Do Dogs Go Through Menopause?
Unlike humans who go through periods every month, female dogs don't. So, do dogs go through menopause? Today, we'll answer do dog go through menopause and what are the signs & symptoms that you should look out for as your furbaby ages.
"A female dog begins to have lesser estrus cycles at around seven years old. It will appear like their heat cycles have stopped or have become irregular."
A Dog's Heat Cycle
How long does a dog stay in heat? Dogs don't go through monthly periods. Instead, they go through heat cycles every four to 12 months that usually lasts between two to four weeks. According to the East Central Vet, each stage has differing signs related to behavior, physical or clinical changes, hormonal changes, physiologic changes, and cytologic (vaginal smear) changes.
A dog's heat cycle looks like this:
Stage 1 - Proestrus: There is a vaginal discharge that ranges from white to brown in color; male dogs are already attracted to the female dogs in this stage. However, the female dogs will still be unwilling to mate. This usually lasts 4 to 20 days.
Stage 2 - Estrus: The vulva of your female dog will be swollen and bloody vaginal discharge appears. This is the best time for mating dogs. This period usually lasts for 5 to 13 days.
Stage 3 - Metestrus (Diestrus): This is the period after mating and usually lasts for 60 -90 days. If the dog is pregnant, it will last for 60 to 64 days. If she is not, she will begin the anestrus stage.
Stage 4 - Anestrus: Sexual and hormonal activities are low in these stages. It's mostly called the period of inactivity and this usually lasts a few months, depending on the breed of dog, or until the next heat cycle of the female dog.
Now, when a woman experiences menopause, she will no longer experience monthly periods and her body will have extremely low levels of progesterone and estrogen for the rest of her life. But, do dogs go through menopause? Dogs have a much different cycle than humans, but can still have changes based on age, similarly.
So, do dogs go through menopause? No, this does not occur. But, you may still notice some changes. And at what age do dogs stop going into heat? There is no menopause in dogs and no dog menopause age, according to The Spruce Pets. A female dog will continue to go on heat cycles for the rest of her life but...
Do dogs have menopause? At what age do female dogs stop going into heat? Maybe the only menopause-like sign in dogs is when a female dog begins to have lesser estrus cycles at around seven years old. It will appear like their heat cycles have stopped or have become irregular. Dog menopause does not exist, but a female dog's fertility will deteriorate together with age. Old dogs in heat being pregnant is still possible even if there are higher risks.
As PetMD states, just because dogs can get pregnant even if they are already seniors doesn’t mean they should. At this age, their litters will tend to be smaller and more puppy deaths might happen. Labor may also be more difficult for your senior dog if carried to term. Additionally, female dogs that get pregnant after they are 8 years of age are more prone to developing pyometra, which is a life-threatening disease involving infection of the uretus.
Dogs in this menopausal stage will not be qualified enough to maintain and carry out healthy pregnancies, so it's really best not to breed them.
As heat cycles become irregular (as mentioned above), a 13 or 14 month interval can still be normal for a senior female dog's heat cycle. But if your dog truly no longer goes through her heat, it can be a sign of a health problem like ovarian cysts, closed pyometra, and the like. Here are some examples of heat cycle abnormalities in dogs. Some dogs will also go into silent heats where there will be no bloody discharge or any visible heat signs, only swelling of the vulva and male dogs lurking around. These can seen like signs of dog menopause, but in reality your dog will not stop going into heat at any particular age.
MENO-PAWS: Managing Your Female Dog During this Stage
Though there is no such thing is dog menopause, your furbaby will continue having heat cycles, there are some things you can do to help give your senior dog a better quality of life.
Supplements. You can put your female senior dog on daily vitamins and mineral supplement together with a healthy and balanced diet. Nutritional deficiencies are common in senior dogs and it's best to prevent vitamin and mineral issues early. You can provide her with Pet Parents® Multivitamins SoftSupps®. These supplements help strengthen your furbaby's immune system and give her the right nutrients she needs.
Keep the boys away. You need to prevent pregnancy in your female senior dog (as mentioned above) because of pregnancy risks, and it’s important to keep intact males away. Males can smell a female in heat from miles away and, if left alone, they will do whatever it takes to get to her and breed. Also, never let your female dog out into the backyard by herself, and, when walking her, make sure she is always on lead.
Be on top of your dog's hygiene. Depending on your dog's breed, many dogs will need to be groomed while in heat, with a focus on the fur surrounding the private parts, so that bloody discharge doesn't dry in her fur. Dried blood can be difficult to remove and might cause infection as the area will get itchy and exposed to bacteria.
Get some dog diapers. There’s no pretty way to say this… But even with old age, though not as regular anymore, your dog will still bleed in her heat cycle... everywhere. This means blood can and will get on your carpet and furniture.
Doggie diapers are a perfect solution to keep your house clean and your sanity intact. Our Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers come in many different sizes and colors so you’re sure to find a solution that fits just right.
Take a trip to the vet. Vet visits once every six months is recommended. Consider this as routine maintenance for your senior dog. Even though your dog is not going through menopause, these vet visits will give you a chance to keep track of your dog’s health and bring up any concerns.
"Our Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers come in many different sizes and colors so you’re sure to find a solution that fits just right."
Do dogs go through menopause? Can dogs go through menopause? The answer is no. However, although there is no such thing as dog menopause, you may notice some changes as your female dog gets older. Your furbaby will still need your love and care since she will still go through a heat cycle (though not as regular anymore). Keep your female dog comfortable in heat and consult your vet if you notice that she is no longer going into heat.
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