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How Long Is A Dog In Season (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 Weeks

By perusing the word ‘season’ a layman would associate it with the seasons of the year like summer, winter, or monsoon. However, when it is read with the word dog as in the phrase ‘a dog in season’, it connotes an entirely different meaning altogether.

A dog in season, also known by other terms like a dog in heat or oestrus, means the time wherein a female dog can become pregnant and give birth to small puppies of her own. It is somewhat difficult to identify whether a dog is in season or not, especially if it is the dog’s first season.

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How Long Is A Dog In Season?

It is crucial to understand how long can a dog be in the season if one wants to avoid the hassle of having unwanted puppies. Usually, when a dog is in season, there could be some swelling in the dog’s body or some discharge, but these characteristics are almost non-existent.

The duration of a dog’s season can vary from dog to dog. This is because there are numerous varieties of dog breeds and every breed is different from each other in some or another aspect. Ordinarily, a female dog that has never been spayed comes in the season about two times a year.

However, there is nothing concrete when it comes to dog season. Some dogs have only one season, which some can have up to three. As dogs come in various breeds and sizes, this differs for each dog. It is generally observed that dogs that belong to the giant category have only 1 season per year, while others might have known to be in season every 18 months.

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A dog can be in season for as long as three weeks. Even though the average length of the season is 3 weeks, this can vary from 2 to 4 weeks depending on which breed of dog is taken into consideration. Not all dog classes are alike and thus, the length of a dog being in season cannot be generalized.

Types Of DogsDuration
Small dogs in season2 – 3 weeks
Giant dogs in season3 – 4 weeks

Why Is A Dog In Season For So Long?

A female dog can get pregnant only when it is in season and is within its heat period cycle which is a 10-day long period in the middle of a dog’s heat cycle. Thus, a dog can’t get pregnant if it is not in season. Pregnancy in dogs is often called the gestation period. This gestation period is about 9 weeks long and thus, lasts for about 58 to 68 days.

A dog that is mature enough to have a season can become pregnant and give birth to multiple puppies. A dog can get pregnant in its very first season. The early signs of a dog’s pregnancy can be loss of appetite, lethargy, behavioral changes, etc. When a dog is in season, she would behave differently around male dogs and would also bleed from her vulva.

Most dogs typically have their first season when they are about 6 months old while others can have it as late as 2.5 years old. This widely differs due to the presence of different dogs and their various breeds. As a general rule, it can be seen that dogs that are small in size tend to have their first season earlier than large dogs.

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A dog in the season feels hormonal and would probably be confused during this period. Each season could last for about 16 – 18 days. However, a dog in the season would not bleed the whole time while it is in heat. Bleeding can happen only for a week to 10 days. Typically, a big dog would generally tend to bleed more as compared to small dogs.

Thus, one can try keeping their dogs while they are in season happy so that they are comfortable and calm. If one notices certain unusualities in their pet dogs, immediately speak to the dog’s vet.

Conclusion

A dog in season is a fertile period in the dog’s cycle wherein the female dogs can become pregnant and can give birth to their young ones. Female dogs can have their season every 6 – 7 months i.e twice a year that could last for 2 – 4 weeks. Thus, the average duration for a dog to be in season is 3 weeks. However, it must be noted that once a female dog is spayed, she will not be able to get pregnant as she will stop having her seasons after being spayed.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1748-5827.1981.tb01403.x
  2. https://meridian.allenpress.com/jwd/article-abstract/52/3/553/194068