If you want to start breeding your dog, knowing when your dog’s heat cycle stats and what the processes are is vital. As breeders rely on the heat cycle, some will want to encourage their dog come into heat faster; and there a few different ways to help trigger heat into more frequent cycles or quicker.
Can a female dog be brought into heat? Yes, female dogs can be brought into heat, as there are ways in which breeders can help them to cycle heat faster again without having to wait out for the 6 to 7-month gap.
How to make your dog come in heat faster
Ovulating, or heat is a natural cycle where a female dog is able to become pregnant, taking place naturally about once every six months, depending on the breed and the size of the dog.
How to make a dog go into heat faster? You can make your dog come into heat faster with regular walks, high quality food and exposure to male dogs. All can encourage heat to start. Some breeders use unapproved artificial hormones, such as PG 600 but this can be painful for the dog and lead to smaller litters and irregular natural cycles.
If you are working as a breeder, your salary is going to be tied into your dog’s reproductive cycles. But how exactly do you encourage the triggering of heat in your dog? And what are the risks of using hormone treatments?
Heat is a natural process and, as many breeders will tell you, it isn’t really something that you can control.
However, there are certain recommended ways that people often recommend helping trigger their cycle, including natural remedies as well as more medical treatments:
1. Put her with other dogs
If your dog doesn’t have a lot of exposure to other dogs, being a singular family pet, then putting her around other dogs can help to bring on heat.
Putting her with other female dogs currently in heat can encourage her natural processes to sync up with the others and putting her around male dogs may also trigger off heat faster.
2. Reduce her stress
Stress and anxiety can affect your dog’s hormones and can cause your dog’s heat to be delayed or put off.
You can encourage heat to come on faster by making sure that your dog is in a relaxed environment where she feels safe and at ease – just this alone can go a long way to triggering heat.
3. Improving her diet
Make sure that you are feeding your dog well and with all of the vitamins and additional supplements needed. This can be done through giving them high quality food, including high levels of protein and vitamins.
Additional supplements can be added if you think it is necessary, as this not only makes your dog healthier and happier but can also help to encourage heat to come faster.
4. Get advice from your vet
If your female dog isn’t old enough to come into heat yet, or is late coming into her heat cycle, then I recommend you take her to see your vet so they can properly test and check her health. This can include giving her ultrasounds to check the condition of her reproductive system.
Your vet may then recommend natural or medical remedies, including hormones, which could help to encourage your dog to start ovulating regularly again.
5. Give her PG-600
PG-600 is a controversial and unapproved artificial hormone that is often used to induce ovulation in pigs. While it is also a popular choice of hormone treatment in dogs, it is very painful for them and comes with a lot of its own risks.
Those risks can include potential changes in behaviour, smaller litters and causing your dog’s natural heats to become irregular or stop altogether. If it is used, it is best recommended for mature dogs who have already successfully had at least four natural litters.
Is PG 600 safe for dogs?
Whilst PG 600 is used by breeders to make their dogs come into heat faster, I wanted to talk more about the controversy behind its use.
I read a website blog post written by a vet who said this:
“The PG 600 drug may induce heat, but in a lot of cases doesn’t actually work and induce ovulation quicker. In some cases, it has been known to even cause ovarian cysts. I would never use it on my own dog. I am a breeder too and advise dog owners to steer clear of it!”
Here’s a list of possible side effects of PG 600 on dogs:
- Ovarian cysts.
- Negative behavioural, mental, and physical changes.
- Eating and appetite problems.
When PG 600 is administered it can also be very painful for your dog; it’s injected into the rear muscle of their back leg. With 2 injections being a typical dose every couple of weeks, it’s the kind of pain most owners won’t want their dog to endure.
How do I know if my dog is in heat?
There are some signs you can look out for which will be the signal that your female dog has entered her heat cycle quicker than you had planned.
- Bleeding: Like humans, dogs bleed during their cycle, as well as giving off varying shades of discharge depending on the stages of the cycle, ranging from clear to brown. Their vulva will also swell but should not be painful or delicate.
- Licking: Your dog will try to keep her genitals clean and clear by licking away the discharge. Some dog owners choose to put ‘dog diapers’ onto their dogs during cycles to avoid any staining of furniture or flooring around the house.
- Change of behavior: Because of the changing hormones, your dog may become more nervous, agitated or snappy when in heat. This behavior change entirely depends on your dog’s own personality, with more aloof dogs becoming clingier or typically affectionate dogs being noticeably more snappy or nervous.
What brings a dog into heat faster?
As mentioned above, dogs can come into heat for many different reasons and if often reliant on their stress levels, quality of life and the presence of other dogs.
If you are trying to encourage your dog’s heat to start quicker, making sure she is healthy and well fed is a good first step.
By putting your dog around other female dogs currently in heat, or around male dogs old enough to reproduce, this may trigger her body to start its own heat because of their presence.
This is recommended for dogs who are usually the only dog in the household, as they may not have enough exposure to dogs in order to encourage their heat to start naturally.
How often does a dog go into heat?
A dog typically starts going into heat once they reach between six months and a year old, which is why most vets recommend spaying taking place before they reach the age of six months, in order to prevent any unwanted pregnancies.
Once their heat cycle begins, dogs will usually come into heat once every six months, or about twice a year.
The heat itself will last for about 18 days, or around two and a half weeks, which is the window in which your dog is able to become pregnant.
How long does a dog in heat bleed?
During the first stage of heat your dog will start to bleed, which can be unfortunate for anyone who wants to keep their home and furniture clean. But how long does it last?
This bleeding stage is the first of four stages that dogs go through during their heat, called the proestrus stage and usually lasts around ten days, after which the discharge will change from bloody to clear, before moving onto brown and straw coloured.
As this is their body’s preparation for pregnancy, your dog is not ready to mate at this time.
Your dog will attend to itself, licking their rear clean of blood and discharge in order to keep it clear, however some dog owners do take certain precautions, including using ‘dog heat diapers’ in order to prevent any stains from occurring on their floors or soft furnishings.
It is also recommended to put towels down on areas your dog likes to sit of lay on, including their dog bed.
Handy Hint: To find out what you can expect during your dog’s heat cycle, read this guide I recently published about English Bulldog heat cycles. It’s can be used for any type of dog breed.
How to stop your dog from coming into heat?
But what if you don’t want your dog to come into heat? The best way to do so is to get your female dog spayed.
Spaying is usually the best way of preventing your dog from coming into heat, and if you are getting a puppy then this should happen before your dog reaches six months of age.
However, spaying can occur at any age, so if you want to prevent your older dog from having any more litters then this is still a viable option, although there are always certain risks with operating on older dogs.
Spaying dogs if you are not planning on breeding is highly recommended, not only for the health of your dog but to also help reduce the numbers of animals in shelters.
Unwanted litters are the number one reason why shelters have to euthanise so many dogs every year, so by spaying your dog you can help keep these numbers down.
Spaying your dog before the age of six months is the healthiest time medically, as this means the surgery is much easier and it can massively reduce the risk of your dog developing tumours in their mammary glands.
I hope you’ve found these tips on how you can induce heat in your dog quicker helpful, but do I recommend it?
I don’t, and here’s why…
I am not a vet, neither am I breeder. However, I am an animal lover, and have compiled this guide based on research I’ve performed online.
From the forums and vet websites I’ve read there’s a lot of conflicting information on whether bringing your dog into heat faster is a good or bad thing.
Ultimately, I am a firm believer in letting nature take its course. Trying to encourage heat to start could lead to health problems, particularly if you use methods such as PG 600.