Most female dogs are in heat for about three weeks. Some dogs will stay in heat up to a week more. Some up to a week less. In this complete guide to caring for your girl during her heat cycle we’ll answer all of your question about her seasons, and help you to work out the best way to manage her care during them.
How Long Does A Dog Stay In Heat?
Being in heat is also known as coming into season, and most female dogs will come into season twice a year throughout their lives unless they are spayed. These are averages however. Many factors which can influence the age at which your female dog starts her first heat, how long her heats last, and how often she comes into season
If your female puppy is nearing maturity and hasn’t been spayed, she is about to undergo some changes. We are going to dive into the world of female dogs to discover what a dog’s heat cycle involves. We’ll also explore how female dogs behave when they are in heat. You’ll find out what to expect from a dog’s first season, and how you can best care for your dog during this time.
Use these links to find the answers to your top questions
- Do dogs have periods?
- Your dog’s first heat
- How often do dogs go into heat
- The dog heat cycle
- How to tell if a dog is in heat
- Female dog in heat behavior
- How long will my dog stay in heat
- Can my dog have puppies in her first season
- What to do when your dog is in heat
- How to prevent your dog getting pregnant
- Exercise and safety
- Hygiene and cleaning when a dog is in heat
- When should I have my dog spayed?
Managing your Labrador in season is an important responsibility. With a little knowledge and planning, your dog’s time in heat shouldn’t have to cause you too many problems.
Do dogs have periods?
Girl dogs don’t have a monthly periods or bleed in the same way that human females do. Bleeding is a natural part of a dog’s reproductive cycle but only takes place on average twice each year. The time during which this bleed takes place is called a dog’s ‘heat’ or ‘season’. This only takes place in dogs that have not been spayed. We’ll talk a bit more about spaying as a means of preventing dogs coming into ‘season’ later on.
Unlike most human females during a period, a female dog is highly fertile during their heat. This is the only time of the year during which dogs will mate and can conceive. So your Lab must be managed carefully during her heat in order to avoid pregnancy.
Your dog’s first heat
Unless she is neutered at a very young age, your dog will have at least one season in her life. You’ll want to know what to expect and when to expect it. An unspayed Lab will likely have her first season any time from six months of age onwards. The average age is between nine and twelve months.
Some large breed female dogs won’t have their first heat until as late as eighteen to twenty four months old.
How often do dogs go into heat?
Your female Lab’s season will normally form a fairly regular pattern. Although the pattern may vary widely from dog to dog. The space in between seasons will usually be somewhere between every six months and annually. For example, one of our girls is every six months like clockwork. Another has only one season per year.
An eight to ten month cycle is longer than average but still considered to be normal. Occasionally a female dog will come into season every three or four months. Although the average is six months, variations in heat cycles is normal. However, it is a good idea to chat to your vet if your girl’s heat cycles are very different. This is especially true if they suddenly change to a new pattern. This is just a precaution in case there is an underlying health issue that needs looking at. Before we look at what to expect when your dog is in heat, you might find it helpful to understand how the dog heat cycle works.
The dog heat cycle – oestrus and proestrus
As she reaches maturity, your female dog produces hormones which sets a rhythm in motion. This hormonal rhythm controls the fertility of your girl and carries on throughout her life. This hormonal cycle is composed of four parts
This is the period of time when your female is not in season. It literally means ‘no heat’.
During this period your Labrador is not sexually attractive to male dogs and she cannot get pregnant.
This is the first part of her heat cycle. During this time her uterus (or womb) is being prepared for pregnancy. As her vulva swells and she starts to bleed, you become aware that she is in heat. During proestrus your female dog will be attractive to male dogs but not yet likely to willingly permit a male dog to mate with her.
This is the second part of the heat cycle. This is when your dog becomes fertile. At this point her bloody discharge may become paler and more watery. She will probably be willing to stand and allow a male dog to mate with her. Indeed she may be very flirtatious and encouraging to male dogs. Some females will actively seek to escape from their homes to find the boy dog of their dreams!
In a wild dog, this will almost always result in pregnancy and whelping. In domestic dogs, we usually prevent pregnancy. Indeed most Labradors never have puppies because Lab owners rarely breed their dogs.
During dioestrus the levels of progesterone that would normally support a pregnancy can cause problems. False pregnancy and infections of the uterus (pyometra) are very common during this period. At the end of dioestrus your girl’s hormones fall as she returns to anoestrus. These four stages will repeat each season.
How to tell if a dog is in heat
There are usually some clear signs when your dog is in season, but it is not always obvious so if you think she might be approaching that time you need to keep an eye on her.
Physical appearance and swelling
The first thing you are likely to notice is that your female dog’s vulva (external genitalia) becomes very swollen and puffy. It may be literally three or four times its normal size.
Together with a bloody discharge, these symptoms tell you that your girl has come into season. As your girl move into her fertile phase, the bleeding may stop or become more watery. Although you might expect the main sign to be profuse bleeding, it isn’t always obvious. In fact, sometimes all you will see are very small markings on the floor or in the dog’s bed.
Increased cleaning and licking
Most Labs are very good at keeping themselves clean. This can provide another good sign that she is in season. If she is swollen as well as licking her genitals considerably more than usual, her heat has probably started.
A quick test
If you are not sure whether or not your Labrador is bleeding, gently wipe a piece of clean cotton wool or a white tissue over her vulva. You’ll probably see some pink staining if she is on heat, even if she is keeping herself pretty clean.
Female dog in heat behavior
You might notice a slight change in her temperament a few days before you see any physical signs that your girl is coming into season.
These could include increased sleepiness, or her showing more of an inclination to ‘be together’. Some female dogs will be very clingy to their owners around this time. Others will be more excitable than normal in response to the changes in estrogen. They may also show some odd behavior, such as cocking a leg to pee in the manner of a male dog.
Humping and flagging
Many female dogs will also hump other dogs, male or female, when they are on heat. Some female dogs, especially puppies, will hump other dogs in play. So, if there are no other symptoms, humping does not mean your dog is in season.
Flagging is when she turns her tail to one side when you run your hand down her back and over her rump. This behavior usually takes place during oestrus when she is ready to mate.
How long does a dog stay in heat?
If your female Lab is over four months old, here are some signs you can check for. One indicator is to check if she has a swollen vulva. Another is to check for pink staining when you wipe her vulva. This should be done with a clean white tissue or cotton wool. These are both signs that your girl is almost certainly on heat.
If you experience any unusual or worrying behavior such as throwing up or loss of appetite, please consult your vet. It’s worth noting that being in season doesn’t increase a female lab’s need for calories.
If you are worried or not sure, do chat to your vet over the phone. Don’t take her into his surgery without talking to the vet first, in case there are male dogs in the waiting room. Your priority now is to make sure your dog in heat does not become pregnant. We’ll look at that in a moment. But first let’s find out how long dogs remain in heat.
How long will my dog stay in heat
The length of a season may vary. On average, a female dog’s heat will last approximately three to four weeks. The time that she will ovulate is about ten days to a fortnight in. At this point the color of her discharge may change from pink to colorless and her flagging will increase.
How long your a female dog spends in each stage of her heat (proestrus and oestrus) varies widely from dog to dog. On average oestrus begins 7-10 days after the start of your girl’s season, but you simply cannot assume that she will be average.
Without getting your vet to carry out tests, it is very difficult to tell exactly when your girl is fertile. For that reason, you must assume she could get pregnant at any point after the first symptoms of heat appear. For the next three to four weeks, you should assume she could get pregnant.
Keeping track of your dog’s heat cycles
Make sure to record the date in your diary when your dog comes on heat. In addition, make a note that she may come on heat again in about six month’s time. That way you’ll be prepared and ready to look out for the signs in future. Many dogs do have a regular pattern to their cycles, which you will be able to spot with careful record keeping.
Can my dog have puppies in her first season
There is a risk of pregnancy during any time that your female dog comes into season. This includes the very first time.
If she is on heat, she will be susceptible to male advances, and may conceive if mated with.
But this does not mean that this is a good idea.
Most Labs are still puppies, very young and physically immature at the time they have their first season. It is not good for them to be mated at this stage.
There is also a greater risk of problems during whelping if they do conceive.
During her first season, your Labrador Retriever is likely too immature to cope with a litter of puppies. Nor is she likely to show good maternal instincts.
You will also find that some of the health tests you will need to have carried out to ensure the future safety of your dog’s puppies cannot be screened by this point.
If you are thinking of breeding from your Lab at some point, do check out this article for more help and guidance on making the right decisions.
What to do when your dog is in heat
There are several important things you need to consider when your dog is in season.
- Preventing pregnancy
- Caring for your girl, and your home during her season
- Ensuring your female dog remains healthy in the weeks afterwards
How to prevent your female dog getting pregnant
A serious word of caution is required if you are intending to keep an entire male dog with an unspayed girl.
During her season they will need to be kept completely apart, ideally in a different house! Here’s why.
Separating your own dogs while your dog is on heat
You can try and separate your dogs at home.
However, this can be a bit risky, depending upon your dog’s personality.
It is also very easy to underestimate just how high a dog can jump if he really wants something special!
It is amazing just how quickly dogs can mate when you don’t want them to.
All it takes is for one person to leave the door open for a couple of minutes.
Male dogs may become distressed
Your male dog will be able to tell that his female friend is on heat.
He will be even more keen than normal to be in her company.
He may scratch and howl at the doors between them relentlessly, or pace up and down whining.
This is both stressful for you to watch and listen to, and upsetting to both of your dogs.
Will brother and sister dogs mate?
YES! Please note, that dogs have no concept of ‘incest’.
The fact that your dogs are brother and sister will not prevent them mating.
If they do mate, any puppies will be greatly at risk from inherited diseases due to their similar genetic makeup.
The presence of a dog in heat in the house can also cause a male dog to mark the area with urine.
This act can continue even after her season is complete!
So, I strongly recommend that you send your male dog to stay with a friend for the next four weeks.
Neutering him once your girl is in season will not help at this point, as he will still be fertile for the next few weeks.
But what about the morning after pill for dogs?
You might think that there will be an injection or pill that will put things right if you make a mistake and your dogs get together.
Unfortunately, these hormonal injections have been found to be very risky for dogs and they are no longer used
So if your dog gets mated, there is no easy way out the situation.
You must keep your female dog in heat away from any male dog that has not been neutered.
This brings us to another important way of preventing pregnancy.
Neutering your dog will prevent her coming into season in the future. This involves a significant operation which is referred to as ‘spaying’.
A crucially important point to note, is that if your girl is on heat, you will need to cope with it. This is because she cannot be spayed while on heat.
During her season, your girl’s (womb) is very swollen and the surgical procedure is more risky.
It is far better for your female dog to be spayed during anoestrus.
So, your vet will want you to wait until about three months after the first day of her season.
The idea is to spay her mid-way between seasons. This is the safest time.
The topic of neutering is not as clear cut as was once thought, so we’ll look at this in more detail below when we discuss the best age to spay your dog.
Exercise and Safety
When your Lab is in season, it is very important that you do not walk her anywhere that you might come across another dog.
That means no public parks or beaches for the next few weeks.
Even the best trained entire male dog, with all the will in the world, will be tempted to pay a special visit to your pet.
Dogs can smell female hormones and will range vast distances to find them, becoming very ‘enthusiastic’ if they manage to gain access.
You find it hard to deter any passing male dog’s efforts to impregnate your girl.
As if that wasn’t enough, you will likely find that his owner will have a few choice words to say to you about bringing her out at all!
It’s therefore best to keep your pet in totally secure areas for this time.
Keeping your dog in heat safe
Before she comes into season make sure that your garden is secure. Entire male dogs will try very hard to get into contact with a female dog in season.
They will jump gates and wiggle under fences that would have had no appeal normally.
Make sure there is no way an unwanted intruder can come in, or that your girl can get out.
Using sprays for dogs in heat
You can by deodorant sprays which may reduce the appeal of your female dog in heat to male dogs.
This should help avoid queues of male dogs lining up outside your yard or at your garden gate.
They may also help you out in an emergency if your girl comes on heat unexpectedly while you are on holiday for example.
Or if she is still attracting male attention after her season is over.
They are not, however, a substitute for keeping your female dog safely away from male dogs.
They should not be relied on to keep your girls safe when walking in public. I cannot emphasize this enough.
So if you can’t take her to the park, how are you supposed to exercise your girl?
Alternatives to walks for dogs in season
A lot of people wrongly believe that it is harmful for their dog in heat not to be walked. This simply is not true provided the lack of exercise is temporary.
As long as she is well stimulated both mentally and physically, your female dog will be fine going without a romp in the woods for a few weeks.
Plenty of dogs have to go on crate rest for weeks after surgery and survive without any ill effects.
And there are other ways to keep your dog occupied.
It’s a good opportunity to work on your training in a confined area, practicing heelwork and sit/stays, retrieving etc.
Clicker training is great for this, as it is a fun, rewarding way of improving training and occupying your dog’s brain too.
If your dog doesn’t retrieve, you could even use this opportunity to teach her to fetch while she is confined to home and yard.
How to care for your dog in season at home
If you do not have any intact male dogs in the house, you should not have to change your girl’s living arrangements too much.
She should be expected to behave as normal.
That being said, she might need extra toilet breaks as she will want to urinate more often.
Occasionally a normally clean Labrador will wee in the house when she is on heat, even though she is fine the rest of the time.
Despite our best hopes, some of our Labrador ladies simply are not interested in keeping themselves clean. Some can be quite messy
Without a doubt, it’s important to keep your dog out of the reach of good furniture (and potential suitors).
However, she shouldn’t feel as though she is being punished for doing something wrong. Make sure she still gets the quality time with you she deserves.
Hygiene and cleaning when a dog is in heat
Cleaning up after your girl when she is in heat is important. Both for general cleanliness and hygiene reasons.
Most of our Labs live indoors.
If you have easily wiped flooring in all the rooms your dog in heat has access to, then the simplest thing may be to just increase your cleaning routine.
Hygiene pants for Labs in season
Another alternative is to buy hygiene pants for your girl to wear indoors* for the next few weeks.
They help to avoid stains on your carpets and furniture and enable you to let your dog have access to all areas of your home as usual.
Some dogs in heat won’t tolerate hygiene pants and will tear them off. In which case you might want to consider a system of barriers.
Keeping your in season dog off the carpets and furniture
If your girl is bleeding heavily you may need to keep her off any carpeted floors for the next few weeks.
You can protect your furniture with washable throws* if she regularly sleeps on chairs or the sofa.
You might want to get her used to spending time in just these other rooms before the season arrives.
That way you won’t have the trouble of adjusting her habits instantly the moment she is on heat.
If your Labrador is used to a crate this can be a big help for short periods of time if you need to have doors open to carpeted rooms.
Alternatively if you want your Labrador to join you in the living room during the evening but don’t want her on the furniture.
If your Lab travels in the back of the car you will probably want to invest in some car seat covers* too.
Caring for your Lab after her season
Every female dog is at risk from pyometra (infection of the uterus or womb) in the weeks that follow the end of a season. This is potentially fatal.
If you don’t intend to spay your dog, please read up on this risk so that you are aware of the symptoms.
Early treatment is essential and life saving.
Do senior female dogs have a menopause?
People sometimes ask if their dog’s heat cycles will come to a halt when they reach middle age, or get old.
The answer is no. Dogs continue to cycle through the four hormonal phases throughout their entire life.
So, if you don’t have your girl spayed, she will continue to come into season every six months or so.
When should I have my dog spayed?
The right time to spay your dog is mid-way between cycles, once she is mature, and once you are fully aware of (and have considered) the risks and benefits of neutering.
We know a lot more about the effects of neutering on dogs than we once did.
There are numerous health benefits to having your dog spayed. For example, spayed dogs are at a greatly reduced risk of mammary (breast) cancer.
However, we now know that neutering is not always in the best interests of every dog.
So you need to weigh up the pros and cons, which will depend on your individual situation.
Your pup can be spayed from 2 months of age. It is best to consult with a vet to determine the best time for your girl.
You can find out more in this article: Should I neuter my dog – the latest evidence.
Your dog in heat – a summary and more information
Managing a female dog in heat is not too complicated. You need to make sure that your home and garden is secure. Also avoid taking your girl to places where there may be entire male dogs.
Many female dogs keep themselves very clean during their season and you will hardly notice any mess at all.
If you are worried about mess there are hygiene products you can buy or you can simply keep your girl away from carpeted rooms for a few weeks.
Most dogs in heat remain in great health and good spirits throughout their season, which will be over before you know it.
Remember, female dogs are vulnerable to health issues during the few weeks following each season, so you need to keep a close eye on your female at this time.
We call this period “pyo watch” – this link provides you with a lot more information
If your dog is coming into heat any more frequently than every four months it is worth speaking to your vet, as this can be indicative of health problems.
Do you make any changes to your home routine to cope with your Lab when she is in season?
Share your tips for managing a dog in heat with other readers in the comments box below.
Robert Schneider, C. Richard Dorn, D. O. N. Taylor; Factors Influencing Canine Mammary Cancer Development and Postsurgical Survival, JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 43, Issue 6, 1 December 1969, Pages 1249–1261
Patrick W. Concannon, Reproductive cycles of the domestic dog, Animal Reproduction Science, Volume 124, Issues 3–4, 2011.
Wolfgang Jöchle, Allen C. Andersen, The estrous cycle in the dog: A review, Theriogenology, Volume 7, Issue 3, 1977.
David Yates and Rosa Leedham, Prepubertal neutering of dogs — some risks and benefits Companion Animal 2019 24:1, 38-42
Dendoncker, P., De Keuster, T., Diederich, C., Dewulf, J., Moons, CPH. (2019) On the origin of puppies: breeding and selling procedures relevant for canine behavioral development, Veterinary Record Published Online First: 29 January 2019
Affiliate link disclosure: Links in this article marked with an * are affiliate links, and we may receive a small commission if you purchase these products. However, we selected them for inclusion independently, and all of the views expressed in this article are our own.
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website
Hi. I just thought I would let you know that female dogs are “spayed” not “neutered” as referenced in the first paragraph of your story.
Hope this helps.
Hi Cathy, good spot! Thanks for letting us know so we could adjust.
Female dogs are not neutered! They are spayed. Why do you keep calling it neutered throughout your article?
Hi my Black female Lab will be 5 in April 2020 usually has 2 seasons a year, June and December….she had Junes one but had one in October instead of December one….she now has 4 of her boobs that are enlarged and hanging down near towards where her girly parts are…..the rest of her boobs/ nipples are very small but the bigger ones seem to be getting bigger, looks very weird and hasn’t happened before…..has anyone got any ideas what it is please, thank you…..
my dog is Pomeranian 15 years old.she is on her period from past 2 months.the vet did ultrasound too but everything was normal. pls tell what to do
My lab collie cross had a season in January at 6 months and 1 week. 3 months later, at the exam prior to spaying, the vet said she was lactating. That morning I had seen a small blood stain which the vet said was an infection and prescribed antibiotics. We delayed op for 2weeks.
Over the weekend male dogs tried to mount her so second vet says she may be having a mini season. Is this possible when she is also lactating?
Do some young dogs have irregular mini seasons?
This is such a great resource. Thank you!
Is it possible for owners to sync up? My golden retriever is 16 months and just started her first season last night! But I have cramps now and it is not time… anyone else experience this?
I AM AN OWNER OF A GIRL CHIWAWA (SHEERA) A FOUR MONTH OLD PART GERMAN SHEPARD PART BULL MASTIFF (CISCO THE KID) AND A FULL GROWN WIMENHIMER (BULLY) CISCO IS NOT OLD ENOUGH TO BARK N HOWL ALL DAY AND NIGHT LIKE BULLY IS RIGHT NOW- BUT HE IS VERY STRESSED AND HYPER- FOLLOWING BULLY AROUND- I WAS SO UNPREPARED FOR THIS I FEEL GUILTY THE ENTIRE HOUSE IS UNDER GREAT DEAL OF STRESS- ONE GOOD THING IS EVEN THE PUPPY CISCO COULD NOT POSSIBLY GET SHEERA PREGNANT BECAUSE SHE IS AS BIG AS ONE OF THEIR LEGS- BULLY WHO IS CLEARLY HAVING THE HARDEST TIME- HAS MORE OF A CHANCE OF HURTING HER THAN GETTING HER KNOCKED UP- I AM A WIFE AND MOTHER OF ONE- WHOS FRIENDS ARE HER FAMILY- SO I AM LOST AS WHAT TO DO FOR BULLY AND REST OF US- I LOVE ALL THREE AND ITS NOT AN OPTION TO BOOT ONE OUT OF THE FAMILY- ANY SUGGESTIONS?
labs are fine dogs, but there are other breeds that run circles around them. please refer to all dogs not just labs. thank you!
Hi Buddy, We love lots of breeds of dogs, but the Labrador focus is because this is the Labrador Site 😉
Maybe you didn’t realize the site is called the LABRADOR site 🙂
Dog nappies (diapers) are very expensive and even the extra large size is too small for a large dog. I found the absorbent pad material to be too far away from the tail hole. Therefore, the discharge from the vulva wasn’t caught.
I stapled two Junior boy/girl nappies together and cut a hole for the tail. This resulted in a more generous nappy that did the job better and was way cheaper.
I bought some from amazon and there great my girl is not the biggest of labs but she wears them no problem they came in a pack of 3 so I wash two at a time so always got one on . No mess found all caught and she can get under them to clean herself also which I think is important
Will adult diapers work?
Hi I have a August born indie. She is 9 months old. She started bleeding 10days ago & still bleeding. her bleeding is still the same dark red. It’s not fading into light pink nor thin in texture. Is it normal or I should contact the vet immediately. Please reply as I’m worried as hell
indie dogs can manage anything please dont worry and see for another 10 days.. thank u
My female lab is 20 months old and just finished her 2nd heat cycle about 3 weeks ago. I notice that she is much more aggressive and rough during play and that she just does not seem to want to play at all with other dogs. Is this normal and will this decrease as her hormones start to level off again. She used to love playing with other dogs and not it seems she would just rather be off on her own. Is there anything I can do to help her through this time? She is a sweet and well behaved girl and usually loves to play and interact with other dogs.
Our Lab is 12 months and in season, but there is a foul smell, is this normal?
My 9 month old Pitbull as well as my mother-in-law’s 1 yr. old Shepherd are both very stinky right now, about 2 weeks into their heats, I do think it’s normal, but I’m no pro 😉
Thanks for the clear, comprehensive info. One question: our Molly started in to heat two days after turning one year old. 10 days later, she has shown little interest in her kibble, but likes bully sticks and rawhide and apple slices and just about everything else. So, she’s not eating nearly as much as before going into heat. One site mentions that a dog in heat may lose appetite. Thoughts?
Please consult a veterinarian if any dog loses appetite.
“Most Labradors never have puppies”
Because most people don’t breed from their dogs
Doggy menopause. My old girl Hannah had 13 happy years. She was never spade and had one litter. That’s a lot of heats! If I had known about pyro I would have had her spade in middle age. However her heats became shorter and then farther apart and then stopped at ten years old.
Hi, my lab was 8 months old when she began her first season….that was almost 2 months ago! Her vulva is still very swollen…is this normal or should I get her checked out
In doubt, the best advice is always the vet.
my female is now 2 years old. I do not think she has come into season at all. At 1 year she was acting like it, but not fully.
Is there anything I can do to bring her in? I would truly like to have a litter from this exceptional animal.
My lab just turned 6 months and I think she is beginning her season. Should I be feeding her more?
Hi Taye, being in season does not increase a female lab’s need for calories. Check out https://www.thelabradorsite.com/feeding-your-labrador-puppy/ for more information
My lab is just one year and started her bleeds last week. she swallowed a sock and is now thowing up all her food now, Im not sure wheter she is bleeding internally, there is a terrible smell fom her breath and she coughed up bloody substance now its browny took her to vet today and he gave her injection for inflammation
Worried owner just got her at 6 months following the parting of our 8 year old lab who died starting with heavy bleeds lasted 3 days,
It could be a disease in your house I recommend taking her to the vet immediately
I believe your dog needs surgery to remove the sock. She can’t digest it!
Our Indi has just gone into her first season and our neutered 6 year old male is very interested. Whist she can go in her crate I really don’t want to keep her locked up for a potential 4 weeks !
Will he lose interest as I don’t want her bullied ?
Any advice welcome please.
Is the behaviour change when there season starts
Is it normal for her to whine a lot more than usual?
My 9 month old is 12 days into her first season. She seems to be in the second stage of heat as the bleeding has almost entirely stopped and is much more pale now. My question is more about her mood. She is keeping to herself a lot which I gather is normal but has now gone off her food and is not drinking much. I am giving her cooked chicken in lots of chicken flavour water but she doesn’t particularly want even that. She is definitely fed up with the lack of walks and doesn’t want to chase a ball around the garden. She will still play training games though. I have spoken to the vet and will take her if she can’t keep her fluids up but wanted to check if there are any other thoughts about this behaviour and whether it is normal? Many thanks.
Hi Ellie is 7 month old I think she is having here first season is it likely she could go of her food
Hi Elaine, it is possible, but if she doesn’t eat for more than 24 hours or seems uncomfortable, or unwell, you really need to take her to the vet.
Would only suggest you to please get your girl checked up for Pyometra as going off of water or loss of appetite is the early sign for the same.
Thanks for this article. It was extremely helpful. Our girl celebrated her first birthday by going into season. We have all survived!
My lab puppy started her first season on Feburary 1st, a week short of her first birthday. Everything seemed normal…bleeding for 11 days, then pinkish for a few days. Swelling went down, but we waited a full 4 weeks. We took her on outings on starting on the 28th. She started bleeding again on March 5th and was very swollen. She is still swollen and bleeding. I am assuming this is a case of back to back seasons. Will she still be fertile for 21 days?
No comment to make, just a thank you, very helpful for our new pup..
Glad you found it helpful Tony 🙂
Hi my b***h is 10 months old she started bleeding 1 week ago and since then her behaviour has changed immensely. She growls and snaps at me my husband and children if we go near her. She was perfectly fine before she came into season but she actually scares me i have to keep her caged in fear she may bite. Is this normal behaviour or should i be concerned. Thank you
Hi Lindzi, Labrador behaviour can change when they come into season but this doesn’t sound normal to me. The best thing to do is take her to your vet, who can make sure it isn’t a medical issue and refer you to a behaviourist if necessary. Wishing you the best of luck. Lucy
Maybe you shouldn’t call her your b***h !!! I know a female pup is a B…..! It just sounds SO NOT RIGHT! I know a sweet name for her? What about Kimmy ☺️ That’s Super Cute ? Have a Blessed Day .
Hi Gail, It’s actually a technical term that is in common usage in the UK for a female dog. However, I appreciate that elsewhere it can be seen as very offensive, so I have edited your comment and theirs to reflect this. Best wishes, Lucy
my lab is getting to four months and she’s not growing big.
I deworm her every 2weeks and feeds her twice a day.
please help me
My lab started bleeding 14 days ago, is this normal? I had expected the bleeding stage to last 7 to 10 days.
My b***h also came in to heat about 2 weeks ago and is also still bleeding, I have been told that this is perfectly normal so long as the bleeding is not heavy, if the bleeding is heavy then you should get her checked.
My b***h is about to come into heat. My vet mentioned an injection that can reduce it to 5 days once she gets the first signs. Is this safe and can it be repeated?
My borador puppy is 5 months old and I have noticed spots of blood on her puppy training pad the last 2 days. Is she in heat or is it just bleeding gums?
She is quite young for a first season David, but it is not impossible. If there are no other signs of heat, get her checked up by your vet.
Thanks, it was just bleeding gums. She is now 11 months and has been in heat for at least the last 3 days. Noticed blood Friday morning.
Hi Pippa, thank you for all the useful info you provide. I find your articles enlightening, especially those on spaying/neutering.
My question is that i noticed my lab go into heat on September 17th. It is her first heat and she will be 1 year old this week. First there was bleeding, (slightly heavier than I’m used to), then she was receptive but that phase was over quickly. She has spotted all through her period. It seemed like it was over nearly a week ago, but today (October 18th) is day 32 and she is bleeding again. It just appears like blood, nothing cloudy or slimy. She also is not energetic as usual, and her appetite wasn’t great today. I’m a bit concerned. Do you think this requires a visit to the vet? I’m torn because a couple of days ago we returned from a prolonged visit at my family’s home where there are people and other dogs she loves. I can’t tell if it is her health or if she’s just missing them.
Worth a trip to the vet Alize, just to be on the safe side.
My Fern is just 10 months of age, and I’ve just noticed the first blood spots, and her vulva is definitely distended. My question is, will this have any effect on Polly, my spayed 3 year-old.
Fern may try to mount Polly while she is in season, especially towards the middle. But other than that, you shouldn’t have a problem. 🙂
My Oly got on her first heat 30 August at 9 months. My concern is that her bleeding hasn’t stopped as yet. It’s been over 10 days now. She’s behaving just fine.. Nothing wrong otherwise. Just wondering when the bleeding will stop since it hasn’t even started fading away. Bloody dots are still dark/bright red. Please let me know what to expect next. Thanks in advance!
Hi Nala is 1 year and 10 months and in season, with visible signs since the 2nd. I did notice though that at least 1 week/10 days before she was extremely clean with her private parts and my entire dog was pretty interested but there were no signs at all. 2 months before she was doing the same and so my male dog, at the time I took her to the vet and he said there was absolutely no sign. So this time round, no signs at all, I assumed it was the same as before. Eventually on the 2nd while she was fast asleep legs up in the air I curiosily went to check her as Rufio was not that interested anymore even if other dogs did seem a bit on walks, and I saw some drops of blood! I am now very careful with them alone and Rufio has been chemically castrated immediately and seems to be nearly disinterested in her. She is still bleeding even if sometime like you said is reddish/brownish or pinkish. She has been doing wee much more often before I found out and even now as you said. How am I supposed to know how long it will last and will she still be in season when there are no more signs?! It’s now 5/6 days with signs but at least a week before this she was weeing more and cleaning herself like mad! Do you think she could be already pregnant as before this bleeding I didn’t pay much attention and left them alone at home at times?!Or as she is bleeding she is not pregnant?!Thanks Pippa, looking forward to your answer.
For whoever needs them I have found some very intelligent(maybe not pretty) pants and that keeps the house clean as I can change the little pads whenever I want, I take them out when we walk and in the garden.The make is Mikki and off course labs will need the large or extra large pants and pads. You can buy them in Petsathome or other good shops.
I have a black lab that went into season for the first time a week ago and she is 3 years old, should I be concerned?
I have a yellow lab that is four years old. My question is while she’s in heat she looks to me like she’s miserable. Do female dogs feel any discomforts while they are in heat?
My chocolate labrador is 1 and a month old she has always been a very clean puppy from 6mobths on ward. But I have never noticed any bleeding or swelling of any body parts or increase attention from the boys. She is always a cuddly ball of fur and likes our attention. So I assume she hasn’t seasoned yet should I be concerned?
Plenty of dogs don’t come on heat until after their first birthday. There is no need to worry,but talk to your vet if you are concerned.
Hi My Lab is 11 Months, and has not gone into season as yet? should I be concern about this?
No Mariette, it is quite normal for the first season to take place towards the end of the first year or the beginning of the second. It will probably be any time soon. 🙂
our yellow lab who turns 1 on March 16th just went into heat today… We were getting concerned as well. We knew that a couple of other babies for her litter had already gone into heat and she hadn’t yet… I would say your baby will go into heat any day now.
Hi, my female lab is 5 months old and just come into season. Is this normal? She seems a bit young to be having a season already?
My labrodor molly came into season to at 5mths, but had no bleeding. She is now 9 1/2 mths old & in a fully season. So dont worry yr little girl is fine
Our girl is only 4.5 months and she is now in the middle of her first season. I am also a little bit worried about that, not sure if it’s normal.
We were planning to have her spayed next month before her first heat.
I have noticed my 10 month old lab cleaning herself more lately, and this morning cleaning her after a run in have noticed some blood. It looks a wonderful 3 weeks trying to distract her from not going for our usual long walks.
iwant clear signs about season iam new to a lab
At what age do Labrador’s stop coming into season.
Most female Labradors continue to have seasons throughout their lives Brenda, thought the gaps between them may increase