dog has not experienced her first heat yet, you should be expecting it. This article will discuss issues surrounding your female pitbull going into heat and how to prepare and take care of her during the heat. Specifically, we want to answer the question “how long does a female pitbull stay in heat?”
When Will My Pitbull Have Her First Heat?
Your female pitbull will have her first heat anytime between 6 to 24 months. This is why your dog diapers should be handy as she is growing. While it is possible for you to keep your dog outside to avoid worrying about her discharge, you should worry about male dogs that might come meet with and mate with your dog, leading to unplanned puppies.
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How Often Will My Pitbull Go Into Heat?
Well, according to The Real Pit Bull and WebMD, female pit bulls stay in heat for an average of 18 to 21 days and this applies to almost every other female dog. Female pitbulls go into heat twice a year every 6 months.
Signs Or Symptoms That Your Dog Is Going Into Heat
- Swollen Vulva and bloody discharge.
- Attracting male dogs without letting them mount on her.
- After two weeks, she will start courting the male dog. Then, her vulva will be smaller and the discharge will not be as heavy or bloody.
- Frequent Urination.
- Increased Nervousness.
- She’s beginning to get more easily distracted.
- She’s also getting more alert than usual.
When your pitbull is ready to begin breeding, she often stands in front of male dogs and raises her hind legs. Also, a female pit bull’s discharge becomes clearer in color when she is about to begin breeding.
How Do I Prevent My Dog From Going Into Heat?
The only way to prevent your pit bull from going into heat or, in the long run, ending up with unplanned puppies is to get her spayed. This is also to protect her from diseases like breast cancers and disease of the reproductive system.
Here are some benefits of spaying your female pit bull:
- It helps you plan your dog’s puppies.
- It controls and curbs genetic disease.
- It guarantees prevention from certain medical disorders like mammary cancers, ovarian tumors, breast tumors, uterine tumors, and several other diseases.
- It helps to modify your dog’s behavior.
- It reduces the risk of your dog to unwanted pregnancy caused by male dogs who can sneak in on your dog.
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How Can I Disguise My Dog’s Heat From Male Dogs?
At times, it might seem inevitable to protect your pitbull from the risk of male dogs around and you will have to make every effort to keep your dog safe. Well, these tips can help:
- Rub a dab of menthol under your dog’s tail.
- Give your dog chlorophyll tablets to cover up the scent after consulting your vet.
- If you have a male dog, you can rub menthol on his nose to mask off the female dog’s scent.
While these tips might help, it does not guarantee 100% that your female dog’s heat would be masked from male dogs. As we mentioned earlier, your best option remains to spay your female dog.
How Do I Care For My Pitbull During Heat?
The estrus period is not a time to abandon your dog outside. If not, she will be a prey to aggressive male dogs who are looking to mate. So, it is better to keep your pitbull indoors. We understand that this might be quite inconvenient considering that she’ll be making bloody discharges during this period. However, you can still work it out by looking for a comfortable space indoors that won’t be so hard to clean up. The video below should give you some ideas.
So, here are some of the ways you can care for your dog during heat:
- Purchase dog panties to easily hold the discharge in place to avoid creating a mess when you have to dispose of it. Don’t hesitate to give your dog a bath too when you see it is necessary.
- It is very likely your dog is aggressive towards other pets in the same house during this period. She may snub other pets, hump on them and attempt to have things her way. Therefore, you might consider separating her from others when she acts like this. Don’t make the mistake of passing the same level of aggression back because it will subside when the phase is over.
- Walk your pit bull on a leash but apply menthol on her tail prior to that to mask off her scent from male dogs.
- Brush your dog’s coat to soothe her cracked nerves.
- Watch your dog’s appetite too. Be observant because your pit bull’s appetite may either increase or decrease. Regardless, you should feed your pitbull nutritious foods during this period.
If is it not your intention that your female dog reproduces, it is important you spay her. Consult your vet to know if that is a considerable option.
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When Do I Spay My Pit Bull?
Vets always recommend that it is best to spay your pitbull between 5 to 9 months (Click here to read How Old Is My Pitbull?). This is the best time to increase the safety of anesthesia and the surgery recovery period. Spaying at this age also prevents better the risk of unwanted pregnancy. In fact, most veterinarians prefer to spay pit bulls as early as two months old. To learn more about spaying and neutering, listen to a vet here