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Do Female Dogs Get Periods? All Your Questions Answered

If you’ve ever owned a female dog, you may have wondered if dogs get periods. This is a common question amongst many Australian dog owners and the answer is more complicated than you might think. 

Female dogs do not experience menstruation in the same way that humans do, but they go through something similar called a “heat cycle” or “estrus”. During this time a female dog may experience some bleeding from the vulva, lasting around 3 to 12 days. 

In this blog post, we will break down the facts about female dogs and periods and how female dog desexing surgery affects their heat cycles so that you can be informed about the reproductive health of your pup. Read on to learn more about this phenomenon and how to take the best care of your dog. 

Do Female Dogs Get Periods? 

The answer to this question is yes and no. Dogs don’t menstruate like humans, but they do have heat cycles, in which they can have some vaginal discharge or bleeding. During this time, they are fertile and able to reproduce. 

The heat cycle typically lasts between 2-4 weeks and occurs every 6-12 months in adult female dogs (or every 4-6 months in puppies). 

Most pet owners are familiar with the term “heat cycle,” but not many understand what this means for their dog. A heat cycle is when a female dog’s hormones change and she goes into “heat” (or estrus). When your female dog is in heat, her body prepares for pregnancy and she becomes more receptive to mating by male dogs. 

During this time, she will experience physical symptoms such as increased urination, swollen vulva, bloody discharge and mood changes that can last anywhere from two weeks to three months. 

Female dogs usually reach sexual maturity around 6-12 months of age, although smaller breeds may mature earlier and larger breeds may mature later. This is when you can expect a dog to start having periods. 

Do Female Dogs Have Periods Every Month?

Female dogs do not have periods every month. While it is true that female dogs will bleed when they come into season, this only occurs once every six to eight months. In between seasons, female dogs do not experience any bleeding or discharge.

This is because the uterus of a dog is quite different from that of a human. In humans, the uterine lining is shed each month during menstruation. However, in dogs, the uterine lining is much thinner and is not shed on a regular basis. As a result, female dogs only experience bleeding when they come into season and are not subject to the monthly cycle experienced by human females.

Do Female Dogs Have Periods After Being Spayed?

While it is true that spaying will stop your dog from coming into season, she may still experience a short period of bleeding once the surgery is complete. This is caused by the hormones that were suppressing her heat cycles being released into her system, and is nothing to worry about.

Bleeding should only last for a few days, and your dog will be back to her usual self in no time.

What Happens During a Female Dog’s Period? 

During her period (estrus), female dogs will experience some bleeding from their vulva which can last from 3-21 days depending on the individual dog. This is usually just spotting or light discharge that isn’t very noticeable but it could be heavy enough that it stains your furniture or carpets if left unchecked. 

Additionally, during estrus female dogs may also become more aggressive or anxious due to an increase in hormones which can lead to behavioural issues such as barking or restlessness during this time. 

What Do You Do When Your Dog Gets Her Period?

The best way to care for your female dog during her period is to keep her clean and comfortable while limiting her exposure to male dogs who may be interested in mating with her. 

It is important to keep an eye on your dog during her heat cycle as there can be complications such as infections if proper hygiene isn’t maintained. During a heat cycle, it is best to keep your dog away from male dogs unless breeding is desired as she may become pregnant if exposed to an intact male. 

Make sure your pup has access to clean water at all times so she can stay hydrated. Additionally, providing her with food specifically designed for her needs during this time can help her stay healthy and comfortable throughout the process. 

What Period Products Are Available for Dogs?

Period products for dogs are specially designed sanitary products that help dog owners take better care of their pets during their monthly cycles. These products include washable pads, disposable diapers, and reusable wraps that provide protection against messes and odours from urine or menstrual blood. 

Not only do dog period pads and diapers help keep your pet clean, but they also make the process of dealing with a dog’s period much easier. As any experienced dog owner knows, dealing with a dog’s period can be a messy business! 

With period products for dogs, however, you no longer have to worry about clean-up or messes around the house. They also provide additional comfort and security, making sure that your pup feels safe.

In most cases, all you need to do is place the product over your pup’s bottom area when they start bleeding or urinating. This will help absorb any messes and odours quickly and easily without causing unnecessary discomfort for your pet. If you’re using reusable wraps or diapers, simply rinse them off after each use so that they are ready again next time your pup needs them! 

How Can I Stop a Dog’s Period? 

The most common way is through spaying (desexing) which involves surgically removing the ovaries of your dog in order to stop them from going into heat. Alternatively, medication such as hormones can be used to suppress your pup’s oestrogen levels thus preventing her from entering her heat cycle altogether. 

It’s worth noting that desexing is recommended by most vets to prevent your female dog from having her period and almost all vets will recommend it over hormone medication. 

If spaying isn’t an option, you can manage your dog’s periods by using special clothing or keeping your pup indoors during her heat cycle in order to minimise contact with potential mates and reduce the risk of unplanned pregnancy. 

These methods may help but they cannot completely eliminate the chance of pregnancy, or stop a dog from going into heat. The best way to manage mating behaviour in dogs is to have them desexed.


All female dogs go through heat cycles—which is essentially the same thing as getting a period—but not all owners understand the biology behind it or how best to care for their pup during this time. 

By understanding what goes on during a heat cycle and taking proper steps like keeping your pup clean and comfortable, providing plenty of fresh water, offering soft bedding, and talking to your vet about necessary health precautions, you can give your pup the love and support they need while they go through their heat cycles every few months!

Related Questions

How Can I Keep the House Clean When a Dog Is in Heat?

First, make sure to keep her well-groomed to enable easy cleaning. Secondly, be mindful of where she sleeps. If possible, put down a sheet or mat in her sleeping area to catch any discharge. Finally, consider using dog period pads, diapers or wraps to prevent mess. 

When Does a Dog Stop Having Periods?

After several years of heat cycles, most female dogs will eventually stop coming into season. The exact age at which this occurs varies from dog to dog, but it is generally between 12 and 24 months of age. 

There are a number of reasons why a dog might stop having periods, including poor nutrition, stress, illness, and old age. If you’re concerned about your dog’s reproductive health, talk to your veterinarian for more information.


This article is published in good faith, for general informational and educational purposes only. Paws and More Vet Centre does not make any warranties about the ongoing completeness and reliability of this information. This article should not be used as a substitute for veterinary advice, including for diagnosis or treatment of a pet’s medical condition. Always consult a veterinary professional before making decisions on your pet’s health.