Can a dog get pregnant when not in heat? No, dogs cannot get pregnant unless they are in heat. Chances are that you are reading this article because you are scared that your female dog may become pregnant if they aren’t yet spayed. Having a pregnant female dog is likely every dog owner’s worst nightmare if they aren’t an active dog breeder. Pregnant dogs require a lot of work and dog abortions cause an extreme amount of stress on a dog. The good news is your dog cannot get pregnant unless they are in heat. The bad news is that it is sometimes extremely difficult to tell if your dog is in heat if they don’t bleed too much. This is especially common in smaller dogs where dog owners can’t tell if their dog is bleeding.
How to tell if a dog is in heat?
The good news is that your dog can only get pregnant in heat which happens around once or twice a year depending on the dog breed. Dogs first go into heat when are approximately 6 months old. Dog heat or dog “season” is roughly a three or four day cycles in which the unfertilized dog eggs ripen. The whole heat cycle lasts approximately 3 weeks. During the heat cycle your dog can get pregnant.
Signs that your dog is in heat:
- Bleeding from the vagina. Dog heat is most obviously identified when there is bleeding for your dog’s vagina, a swollen vulva, or constant urination. However, in small dogs, sometimes you may not even notice the bleeding. Keep an active eye out for blood around the 6-month age in female dogs.
- Unwanted dog attention. Dogs in heat release a specific scent that attracts the attention of other male dogs. You may notice that several other dogs at a dog park will go great lengths to sniff or meet your dog. Even when you take your female dog on walks, male dogs will want to meet your female dog. Male dogs can get extremely aggressive around a female dog that is in heat. From the male dog’s viewpoint they are competing with the other dogs to reproduce. Its generally good advice to leave your dog inside the house if you know that your dog is in heat. If you do let your dog in heat outside, it is generally a good idea to keep them supervised at all times. Unwanted pregnancies happen all the time when females dogs are in heat.
- Change in behavior. Female dogs in heat generally exhibit behavior changes that don’t align with their everyday mood. For instance, a female dog that is generally not friendly towards other dogs may allow dogs to willingly hump her while she is in heat. She may even initiate sex since there is a hormonal change in heat. Keep on the lookout for changes in your dog’s behavior.
For more information, check out the dog heat cycle here.
When to spay a dog after first heat?
Dogs can be spayed as early as 8 weeks old. Getting your female dog spayed prevents your dog from getting pregnant since the surgery removes both ovaries and the uterus. In addition, there are many significant health benefits to getting your dog spayed such as no more heat periods, prevention of certain infections, protection against cancers, and peace of mind from pregnancy. It’s generally a good idea to get your dog spayed if you aren’t breeding a dog. Spaying is a common and safe surgery amongst female dogs.
Can dogs get pregnant when not in heat? Nope they can’t get pregnant! If you do have a female dog, chances are they will go into heat every six months. Keep on the lookout for signs of bleeding, unwanted male attention, and changes in behavior to know when your dog is in heat. It’s generally a good idea to get your female dog spayed to not only prevent pregnancies but also reap the health benefits.
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Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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