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How do i no if my dog is in heat


Hi Kristen,

Often the first sign of a female dog coming "heat" is often swelling of her vulva. This swelling can occur anytime from a week before bleeding, to the day before. Other signs of heat are behavioral changes. Your dog may start to hump other dogs (no matter their gender) or or even your leg. She may also begin to lick herself a lot. Another sign your dog is going into heat is male dogs will be attracted to her. Do not leave your dog unattended outside, even if you have a fenced yard

A female should NEVER be bred on her first heat cycle and preferably not her second either. The rule of thumb that works best is to breed on the third season, or at one and a half to two years of age, and after all health tests have been passed.

Ideally, your dog should be spayed before she enters her first heat cycle. Dogs spayed before their first heat get significant health benefits, such as the deduced risk of breast cancer and diseases of the reproductive system. If you haven't spayed your dog, you should not delay in doing so. Many communities have reduced cost spay programs. Locate a program in your area here:

Best of luck,



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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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