If you haven’t spayed your Chihuahua, then it is important for you to understand every aspect of your dog’s heat cycle. Most importantly you should know what age do chihuahuas go into heat so that you can provide comfort to your pet.
Read this article to understand when your Chihuahua goes into heat and how you can comfort your dog in such times.
If you haven’t spayed your Chihuahua, then you can expect your dog to enter her first heat at the age of 6 to 8 months. After your chihuahua’s first heat, she will go into heat every 6 months.
The first two years, her cycle may be irregular, but after that, you will notice that her cycle sets into a regular schedule.
All Chihuahuas are distinct, so there is no guaranteed time when your female chihuahua will get her period. Some of them experience it as early as 4 months while some get their period at 10 months of age.
However, most female Chihuahuas get their first period between 6 to 8 months of age.
If your female Chihuahua hasn’t got her first period by 18 months of age, then get her checked by your vet to see if it is the result of any underlying health issue.
Most of the time the results of the checkup reveal that your Chihuahua is a late bloomer but it is best that you get your pet checked by a professional.
A chihuahua bleeds throughout the estrus phase of its heat cycle. The estrus phase can last from 5 days up to 3 weeks. The bleeding won’t be evident at the initial stage of the heat cycle.
Your female Chihuahua won’t be receptive to any male Chihuahuas for the complete heat cycle.
It is not an easy time for your dog or you when she is in heat. It is a lengthy cycle and not a comfortable one for your puppy either. There are many physical and mental changes that your Chihuahua goes through when in heat.
You might take time in noticing those changes but you need to be observant so that your pet does not suffer in pain alone. It can be confusing initially, but here are some things that you can try to make your dog comfortable.
- Get soft and good quality diapers for your dog so that she does not get any diaper rash.
- You should set aside some cuddle time for your pet. Consider getting a lap desk for your dog so that you can snuggle and work at the same time.
- Get a chew-resistant toy for your dog that she can snuggle with. It will provide a sense of safety to your pet.
- Don’t get angry at your dog if she makes a bloody mess. Just reassure your dog calmly while you clean the mess.
- Keep aside more time for her potty breaks because she might need to relieve herself frequently than usual.
- Ensure that your dog is eating and drinking well to maintain good health.
- There would be a lot of stored energy when your dog is in heat, so provide proper exercise to your pet.
When dogs are in heat, their bodies go through many hormonal changes, especially when they are bleeding. The changes normally bring about an odor that is pungent and fishy.
The discharge during the estrus phase is the only one that will give out a distinct smell in dogs. This smell is used by female dogs to attract male dogs. The smell may not be strong for you but male dogs can sniff it from far away because of their strong sense of smell.
There are physical and behavioral changes in your dog that indicate when she is going into heat.
The physical signs include:
- Swollen vulva with a tint of red
- Red/yellow discharge from the vulva
- Excessive licking of her rear end
- Increase in the weeing
The behavioral signs include:
- Being snuggly with you and friendly with other dogs
- Increased humping
- Roaming the streets in search of male dogs
- Tail moving to one side on touching
- Becoming anxious and sleeping
There are some important things to consider when your Chihuahua is going through her heat cycle. Let us have a close look at them.
1. Keep Your Chihuahua Away From Other Dogs
It is advised that you keep your Chihuahua away from other dogs when she is in her heat cycle so that she does not get aggressive with them. It is common for female dogs to get aggressive with one another when one or both are in heat. But it is necessary to keep your intact female dog away from breeding with male dogs.
Don’t leave your dog alone when she is in heat so that she does not wander off on the streets looking for a male dog to mate with. Try not to take your dog to a place that has a lot of dogs because the scent of dogs in heat easily attracts male dogs.
2. Get Comfortable Dog Diapers
Since your dog will experience vaginal discharge while in heat, you should consider getting comfortable and soft dog diapers that don’t cause any rashes. It is advised that you insert panty liners in your dog’s diapers so that they can absorb more blood and reduce any mess.
Make sure that you get a diaper that fits your dog perfectly or else loose diapers will fall off or your dog will pull it off. If you’re looking for a quality brand, you can get Paw Inspired Disposable Dog Diapers
If you choose not to use diapers, then you can lay old blankets on your bed and the furniture to avoid getting any vaginal discharge on them. This will make it easy for you to clean your dog and the blankets without ruining the furniture.
3. Provide Comfort Food
It is common for your Chihuahua to lose her appetite when in heat. Don’t force her to eat food, but keep trying to offer something every once in a while. Give your chi some varieties like Cesar Gourmet Wet Dog Food
Try adding food items like chicken or baby food to your dog’s diet that will tempt her to eat without adding any extra calories to her meal.
Also, keep your dog hydrated so that your pet does not feel weak because of the blood loss.
Also Read: The Best Dog Food For Chihuahua
The amount of bleeding differs from one female chihuahua to another. Some of them bleed a lot while others barely have minimal vaginal discharge.
A Chihuahua’s heat cycle is long and the vaginal discharge is not visible in the first few days. The bleeding becomes evident after your chihuahua has come into the estrus stage.
There are 4 stages of the heat cycle that a female chihuahua goes through in a span of 3 weeks. These stages are:
1. Proestrus Stage
The proestrus stage is the first stage of a dog’s heat cycle. This stage is not easy to identify for owners because there are no clear signs. However, there are some signs that you can look for like swollen vulva, increased body licking, swollen nipples, and some behavioral changes.
To determine if your Chihuahua’s proestrus stage has started, closely monitor your pet’s behavior and observe even the slightest changes. The most effective way to know that your Chihuahua has entered the proestrus stage is to observe her behavior around male Chihuahuas. She will constantly be badgering any male Chihuahua nearby.
2. Estrus Stage
The second stage in a dog’s heat cycle is the estrus stage. It starts about one week following the proestrus stage. During this stage, dogs are most fertile and ready for breeding. Most Chihuahuas don’t let their male counterpart mate with them in the proestrus stage, but they will allow it during this stage.
It is easy to identify a Chihuahua in the estrus stage because there are evident signs. Your pet will have a swollen vulva with bleeding genitals. It will lurk around male dogs more often and its desire to mate will increase. Not only will your pet look for males to mate with but male dogs will also be attracted to her.
The hormonal changes in this stage can also lead to uterine infection in your dog, especially if you have an older dog. Take your dog to the vet if you see any signs of infection in the vaginal area of your pet.
3. Diestrus Stage
The third stage in the dog heat cycle is the diestrus stage. Your dog will go through this stage only if she isn’t pregnant. This stage is essentially a resting stage for your dog. It lasts for 30 to 90 days wherein your pet will recuperate.
In this stage, there are very clear signs. Your dog’s sexual desires will dial down and she won’t seek the attention of a male dog. Her swollen vulva will go back to its normal size and you will see your dog sleeping more than usual.
If your dog managed to become pregnant, then she won’t experience the diestrus stage and enter the first stage of pregnancy. A pregnant Chihuahua continues to have swollen genitals and puffy nipples.
4. Anestrus Stage
This is the last of a dog’s heat cycle. This is the cooling down stage where your dog’s body and its organs will become normal. There won’t be any evident signs of your pet being in heat in the anestrus stage. Your Chihuahua’s behavior will also go back to normal.
The anestrus stage lasts for about 2 to 6 months until it is time for the next heat cycle to start all over again.
It is common for female dogs to get aggressive during the heat cycle. Their body goes through a lot of hormonal changes that affect their mood and behavior in many different ways.
Even if your dog is calm and relaxed most of the time, the hormonal changes during the heat cycle will predispose your dog’s acts of aggression. The hormone changes can make your dog nervous and irritable.
Dogs do act differently when they are in heat because of hormone changes. There can be minor to severe changes in your dog. Sometimes your dog will become too clingy and affectionate, while other times she will be a little grumpy.
You will also see the loss of appetite in your dog while in her first week of heat.
You will notice that your dog is roaming around male dogs more often in a desire to mate with them.
It is recommended that you wait for at least 2 to 3 months after your dog’s heat for spaying. You should not spay your dog while it is still in heat because increased blood flow to the affected area at the time of heat can make the surgery complicated.
Most Chihuahua’s reach their sexual maturity at the age of 5 or 6 years. After she gives birth to a litter, it is advised that she doesn’t breed again until you get approval from a reputable vet that she is healthy enough to breed.
The average litter size in a single litter of a Chihuahua is one to three puppies. Chihuahuas only breed once in their lifetime because more pregnancies can cause complications in your dog.
You should consult with your vet to know if your dog is healthy enough to breed again.
It is not always necessary for two female dogs to get aggressive at each other all the time. However, it is advised that you keep the two away from each other because the aggressive behavior can be triggered at any time in the heat.
If both of the female dogs are in heat, then it is best to keep them separate unless you want a serious scuffle between the two.
To answer your question, What Age Do Chihuahuas Go Into Heat, you can expect your pet to have her first heat between the age of 6 to 8 months. After her first heat, she will experience heat every 6 months.
The most important thing that you can do when your Chihuahua is in heat is to reassure her that you are there for her.