Libbie- Endless Mt. Labradors

Help! My dog is in heat!

In October 24, 2014

Female dogs go through their first heat cycle between 9 and 14 months, on average.  Obviously, just like people… not every dog is the same, nor on the same cycle. 😉  She will consequently come into heat every 6 months (again, on average), after that.  We recommend waiting to spay your female dog until she is at least 18-24 months old.  This does mean you should be prepared to go through, likely, 2 heat cycles with her.

I promise you; it will not be the end of the world.


Libbie (Paige x Hero) on her first birthday...

Libbie (Paige x Hero) on her first birthday…

How do I know my dog is in heat?

The outer signs of a dog in heat consist of swelling of the vulva, and a vaginal discharge (or spotting).

Here are some tips on surviving your dog’s heat cycle:

  1. Mark the calendar!
    As soon as your female is showing signs of being in heat, mark it on your calendar.  This is Day 1.  It is 6 months after this that you should expect the next heat cycle (roughly).  The full cycle is approximately 21 days.  Even if your dog does not bleed that whole time (as some taper off), exercise caution throughout that whole period.
  2. Maintain close supervision.
    It’s not as easy as you think to have an oops breeding… When your female is in heat, you simply need to be on top of supervision (hopefully you always are, anyway!).  If your yard is not fenced in, be sure you’re outside when she is.  If she needs a good walk, drive her to the nearest school track or enclosed park.  Do not walk her there and back, as you’ll only lead a scent trail back to your own yard. 😉  And of course, skip the dog park during these few weeks!
  3. Mask her scent.
    Liquid Chlorophyll is a natural deodorizer.  If you have a male dog in your house or next door (even neutered dogs may be drawn to her!), you can give her liquid chlorophyll to cover up her scent and help Fido simmer.  Pour it right into her water! This also helps with bad breath! 😉
  4. Make cleanup easier. 😉
    Female dogs do bleed during their heats, though it’s not often heavy.  You’ll tend to see a spot here and there and usually after she’s been laying down for a while.  If your house is mostly tiled or hardwood floors, cleanup is much easier. If you have carpets, however, you may want to invest in puppy diapers to help save your floors!  Shop for doggy panties on Amazon!
Libbie- Endless Mt. Labradors

Libbie (Paige x Hero) in her big girl panties!

So there you have it.  

Everyone is always so nervous in the beginning to go through this with their girl, but afterwards, they ALWAYS tell me it wasn’t as bad as they thought.  

Please don’t let your fear of taking care of a dog in heat influence your decision to spay, and at what age.  

Trust me, for the sake of your dog’s overall health and development, it’s COMPLETELY worth it to put on the big girl panties and clean up a little mess. 😉

Endless Mt. Labradors

Related Articles:

When should I spay/neuter my puppy?

How can I prevent my dog from reproducing if I don’t spay or neuter???

How to Find a Vet for Your Labrador!

Gender Profiling in Canines?


  1. Hi
    Thank you for your amazing blog! So helpful!
    My 12 month old pup is in her first heat cycle(mine too;)). I am having trouble finding “big girl panties” with a large enough hole for her thick tail. Any suggestions?


  2. If someone had a one year old Lab that will keep
    Panties on for 30 seconds without chewing them
    Off then you get labs from a different planet than me

    1. My labrador is in her first heat cycle she’s 10 months old
      and she has no problem with keeping the dog panties on
      she could care less about them.

      1. Mine keeps them on ! I bribe her she lets me put them on for a reward of a chew .


    My labrador is in her first heat cycle she’s 10 months old
    and she has no problem with keeping the dog panties on
    she could care less about them.

  4. My labrador is in her 2nd heat cycle and she’s 2 years old. Now she is in heat about 11 days but still the bleeding doesn’t stop.whether I leave her for mating??

    1. Her bleeding won’t stop even if mated.. My girls usually bleed for 10-16 days. Usually the time to breed is starting around the 10th day. The bleeding will stop eventually.

  5. I have to leave my lab outside in the back while I’m at work… even though the gate is closed and fenced in, I’m scared of her going into heat and getting pregnant while I’m at work! We live in a neighborhood with a lot of dogs around. Who knows if they are nuetuerd or not. My lab is only 6 months old now… I don’t know what to do!

  6. My black lab has finished her younger life and passed the change but occasionally still bleeds slightly for weeks on end. Why!?

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