Unlike humans who go through periods every month, female dogs don't. So is there such a thing as menopause in dogs?
Today, we'll figure out if a dog goes through menopause and the signs & symptoms that may occur if they ever really do.
A DOG'S HEAT CYCLE
Dogs don't go through monthly periods. Instead, they go through heat cycles every four to 12 months that usually last between two to four weeks. A dog's heat cycle looks like this:
"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."
Proestrus: There is a vaginal discharge that ranges from white to brown in color; male dogs are already attracted to the female dogs but the female dogs will still be unwilling to mate.
This usually lasts 4 to 20 days.
Estrus: The vulva will be swollen and bloody vaginal discharge appears.
This is the best time for mating.
This period usually lasts for 5 to 13 days.
Estrus: The vulva will be swollen and bloody vaginal discharge appears. This is the best time for mating. This period usually lasts for 5 to 13 days.
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 - 64 days.
Anestrus: Sexual and hormonal activities are low in these stages. It's mostly called the period of inactivity and this usually lasts 2-4 months 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.
As for dogs? No, this does not occur. And at what age do dogs stop going into heat? There is no menopause in dogs and no dog menopause age. A female dog will continue to go on heat cycles for the rest of her life but...
MENOPAUSE IN DOGS
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. A female dog's fertility will deteriorate together with age but old dogs in heat being pregnant is still possible even if there are higher risks.
Dogs in this menopausal stage will not be qualified enough to maintain and carry out healthy pregnancies (so it's best not to breed them).
As heat cycles become irregular (as mentioned above), 13 or 14 months 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, etc. 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.
MENO-PAWS: MANAGING YOUR FEMALE DOG DURING THIS STAGE
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.
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 doggie 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 machine washable doggie 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. These vet visits will give you a chance to keep track of your dog’s health and bring up any concerns.
Though there is no such thing as menopause in dogs, your female dog will still need your love and care to since she will still go through a heat cycle (though not as regular anymore) and be able to live a happy and healthy life.
"Vet visits once every six months is recommended. Consider this as routine maintenance for your senior dog."