A key component to owning a Chihuahua is knowing when they go into heat. This includes ensuring your dog’s safety from males during this time, and planning ahead if you’re breeding her.
The best time to breed Chihuahuas is when they are in heat, a period of estrus during which the female ovulates and becomes receptive toward mating. This can vary from dog to dog but for chihuahuas, it usually lasts around two weeks every five to eight months.
To know if your chihuahua is in heat, you may observe the following indications:
- increased affection towards her owner (or anyone else)
- swelling of the vulva under their tail near where she urinates
- bleeding through the vagina
- excessive licking of the vagina
- receptive to male dogs
- agitated, nervous, or aggressive
- frequent urination
In this blog post, we’ll go through what you should know about Chihuahuas in heat and how to know if your dog is going into heat.
Chihuahuas in Heat: What You Need to Know
A Chihuahua on her first time in heat will experience a vaginal discharge that gradually increases as the female approaches ovulation, which happens around two weeks after the onset of estrus (or heat). It’s important for the female to be in heat before she’s either mated or artificially inseminated.
To determine if your Chihuahua is in heat, you’ll need to understand when their cycle occurs. You can expect your dog to be on the heat once every five to eight months during the year, but it may vary depending on different factors such as age and breed.
On average, Chihuahua’s in the heat last for 14 days but may vary from dog to dog. Towards the end of their cycle (once they stop bleeding), their discharge will become less abundant, smaller in size, and lighter in color.
Your dog can get pregnant even if she’s just been brought back from her heat. If you’re planning to breed your Chihuahua but are not sure when was the right time for them to ovulate, have them checked by a vet or contact a professional breeder for assistance.
How to Know if Your Chihuahua is in Heat
Increased affection towards her owner (or anyone else)
Female Chihuahuas will often show signs of affection for their owner during their heat cycle. A dog’s ovaries produce a lot of estrogen which causes affectionate behavior towards its master, even if it’s a complete stranger.
Swelling of the vulva under their tail near where they urinate
When a Chihuahua is in heat, its uterus produces more fluids that can result in swelling of the vulva. You may notice that your dog’s genitals are swollen and their vulva is just below their tail directly near where they urinate.
Bleeding through the vagina
A Chihuahua’s vagina will bleed during its heat cycle, but this is not regular menstruation. Your dog may experience a bloody discharge that gets thicker and then lighter in color as time passes.
Before ovulation happens, they’ll have blood-tinged vaginal secretions while after the time of ovulation, it’ll be a watery discharge.
Excessive licking of the vagina
A Chihuahua’s vagina will secrete a lot of fluids during its heat cycle, and its vulva may also get swollen forcing them to lick themselves all the time. This behavior is common in pregnant dogs too, but if your Chihuahua does it excessively when she’s not in heat, then it may be a sign that there is something wrong.
Receptive to male dogs
When a Chihuahua is in heat, she’ll be receptive to male dogs and will even seek them out if they are nearby. You can tell your dog is going into heat when you observe her “flirting” with the male dog next door or regularly cycling neighbor’s pets.
Chihuahuas will also release pheromones that can attract male dogs and make them more aggressive. If they approach your Chihuahua, they may even fight to mate with her as she’s also ready to accept the male.
Agitated, nervous, or aggressive
A female Chihuahua during their first heat cycle will feel agitated and constantly look for a way out of the house, especially towards male dogs who may be nearby. Once she’s enticed by a potential mate, they will become aggressive and their dominant behavior will start to show.
Chihuahuas in heat will often urinate more frequently than usual and it is also likely that you’ll notice the bloody vaginal discharge in their urine. This is normal so don’t worry too much about it.
If you notice your Chihuahua has any of these symptoms, they’re most likely going into heat. If in doubt, have them checked by a veterinarian for professional confirmation.
How to Care for Your Chihuahua when in Heat
There’s no denying the fact that your Chihuahua needs a lot of attention during their heat cycle and it is important to understand how this affects them.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Leave them alone when they’re in heat. It can be tempting to pamper your dog when she’s in heat, but remember that she needs to focus on mating or she may become aggressive. You don’t want her to feel stressed out, right?
Do not bathe your dog during the heat cycle. Chihuahuas are naturally clean dogs who can bathe themselves all they want, but you should never bathe them while they’re in heat as it will remove the secretions that attract male dogs to them.
A female Chihuahua in heat will have a lot of vaginal discharge, so you should also avoid letting them sleep with you during this time.
Never hold a female Chihuahua when they’re in heat unless she’s your own dog and then only for a quick cuddle. Your dog will probably become agitated and will be eager to find a mate.
Do not allow male dogs anywhere near your Chihuahua or you’ll have a fight on your hands. If it’s their first time going into heat, they most likely won’t know how to react. It’s best to keep small female dogs away from male dogs.
Do not breed your Chihuahua if they become pregnant during their first heat cycle as it is dangerous for them and you’ll also increase the risk of future health problems. Instead, let them go through one heat cycle before breeding so that they can be properly prepared.
Take your dog to the veterinarian if you notice anything unusual about her behavior. A Chihuahua in heat may seem fine, but she still needs to be checked by a professional so that any problems can be identified and solved.
That’s all you should need to know about how to take care of a Chihuahua in heat. If you notice that your dog is going into heat, then follow the advice above for maximum safety and comfort.
In some cases, it may also be best not to breed your dog until after they’ve gone through one or two successful heat cycles. This will help avoid any physical or health problems in the future and will also make your dog more loveable and affectionate towards you and other animals.