How Many Days Does It Take a Female Dog to Finish Her Period?

by Victoria Lee Blackstone
    Isolate your female dog during the entire estrus cycle to prevent unplanned litters.

    Isolate your female dog during the entire estrus cycle to prevent unplanned litters.

    Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    Unlike human females, whose menstrual cycles typically take 28 days, dogs enter their heat cycles, or estrus, on average only twice a year. For dogs, the complete estrus cycle typically lasts between two and three weeks. Three main stages make up your dog’s heat cycle, each with different symptoms.

    Beginning Estrus

    When your dog’s estrus cycle begins, the external vulva begins to swell. In many dogs, this swelling is not noticeable; many owners are unaware their dog has gone into estrus.

    The Period

    The second part of estrus is often the first one owners notice. This is when the bloody vaginal discharge begins. Discharge amounts vary by breed and dog; they can be heavy or hardly noticeable. This bloody discharge typically lasts between seven and 10 days.

    Prime Fertility

    After the bleeding stops, vaginal discharge continues but changes to a watery pink substance. This is the time when the female dog ovulates and is most fertile. You may notice frequent urination as she marks her scent to attract male dogs.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist who propagates heirloom and native plants for her nursery. She has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, plant care sheets and magazine and newspaper articles. Blackstone studied botany and microbiology at Clemson University and is a former University of Georgia Extension Master Gardener Coordinator.

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