Every dog owner knows that pets bring immense joy, companionship, and a touch of wildness into our homes. However, for those with female canines, the period when your dog is in heat presents a unique set of challenges, particularly when it comes to maintaining cleanliness. The estrus cycle in female dogs, commonly referred to as the dog’s “heat,” is a natural physiological process but can often mean unexpected messes around the home. Understanding and preparing for this period is crucial, not just for the health and comfort of your pet, but also for ensuring your living space remains clean and hygienic. In this article, we’ll delve into effective strategies on how to keep the house clean when your dog is in heat, ensuring both you and your furry friend navigate this phase with ease.
Understanding the Dog’s Heat Cycle
The estrus or heat cycle is a normal part of a female dog’s life, beginning as early as six months of age and occurring approximately every six months thereafter. This cycle is nature’s way of preparing the dog’s body for potential pregnancy. Knowing the stages of the heat cycle can not only help you anticipate and manage the cleanliness challenges but also ensure the well-being of your pet.
Proestrus (Preparation Stage)
This is the initial stage of the heat cycle, lasting around 7-10 days. During proestrus, female dogs will attract male dogs but will not be receptive to mating. You’ll notice the vulva beginning to swell and a bloody discharge starting to appear. This stage marks the beginning of the most noticeable symptoms and requires preparations for cleanliness.
Estrus (Fertile Stage)
Lasting anywhere from 5 to 14 days, this is the time when female dogs are most fertile and receptive to mating. The discharge becomes less bloody and more watery, signaling the peak period of fertility.
Diestrus (Post-Heat Phase)
In this phase, which lasts about 60-90 days, the dog is no longer interested in mating. If she hasn’t become pregnant, her body will start returning to its normal state, and the discharge will gradually stop.
Anestrus (Rest Phase)
This is the longest phase, during which there’s no sexual activity or hormonal activity. It lasts around 5-6 months before the cycle begins anew.
Being well-informed about these stages is crucial. Not only will it help you recognize behavioral changes and physical signs, but understanding the dog’s heat cycle also empowers you to take proactive measures to maintain cleanliness in your home during this time.
6 Tips To Keep House Clean When Dog Is In Heat
1. Opt For Dog Diapers
How to keep the house clean when a dog is in heat? Using dog diapers is the first and the best thing all of you should use. There are a few benefits here that are important. First of all, you will prevent blood from getting all around the carpets and furniture. Your dog will lick private parts less frequently.
It is also something that can make the entire issue more hygienic. Some dogs will get used to these within minutes. Others will need more time. However, if your dog accepts wearing diapers and you can teach him to do this, it is a valuable tip to use.
2. Cover All The Things You Can
The heat cycle will last for 2 weeks or even longer depending on various situations and cases. Making sure that all around the house is clean all the time is hard. Instead, you can cover your things such as the couch, beds, sofas, etc. This is mandatory to prevent any stains from reaching the belongings. You can use old blankets or anything similar. You can even find online covers that are ideal for this purpose. Once the heat cycle is done, you can remove these and wash them. Keep them for the next cycle.
Here we can add that you should always cover the area where your pet spends a lot of time. It can be her bed, her corner, or anything similar. The reason why is the same as the one we saw earlier. This will make your house cleaner and make cleaning easier. Yes, you will have to wash the covers on a regular basis, but it is much easier than cleaning sofas from bloodstains.
3. Clean Her 2 times Per Day
Yes, you will have to clean and even bathe your dog frequently. Ideally, you will do this 2 times per day. There is no need to bathe the entire dog. Just wash the rear legs and rear end including the tail with warm water. You can use shampoo (mild shampoo only). Do not use harsh chemicals in this process.
It is important to help your dog stay clean at all times. By removing the discharge and bleeding, you will keep your home clean as well. Larger dogs do bleed more so you will have to do this more often. It is worth mentioning that some dogs get grumpy during this process. Stay calm and do this slowly.
Do not use wipes designed for humans. These have different pH levels than the dogs need and can easily irritate the skin. It can happen if you use these multiple times. If you want to use wipes, get the ones specifically made for dogs.
4. Wash Her Things On A Regular Basis
You will also need to make sure the crate, blankets, and toys of your pet are clean. For this, vacuum the surface and then wash all the things you can. Dry them and give her back. Repeat the process a few times per week or when needed. The goal is to keep the sleeping area or the area where your pet spends a lot of time cleaning and decrees bad odor or risk of some infection.
5. Use Special Products or Make Your Own Ones
You can use ordinary house-cleaning products. These are not great for this purpose and they can harm your pet. Instead, you will have to use special products with enzymes that can break down the stains. These are safe for dogs and work well in countless cases. On the other hand, they are not easy to find in your local store. You may have to look online or in pet shops.
During the heat cycle, your pet will leave pee and blood. The pee will have a different odor than usual. This is perfectly normal and there is no need to worry about it. Once the heat cycle ends, the odor will get back to normal. However, if the scent becomes too strong, you will have to call your vet. There might be an issue and you need to start treating your pet.
Removing pee odor from carpets and furniture is even more beneficial than you may know. A dog will stop peeing there. This is something you can use all year round and not only during the heat cycle. Rimming pee from a dog in the heat will have a positive effect on making dogs. They can smell that a dog is in the heat from epee.
If you want a DIY solution you can make one.
For generic cleaning, you will have to mix vinegar and water (50:50 mix). Keep this in the spray bottle and mix it before you need to use it. If you want a solution for stains specifically, you will need to mix vinegar, baking soda, and water. Keep it in the spray bottle as well. Always have these solutions when your dog is in the heat. You are going to need them.
Both of these solutions are safe for dogs if you are wondering. Some dog owners believe that vinegar is not safe but actually it is. Dogs don’t like the scent though so your pet will likely stay away while you are cleaning.
6. Use A Crate
If you have a dog in the heat, you will want to keep her in one spot. A crate or even a separate room is ideal for this purpose. You can put an old blanket on the floor or something similar. Your dog will not make the entire house a mess while you are away. Keep in mind that this is something you should do while at work or while you are away. It is not a good idea to keep her in the crate for days. Actually, this is one of the worst things you can do and far from a smart one. Your dog still needs to go outside, walk and play.
During the heat, a female dog will refuse to obey your commands. Always be prepared for this and make sure you do not expose her to male dogs. This affects even the most obedient dogs and it is something your vet will tell you also.
The Final Word
Still, want to know how to keep the house clean when the dog is in heat? Using these tips or guidelines if you prefer will be more than just helpful. All of these are something dog owners have developed over time and something they have been using ever since. Use all of these tips and your house will stay clean. It is important to add that all of these tips should be used as long as your dog is in the heat. Most of these will work well even after.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a dog’s heat cycle last?
Typically, a dog’s heat cycle lasts between 2 to 4 weeks. However, the duration can vary depending on the dog’s breed, age, and health.
At what age do female dogs start their heat cycle?
Most female dogs have their first heat cycle between 6 to 12 months of age, though it can vary. Larger breeds might not experience their first heat until they are 18-24 months old.
How often do dogs go into heat?
On average, female dogs go into heat twice a year or every six months. However, some breeds might experience it more or less frequently.
Is it necessary to breed my dog during her heat cycle?
How can I tell if my dog is in heat?
Signs include a swollen vulva, bloody or watery discharge, increased urination, and changes in behavior, such as clinginess or increased alertness.
Do dogs in heat experience pain?
While dogs might experience discomfort or be more irritable, they don’t necessarily feel pain like menstrual cramps in humans. However, each dog is different, and some might show signs of discomfort.
Is it a good idea to get disposable diapers for my dog in heat? Yes, disposable dog diapers or washable dog panties can be an effective way to manage the discharge and keep your home clean. Ensure they fit well and are changed regularly to maintain hygiene.
Can I take my dog out for a walk during her heat cycle?
Yes, but be cautious. Male dogs can detect a female in heat from a distance, so always keep her on a leash and be mindful of other dogs in the area. It might be a good idea to limit her outdoor time and avoid dog parks during this period.