When your dog is in heat, she’ll do everything but pick the lock with her rabies tag and shimmy out the window in search of romance. For female dogs in heat, the love bug bites about every six months with each of the heats typically lasting from about six to ten days. During the dog heat cycle, pups get restless and disturbed. When hormones are raging, even prospective boyfriends become increasingly obnoxious, particularly when a furry femme fatale encourages their advances.
Spaying your pet is the only way to put a permanent stop to the shenanigans. Many vets say this is the best strategy, not only for preventing unwanted pregnancies but also for preventing the discomfort that accompanies the cycles. If you plan on breeding your dog, however, but would still like a little peace in the meantime, here are a few ways to cool things down.
Keep dogs in heat under lock and key
Dogs in heat will try almost anything to get outside. Be particularly careful that she doesn’t slip by when you’re going outside—to get the paper, for example, or when leaving for work in the morning. If she’s an outdoor pet, confine her in a kennel or a fenced yard where a male can’t reach her. Beware of males jumping the fence. While you’re at it, watch out for the guy next door. It’s not unheard of for dogs to breed right through a chain-link fence. Pets get very creative.
Male dogs can find females in heat just by sniffing the breeze. In fact, a dog can smell romance from up to three miles away. When the girls are in heat, keep your windows closed so you don’t have unwelcome males on the doorstep.
Keep her clean
Dogs in heat have a bloody discharge that can stain furniture and carpets. Try to keep the pup isolated as much as possible in a bathroom or a crate that’s easily cleaned.
Regularly cleaning away the discharge that occurs during a dog heat can help reduce the odor that attracts male dogs. Particularly during the middle week of season, bathe her rear quarters and legs once or twice a day.
To prevent your dog’s discharge from making a mess in the house, put her in diapers. Doggy diapers are available from vets and in pet stores. They come in a variety of sizes, from petite Chihuahua to Saint Bernard–size jumbo pants. The diapers are fitted with disposable absorbent pads and sport an opening in the rear to accommodate the tail.
Mask the smell
An innovative product known as Lust Buster is making waves in pet management circles. When applied on the hindquarters and leg regions of a female pet, it effectively masks her natural scent, giving the impression that she has already mated. This unique scent camouflage has a compelling effect: it causes male animals in her vicinity to lose interest, thinking that she is not available for breeding.
This spray is a highly beneficial tool for pet owners, especially during a female pet’s heat cycle, which typically attracts the unwanted attention of male animals. The altered scent helps to prevent such attention, reducing stress for both the pet and the owner.
The use of such products represents a non-invasive and stress-free method of managing pets during their mating seasons, compared to other approaches such as physical barriers or isolation.
You can easily find Lust Buster in pet stores. Using it is as simple as spraying the product on the specific areas of the female pet. Its use provides an effective solution to a common problem faced by pet owners, making it a valuable addition to your pet care toolkit.
Boosting Her Appetite: Maintaining Nutrition During Heat
A dog’s heat cycle often impacts her eating habits. It’s not unusual for a dog’s appetite to wane during this period, largely due to the hormonal changes and the natural instinctive focus on mating. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to ensure that your pet continues to receive the nutrition she needs to maintain her strength and health during this time. Here are some suggestions on how to stimulate her appetite.
Tempting her with special treats can often encourage a dog to eat when she’s in heat. These can be as simple as some of her favorite foods or more specialized items specifically designed to be nutritious and appealing to dogs. Try adding a bit of wet food to her usual dry kibble, or perhaps offer her some boiled chicken or fish, which are both healthy and typically well-received by dogs.
Another option is to introduce new textures and flavors to her meals. You could experiment with warming up her dog food slightly, as the enhanced smell can often make the food more enticing. Alternatively, consider adding a low-sodium broth to her kibble, which not only changes the texture but also adds a savory taste most dogs love.
By offering these special treats and making slight adjustments to her meals, you can encourage your pet to maintain her dietary intake even when she’s distracted by her heat cycle. This way, she will be better equipped to handle the physical demands of this period, ensuring she remains healthy and vigorous.
Your dog’s unusual behavior during her heat cycle, from increased affectionate gestures to possibly disruptive vocalizations, is essentially her way of seeking attention. Providing her with some extra love and care during this period can be a wonderful way to help her manage her physiological changes and behavioral shifts.
Extra strokes, cuddles, and shared quiet moments can be greatly comforting to your dog. This added affection reassures her of your presence and care, potentially helping to reduce any anxiety or restlessness she may feel. Pay close attention to her responses during these interactions; some dogs might enjoy longer grooming sessions, while others might simply prefer sitting with you in companionable silence.
Moreover, providing her with an occasional treat can serve as a pleasant distraction. A small bite of something she loves, especially after a session of petting or a game, can bring a moment of joy and divert her focus from the stressors associated with her heat cycle.
It’s crucial to remember, however, that these treats should be given judiciously, and they should be healthy and suited to her dietary needs to avoid causing any unwanted weight gain or health issues.
By offering your dog extra attention and love during her heat cycle, you’re providing her with a sense of comfort and normalcy in a period that might otherwise be distressing for her. This additional affection can enhance your bond and make her heat cycle a less stressful experience for both of you.
Providing Distractions: The Benefit of Play and Activity During Heat
While your dog may appear singularly focused during her heat cycle, she is still capable of engaging with the world around her beyond these instincts. Offering her distractions in the form of play and activities can be a great way to help divert her attention from her biological impulses.
Playing games with your dog’s favorite toys can be incredibly effective during this period. Whether it’s a round of fetch, a tug-of-war session, or simply a playful wrestling match with a beloved plush toy, these activities can help channel your pet’s energy into a fun, satisfying outlet.
Vigorous play sessions not only distract her from her mating desires but also help to expend some of the additional energy she might have during her heat cycle. It’s a great way to keep her mentally stimulated and physically active, which is beneficial for her overall wellbeing.
In addition, you can consider introducing new toys or puzzle feeders, which can further engage her curiosity and cognitive skills. These types of activities can be particularly useful if your pet is showing signs of restlessness or agitation.
By offering varied and enjoyable distractions, you can help your pet navigate her heat cycle with less stress and more comfort. This active engagement not only keeps her physically and mentally stimulated, but it also reinforces the bond between the two of you during this demanding period.
Dogs in heat will sometimes settle down when you turn on soothing music. Vets believe that pets respond to classical music, especially Mozart. But beware of strident music with a driving beat that may resemble the sounds of other animals. Certain tonal qualities actually evoke sexual arousal.