Many people may have questions when they first start taking care of a female dog. They often wonder how to handle the dog being in heat and whether or not the dog has a period. Technically speaking, a dog does not have a menstrual cycle, and they do not have a classic human monthly period. However, this isn’t too far from the truth of the subject. Knowing the signs of a dog in heat and what to expect can allow owners to take better care of their dog.


1. The Period Equivalent

Female dogs do have a cycle that is similar to human menstruation, but it has some key differences. This cycle, the estrous cycle, doesn’t occur until dogs reach a certain age. In some ways, this is similar to a human entering puberty. In general, the cycle begins in female dogs between the ages of 8 and 18 months. The frequency of the cycle changes dramatically between different breeds and sizes of dog. Smaller breeds may cycle every few months while larger dogs may only cycle once a year. It is normal for cycles to be irregular, though a veterinarian can confirm if there is an issue.

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