Like humans, female dogs have a reproductive system and cycle, which enable them to give birth. When your dog’s body is said to be ready to get pregnant, the dog is said to be on heat. Dogs go on heat about twice a year. This begins when your dog is between six months to one-year-old. There are several signs that your dog may have when she is in heat, and the most common is vaginal bleeding. However, your dog may have a silent heat, meaning that she will not bleed or have any other signs of a dog on heat. Read on for more information on silent heat and a dog on heat.
What Is Silent Heat in Dogs?
As mentioned earlier, silent heat is when a dog goes into heat but shows no signs of being on heat. When your dog has silent heat, the dog owner can assume that the dog did not go on heat. This is the reason why you will miss the bleeding of the dog. Some of the reasons why a dog may have silent heat are:
Minimal Signs of Being on Heat
When the signs of being on heat are too minimal, the dog is said to be on silent heat. For instance, maybe the bleeding or discharge was too little that you did not notice it. In other cases, the dog may have discharged and licked away the discharge before you notice it. Unless you are extra observant, it is hard to notice when your dog is on the heat if she has such minimal signs.
Medical problems can also cause silent heat. This is especially if the medical problems have interfered with the reproductive system. In this case, you may miss the signs because the dog did not go on heat. Some of these medical conditions are such as diabetes, cancer, and hypothyroidism, among others.
Type of Breed
Ideally, dogs go on heat twice a year. However, some breeds, such as Basenji, go on the heat only once a year. Therefore, it is possible there were no signs of heat because your dog was not on heat. You can consult with your vet to know how often your dog goes on heat based on her breed.
Why Could Male Dogs Fail to Notice a Female Dog on Heat?
Seeing male dogs highly interested in your dog is one way to prove that your dog is on heat. Even if other signs miss, this comforts dog owners since it assures them that they are on heat. However, if your dog is aggressive towards male dogs, they may fail to come closer even when they sense that she is in heat.
What Are the Symptoms of a Dog in Heat?
A dog’s heat cycle lasts from about seven to twenty-eight days. However, for most dogs, the heat lasts for 21 days. During this time, the dog will have physical and emotional changes that prepare her for fertilization. Bleeding or spotting is one of the most common signs that your dog is in season. Other signs that may indicate your dog is in season are such as:
Tucking the Tail
When your dog is on heat, the vulva begins to swell. This may make the dog feel uncomfortable and even embarrassed. Therefore, she tucks her tail between the legs to protect and hide the vulva. This happens in the early days of being in season.
A dog on heat has several body discharges. For this reason, she feels obliged to keep cleaning away the discharges. This is probably why you have not noticed any spots that could indicate that your dog is on heat. Therefore, if your dog is cleaning more than usual, the high chances are that she is on heat.
Scent Changes and More Socialization
When the dog is on heat, hormonal changes in her body make her change her scent. This is the scent that invites the male dogs, and they keep smelling her vulva. Additionally, by the time the dog is in her second stage of being on heat, she becomes flirtier with other dogs, especially the male dogs.
Sure, bleeding is one of the surest signs that your dog is on heat. However, if your dog did not bleed, watch out for other signs of being on heat, such as those mentioned above. Talk to your vet if you are worried that your dog did not go on the heat when you expected her to.