What To Do When Your Dog is in Heat

Updated: April 05, 2023

"My dog is in heat! What do I do?" When a female dog is coming into heat, pet parents usually either panic or pretend the situation isn’t happening and treat their dog as they would normally. Just be clear, neither reaction is the right one as a female dog in heat is not as easy to deal with as you might think it is. Some pet parents might be totally lost in what to do when your dog is in heat or what to do when your dog gets her period, but don’t worry, we’re here to help with advice on what to do if your dog is in heat!

Caring for Dogs in Heat: What to do When Your Dog is in Heat

If your female dog is in heat, they will need more of your love, care, and attention. If it is her first heat cycle, there are a couple of things must be done to prevent an unplanned pregnancy and help make your furbaby's heat more comfortable for the both of you. A female dog in heat stays in heat for 2-4 weeks, so you need to be familiar with what to do when your dog is in heat. When do female dogs get their period? If you are unsure how to tell if a dog is in heat, you can see the signs here.

In this article, we’ve come up with some of the most important things you’ll want to do for your female dog in heat, from exercise to dog period diapers for dogs in heat. We will share tips of what to do when your dog is in heat and we’ll also address some common things to avoid.

Here are some DO's and DON’Ts for pet parents of dogs in heat.

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"A female dog in heat stays in heat for 2-4 weeks, so you need to be familiar with what to do when your dog is in heat."

DO: Exercise Your Female Dog in Heat

When your dog is in heat, it can be a very stressful time. To help destress her, exercises are helpful. There is a misconception that female dogs in heat shouldn’t get any exercise, but she still needs walks. Avoid the strenuous physical activities, a brief walk around the block will already do great wonders. Plus, according to VCA Hospitals, walking your dog is not only beneficial for her, but also for you! But, remember never to walk your dog without a leash when she is going through her heat cycle. Even if you think your furbaby is the best trained dog on earth and has extensive obedience training, heat can cause abnormal behaviors and hormonal drives that do not usually exist. For her safety, keep her on a leash to avoid fighting animal instincts.

Female dogs in heat are apt to take off running and could eventually become lost or hurt. Male dogs will also be driven to her, so even if she comes back when called, male dogs can still be a problem. Always walk your dog on a leash so that if any male dog does approach, you can more easily block your female. Also, while on walk, avoid passing by busy places where there are a lot of dogs. This could become a problem as all loose dogs in the area will be attracted to her scent.

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DO: Balance Between Rest and Play for Your Dog in Heat

Different dogs will react differently to being in heat. Some may feel restless and need a bit more exercise, while some may feel tired most of the days. It’s important to really observe your dog’s behavior and offer the right amount of rest and play for her. You know her best, so you have to know what is right for her and what makes her happiest and comfortable.

During rest, we recommend providing her with Pet Parents® Pawtect® Blankets. These Pawtect® Blankets are waterproof and made with the smoothest special faux fur fabric that provides warmth and comfort for your dog. If she is feeling anxious, she may begin to gnaw on the blanket. If this happens, don’t worry because a Pawtect® Blanket has LockJaw™ technology that aids in preventing fast fraying & wearing and limits your stressed furbaby's access to chewing the blanket’s edges. Additionally, according to Sleep Foundation, a comfortable bed will encourage sleep. A Pawtect® Blanket by your furbaby's side is able to provide her comfort while sleeping and helps better her sleep.

DO: Double the Supervision of Dogs in Heat

A dog will always want to mate when she is in heat and is able to attract males to lurk around. This can cause your furbaby to go a little crazy and out of control. She may want to take off running or escape. This can lead to a number of possibilities, like an unplanned breeding, getting lost, or getting stolen.

When your furbaby is in heat, allow her to still enjoy the things she loves doing, but double (or triple!) the supervision. Always keep watch and don’t let her be out of sight. As mentioned before, always use a leash on walks. She can still be outside with supervision but be sure to avoid dog parks.

DO: Give Your Female Dog in Heat Extra Love and Attention

The changes that happen to your dog when she is in heat are not just physical, there are also mental and emotional changes as well (ladies, sometimes you can relate to this on a personal level, am I right?). Your dog may feel anxious and easily stressed out during these times that’s why it is always a good idea to give her extra love and attention. This could mean playing with her more, brushing her, or just giving her some extra pets and cuddles.

Also, according to Danielle Mühlenberg, a dog behaviorist, a dog in heat may become clingy and affectionate even if at certain times they will get grumpy. Make sure to always have extra time for her during her heat cycle as she will depend on you to help her feel better.

DO: Use Dog Diapers for Female Dogs in Heat

One of the most common signs to know that your dog is in heat is a bloody discharge, and this can be off-putting when it begins soiling your carpet or furniture. Do you want a nice blood stain on your bed or on your couch? Of course not! So, we have a perfect solution for you: diapers for dogs in heat. The best thing to do is have your dog wear Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers. These dog period diapers are a saving grace for you, your dog, and your home.

Diapers for dogs in heat will provide comfort to your dog and peace of mind for you. No need to worry about letting her on the carpet when she is wearing well-fitted diapers for dogs in heat. Instead, you both can relax knowing that you are covered. In fact, when wondering what to do for a dog in heat, these should be at the top of your list. And even though these diapers may not be able to stop male dogs from lurking around, these dog period diapers for dogs in heat will prevent penetration in case a male dog makes his way near your female dog.

DO: Consider Spaying Your Dog After Her Heat Cycle

We highly recommend you have your dog spayed in most cases. While you may think that spaying is not natural and therefore cruel, there are numerous health advantages to spaying, not the least of which is a reduced risk of developing certain cancers. Speak to your vet to find out the benefits of spaying your pet and if it is right for your female dog.

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DON’T: Allow Your Female Dog in Heat Around Other Dogs

It’s best to avoid places where other dogs hang out while your dog is in heat. This means no training classes, dog shows, doggy day care, dog park, or even taking her into a pet store with you for the time being. While this may seem like a bummer, it is truly for the best because no one wants things getting out of control.

While dog period diapers may help prevent pregnancy, it is not an ideal situation to put her in. Diapers for dogs in heat are made to comfortably absorb bloody discharge, rather than protecting your dog from hormone driven males. So, even if you have dog diapers for heat, its best to keep her away from males during this time. You can spend extra time with your dog and provide her other activities to simulate her. Try enrichment activities to help stimulate her mind on days where she might not have as much physical energy.

DON’T: Leave Your Dog in Heat Outside Alone

According to Hill's male dogs that smell a female dog in heat's pheromone will become fixated on her. Male dogs can smell your female dog in heat from miles away, and the call of that scent is strong. Even males fenced in yards will attempt to jump their fence and yours to get to your female. So never let your dog into your back yard alone!

You must protect your female when she is in heat, at all costs, because she tends to be a wanted woman! Always accompany her outside and keep her close during her heat cycle. A diaper for dogs in heat can help prevent pregnancy if a male dog begins to hump her, but it is best not to allow the situation in the first place.

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"Diapers for dogs in heat will provide comfort to your dog and peace of mind for you."

Knowing what to do when your dog gets her period is crucial to keeping dogs in heat healthy and happy. Follow these tips on what to do when your dog is in heat and how to care for a dog in heat. Your dog is part of your family, so it’s important that you do everything you can to make sure she is safe, healthy, and happy during her heat cycle. Now that you know what to do when your dog is in heat, you can take the best steps to keep her happy and comfortable. Remember that there are things like dog period diapers for dogs in heat as well as regular exercise and extra attention that can help keep your furbaby feeling her best.