top of page

4 Ways to Know if Your Dog is in Her Prime

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

If you have a female dog, and you choose not to have her spayed, it is important to understand when she is ready to have puppies and can become pregnant if you want to breed successfully.

There is a certain window of time for all unspayed female dogs called estrus. This is when mating can happen. If you’re not ready to breed during this time, it’s important to keep close watch of your dog to make sure she doesn’t have an unwanted pregnancy.

It is also important to understand when your dog is in estrus if you want to breed her. Here are 4 ways to know if your dog is primed and ready for puppies.

1. Changes in the Vulva

From the beginning of estrus, your dog’s vulva will swell and you’ll notice some discharge. The appearance of that discharge depends on the stage of estrus your dog is in.

During the first part, it will be more bloody. This is when your dog is not ready to mate yet. As your dog progresses to a stage in which she is ready to mate, the discharge becomes less bloody and more watery.

2. Increased Urination

Your dog will need to go outside a little more often to take care of business. While she’s doing so, she is releasing a pheromone in her urine that signals to male dogs that she is getting ready.

3. Changes in Behavior

When the female is ready to mate, she will often be friendlier towards male dogs, and will actively seek them out. You may also notice that females will mount other dogs.

Some more subtle behaviors include your dog turning her tail to the side or she might be more fidgety than usual.

4. Timing According to Breed

The time when your dog starts going into estrus is entirely dependent on what type of dog it is. The first time usually happens when a dog has 70%-80% of the weight she will have when she is fully grown.

This means smaller dogs tend to start sooner. This can happen when they are as young as four months old. With bigger dogs, it can take as long as two years.

Your dog will go through regular intervals of about once every six months, but again the exact timing depends on the breed. Smaller breeds tend to have shorter intervals between cycles, and larger breeds tend to have longer.

How You Can Help Your Dog

Because of hormones, the period of estrus isn’t always pleasant for your dog. She’ll often have more discomfort and anxiety. You’ll want to pay more attention to her during this time and take her on extra walks.

Your dog may also experience some pain and cramps during her cycle. To help her relieve that, order Aches Away from pawTree®. This hemp-based product is perfect for relieving the discomfort your fur baby might be experiencing.


About the Author

Kristi Diaz MD

Kristi is a retired anesthesiologist who loves helping people take good care of their pets.


8 views0 comments


bottom of page