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Newsletter
3/10/2012

Female dogs: Better be careful! Spring is coming!

Dear dog owner,

Along with the arrival of spring come those special spring feelings. At least that’s what you might think, since for many pets, the lengthening daylight hours trigger their reproductive cycles.

For dogs, though, the story is a little different: female dogs enter puberty at a specific age depending on their breed. Smaller female dogs may experience their first episode of heat by the time they are six months old, while larger breeds, this may not occur until their first birthday. They then come into heat every 6-7 months, although there may be some individual variation. The shortest interval between episodes of heat is never less than three months, however, since this is how long it takes for the dog’s uterus to break down the corpus luteum from the previous ovulation and to ripen a new follicle (or what we refer to as an “egg”).

Since a female dog is fertile for up to three weeks, it can be very difficult to permanently protect your dog from unwanted suitors. If you are experiencing this problem, you should speak with your veterinarian about whether it would be appropriate to consider the possibility of suppressing your dog’s fertility with medication or having your dog spayed. Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of these treatments by reading our articles before meeting with your veterinarian.

There is help available for the owner of the lovesick suitor as well. Castration of a male dog will diminish his desire to seek out female dogs in heat. However, approximately 30% of castrated male dogs will show persistent interest in those sweet-smelling lady dogs.

We wish you a wonderful spring!
Your enpevet team.