What is estrus?
From the time that a female dog is roughly six months old to the end of her life, it is likely that she will experience estrus every six months. Estrus means staying in heat or more simply put it is the time when the hormones in her body will induce a lot of changes in her physical and psychological conditions. This is the period when she is extremely receptive to mating.
The physical indications of being in heat:
It is very obvious when the female puppy or the dog is experiencing estrus or staying in heat. The external changes that one can notice is a swollen vulva, slight or more bleeding, the urge to urinate more often, etc.
The psychological indications that the dog is experiencing heat:
The female dog may be extremely sensitive to his environment. He may be nervous or irritable. She may also be extremely alert and sense any kind of danger that she may think she is in.
The most obvious indication that the female dog is experiencing heat is that she will present herself to her prospective mates by raising her back a little and tilting the tail to the side.
When can you expect your female pup to start experiencing heat?
The heat and the period of the heat is a subjective term. Some of the smaller breeds will start as young are four or five months old whereas the bigger and the robust breeds start experiencing heat only at one and half or two years.
Is it important to consult your vet before you allow the dog to mate?
Yes, it is essentially vital that you refer a vet in your locality to ask him t tell you if the female dog is ready for mating. Usually the first one or two cycles are not very promising because the eggs are not yet properly formed.
If you are wondering as to how long a dog will stay in heat, it is usually two to four weeks and you can know when the heat is over when the vulva becomes the normal size and the bleeding or the discharge stops.