Ways to Know That Your Dog Is in Heat

When your dog is in heat, it can be an overwhelming experience for both you and your dog. With the way a female dog behaves in this situation, it can be difficult to know exactly when she is in heat. That’s why learning the signs of a female dog in heat could help you determine if your dog is going through a phase or if something is seriously wrong. If you notice any of these symptoms, it could be that your dog is in heat.


Bleeding is a common symptom of being in heat, but it does not mean that your dog is necessarily in heat. The bleeding can happen for other reasons, such as vaginal infections or other conditions. If you see your dog bleeding, it’s best to get her checked out by a vet to make sure everything is alright.

If your dog has all the symptoms above and she’s been coming into contact with male dogs (or irresponsible owners have allowed their male dogs near yours), then it’s likely that she is indeed in heat!

Swollen vulva

You may notice that your dog’s vulva is swollen and red, which is a sign of being in heat. The vulva can be swollen due to infections or allergies, so it’s important to know the difference between a normal swelling and an infection. If you see any signs of infection such as discharge or red streaks on their belly or back, take them to see a veterinarian immediately.

Increase in urination

  • An increase in urination is one of the most visible symptoms of heat. Dogs who usually go outside to urinate may start to use the house, or may begin to urinate more frequently. However, this symptom does not always occur with all dogs who experience heat cycles; it may also be an indication that your dog is sick or has an infection.
  • You should realize that some dogs do not show signs of increased urination when they are in heat because they are able to keep their homes clean enough to avoid being distracted by messes. Other dogs will be so frantic with desire for male attention that they simply don’t care about where they pee! It’s important to note that this isn’t necessarily a good thing—it could mean something else is going on physically with your pet—but it’s certainly something worth considering when determining how much time you want spent cleaning up after them (or getting ready for guests).

Appetite changes

Appetite changes are one of the most obvious signs that a dog is in heat. A female dog’s appetite will increase or decrease significantly during estrus, and she may also show a preference for different types of food than usual. She may eat more or less than normal, and she may even start eating food that she normally would not eat. The combination of these factors could end up putting your pet at risk for overeating, which can lead to health problems such as weight gain or digestive issues later on.

Mounting and humpiness

Although there are many different signs and symptoms of heat, one of the most common is mounting. When a female dog heats, she will begin to act more aggressive toward other dogs. She may try to mount them or hump them. Male dogs can also display this behavior as well, although it’s less common for males than females due to their different hormones. If your dog is humping another dog in an aggressive way or standing up on two legs while “riding” another animal (usually male dogs do this), chances are that they’re in heat.

Change in behavior

If you’ve ever had a friend or family member go through a breakup, then you’re probably familiar with the changes in behavior that come from such an experience. It’s not just the person who’s going through the breakup that experiences these changes; those around them can feel it, too. Dogs are no different—they can be hit hard by the hormonal shifts their bodies undergo during heat cycles. This can cause their behavior to shift in many ways:

  • They may become more affectionate and lovey-dovey toward people or other dogs they know well—or they might turn aggressive and territorial toward strangers or new people/dogs in their lives
  • Your pup may be clingier than usual, which makes her more likely to follow you everywhere you go
  • She could become quieter and less vocal during this time (making her harder for your veterinarian to hear when she needs medical attention)
  • Your dog’s activity level could increase because she’ll have a lot more energy on her hands now that she’s back in heat

Attraction toward male dogs

An increased interest in male dogs is one of the most common signs that your dog is in heat. If you have more than one female dog, you may notice that they become more interested in each other and begin to sniff, lick and fight over the same male dog. This can be very stressful for you if it is happening for the first time or for a long period of time.

Your female dog will often bark loudly at males when she is attracted to them. This can happen from several feet away from her house or even across the street! The louder or longer she barks at them, the stronger her desire will be for them. You may also notice that once she stops barking at a particular male, she stops paying attention to him completely as well as any other males who come around later on in heat season


Hopefully, you’re now more informed about how to handle female dogs and cats in heat. If your pet is showing any of the above signs, it’s important that she has a place away from other animals while she’s in heat. Don’t hesitate to seek help from your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health during this time.