When our pet is ready to reproduce, it ‘suffers’ some changes in its behavior. We can also detect certain physical and emotional symptoms during the heat in dogs. We tell you more about this article.
Zeal in dogs: what to know
As a first step, we have to learn even the basics of zeal in dogs. It is a stage in which the female begins to ovulate and, subsequently, to carry out reproduction.
During this period she will try to get the attention of the males in different ways. Hormonal changes interfere with the animal’s behavior and behavior, and we can realize that ‘something happens’ with our dog long before we see bloodstains on her blankets or pillows.
The first zeal in bitches appears between six and eight months of life and is repeated once or twice a year. This is so to guarantee the survival of the puppies, an ‘inheritance’ that the wolves have received from their direct relatives.
There is no exact time of year for the appearance of heat, although it is more frequent to occur in late winter and early spring.
The ‘period’ of dogs can last up to 23 days, but not during that time the female has the possibility of procreating. It’s good to know that if the dog is neutered, all the symptoms of heat will disappear.
Signs of heat in dogs
As with all mammals, females undergo different hormonal, physical and emotional changes during the heat. We can observe then that our dog behaves differently these days, and even that one morning is one way and the afternoon another. Some symptoms of heat in dogs are:
1. More affectionate
During the first days of heat, it is likely that the dog is much more affectionate than it is usually. It will also be more ‘stuck’ to the owners and will look for pampering and caresses continuously: it can suffer separation anxiety if we leave it for many hours alone.
2. Swollen sex organs
This is one of the physical signs of bitches when they get into heat. Inflammation of the vulva is normal during the first two weeks of the period. In some bitches, that area is also darkened and you will probably see it licked more frequently.
3. Search for males
We must be very careful in case we do not want our dog to procreate if we observe that during a walk in the street or the park it is closer to the males than to the females. When you are close to a possible partner, you probably want to play with her alone and not pay attention to the rest.
Another typical sign of zeal in female dogs is blood loss, as is the case with women during menstruation. In this case, the bleeding occurs along with the inflammation of the vulva and is used to get the attention of the males. Keep in mind that they are guided by smell and, through blood, the female releases pheromones to attract their potential partners.
5. Changes in food
Some bitches, when they are in heat, do not eat as usual. They may spend more hours than usual and show some reluctance.
And what happens to males?
Males do not enter into heat like females, but they do change their behavior when they detect that there is a possible mating pair nearby.
They may become more aggressive due to the increase in hormones, testosterone, and cortisol, be very restless, bark or howl at night, try to escape from home or mark territory everywhere through the urine.
In turn, males can suffer depression when they do not leave home, feel somewhat confused or distracted and fight each other.
To avoid all these signs, both in males and females, the best alternative is castration. Also, it has the benefit of preventing large litters that can lead to abandoned dogs on the streets.