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Basic info on taking care of a Bitch in Season

When do dogs come into season?

Depending on the breed, most un-neutered females come into season every six months. Small breeds can cycle three times a year and the very large breeds, e.g. Great Danes, may only cycle every 12-18 months.

When a young bitch comes into season for the first time it can often be a 'silent' season. This basically means it may not be obvious at all and may not be evident that she is even bleeding. It can sometimes take over a year for a bitch to develop a regular cycle. Looking after an entire bitch in season is more involved than caring for a neutered bitch.

How do I know when my bitch is in season?

The season begins with the first signs of a discharge from the vulva which will be blood tinged. The vulva will be swollen and she will be spending more time licking this area to keep it clean. It will remain swollen until the end of her season.

A bitch in heat is going through the oestrus cycle and when she is in this phase she will be extremely attractive to male dogs and will give off scents, including pheromones in her urine. Her season will last around three weeks on average and she will be able to conceive during this time. The most fertile time of the three weeks is around days ten to fifteen.

The bitch will be attractive to male dogs from the beginning of her season but she may not allow mounting until a week to ten days into the cycle.

For further information on this subject check out our previous blog -

Are there any behavioural changes?

There may be slight mood changes that the owner picks up on with the bitch becoming 'needy'.