1. Do bitches have periods?
The answer is YES. Bitches reach adulthood also menstruate just like women. Salo or estrus is the name for when a bitch gets her period. But the menstrual period of dogs is different from that of humans, salo only occurs 2 times a year. On the days of Salo, bitch’s physical and psychological will change unsually. Therefore, when you raise bitch, you need to pay more attention to them.
2. Bitch's menstrual cycle
The first menstrual period of bitch will depend on factors such as size and breed.
- Small-sized dog breeds: Puberty usually occurs around 6 months of age.
- Larger breeds: About 2 years old, puberty begins.
Bitches usually go through 4 Salo stages (estrus) twice in a year as below:
- 9 days before the bitch is in estrus: This is the time when the menstrual cycle begins and the estrogen level in the bitch’s body will increase.
- Bitch in estrus phase: They will ovulate in about 9 days. A series of eggs will be released from the ovary and receive sperm for fertilization. If the egg is not fertilized by a sperm, the egg will form blood and come out. At this time, the amount of estrogen in bitch decreases and the amount of progesterone highly increases.
- Post-estrus period: The estrus period of the bitch only lasts about 2 months. After this time, the female dog does not accept male dogs approaching her. But the amount of Progesterone is still high, so it needs to be observed.
- The non-estrous phase: This is the time when the bitch needs to rest until the start of her menstrual period.
3. Signs of a dog's menstrual cycle
So you have a better understanding of how many days the bitch's menstrual cycle is and what stages it is divided into. If you're a newbie to owning a bitch for the first time, continue to learn more about the telltale signs of when your dog is menstruating through some characteristics such as:
- Swollen, hard, and enlarged nipples: Sometimes nipples will look like a sign of pregnancy because they are swollen, hard, and large. However, after a few weeks this sign will disappear.
- Swollen vulva: Each breed of dog will have a different swelling of the vulva. If you see the bitch's vulva is abnormally large and red around it, it's time for her period.
- The tail is usually erect: when the male dog approaches the female dog's vulva. Bitches are usually stationary with their tails upright.
- Male dogs actively approach: the ability of male dogs to recognize female dogs during the male period is very sensitive by smelling the female dog's hormone changes.
- Menstrual bleeding: this is an accurate indicator of the female dog's arrival in heat. The blood will be light red in the first week and gradually darken in the following weeks.
- Mood swings: bitches are often more sensitive to physical contact. Barking and grumpy more often than usual.
4. Tips for taking care of bitch when menstruation coming
- Before the estrus period, if you do not want the bitch to get pregnant unexpectedly. Pay attention and observe closely to avoid male dogs coming into contact with female dogs. Because male dogs can smell the female dog's hormone changes.
- During the female dog's menstrual cycle, you need to be patient, gentle, and avoid hitting and scolding the bitch to help them feel comfortable and not get tired.
- Do not bathe while the dog is menstruating. Bathing a female dog during this cycle can lead to many diseases such as urinary tract infections or vaginal infections from bath water.
- You can use "sanitary pads" or "diapers" specifically for dogs to prevent blood from coming out.
- It is necessary to provide adequate vitamins and foods to help strengthen the dog's resistance.
- Avoid giving your dog raw food during the Salo period.
- Give the bitch a spacious, comfortable space for better mental and physical health.
If you find your dog has unusual signs that do not appear to be menstruating. Take them to the veterinary clinic right away for timely examination and treatment.