Female dogs don’t have ‘periods’ in the sense we do. Rather, they experience estrus (heat) – a surge of estrogen and progesterone right before they ovulate. This increase in hormones causes the dog’s body to prepare for pregnancy. So, do dogs get period cramps? In a way, yes.
Do Dogs Get Period Cramps like Humans? No
The main difference between human and canine periods is that during a human’s period, they are shedding their uterine lining because they haven’t gotten pregnant in the given cycle. This doesn’t happen in dogs.
What we’re talking about when we say ‘dog period’ is actually the time leading to ovulation. In humans, ovulation happens halfway through the menstrual cycle. In dogs, it occurs about 11 days after the start of estrus.
So, do dogs get period cramps for a different reason? Yes, they may experience them during their heat cycle. To understand this, let’s delve deeper into their biology.
So What Causes Their Cramps?
The pain is likely due to a combination of hormones and the physical changes happening in the body as it readies itself for pregnancy. Some common signs that a dog is in heat and may experience cramps are:
- change in behavior,
- increased urination,
- swelling of the vulva.
If your dog is displaying any of these signs, she may be feeling discomfort or pain. However, it’s important to note that not all dogs hurt during their heat cycle. Sometimes, they’re just hormonal, and the behavioral changes are the result of that.
If you’re concerned about your dog’s health and think she may be experiencing pain, talk to your veterinarian. They will be able to give you the best advice on how to help your furry friend feel comfortable.
How Does a Dog on Their Period Behave?
Dogs in heat usually behave differently than they do when they’re not in heat. As previously mentioned, increased urination is common. This is because the dog’s body is releasing pheromones, which attract male dogs. The increased urination helps spread these pheromones around to show that the female is receptive to mating.
Other behavioral changes may include:
- licking their genital area more,
- displacing their tails to the side,
- becoming more clingy.
These changes are all a result of the increased hormone levels in the dog’s body. If you notice any of these behaviors, it’s likely your dog is in estrus.
Do Dogs Bleed on Their Periods?
Yes, but it’s not like a human period. A dog in heat will experience a bloody discharge for about 7-10 days. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
The discharge may be heavy at first and then taper off towards the end of the cycle. When your dog nears ovulation, it may change color to a pink or reddish hue. Some dogs may also have lighter spotting throughout their lives – this is also normal.
If you’re concerned about the amount of blood your dog is losing, or if the discharge is accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, talk to your veterinarian. They will be able to determine if there is cause for concern.
Can Dogs Wear Pads?
Yes, if you’re concerned about the bloody discharge making a mess in your home, you can put doggy pads or diapers on her. This will help to keep your furniture and carpets clean.
Just be sure to change them often, so they don’t get too wet and uncomfortable for your dog. You may also want to put a puppy pad in a designated spot, so she can go when she needs to.
How to Prevent Period Pain in Dogs?
The best way to prevent cramps, discharge, and all other unpleasant symptoms of heat in dogs is to spay them. This is a surgical procedure that involves removing the ovaries and uterus. It’s a fairly simple and common procedure that has many benefits for your dog.
Not only will spaying help prevent pain and other heat-related symptoms, but it will also:
- reduce the risk of mammary cancer,
- decrease the chances of your dog getting ovarian cancer,
- prevent uterine infections,
- eliminate the possibility of your dog getting pyometra (a life-threatening infection of the uterus).
If you’re not interested in spaying your dog, there are other ways to help reduce her chances of experiencing pain during her heat cycle. You can keep her indoors as much as possible, and do your best to keep her away from other dogs. You can also put a cone on her, so she can’t lick herself (this will also help prevent infection).
What Can Dogs Take for Period Cramps?
If your dog is experiencing cramps, you may be wondering if there are any medications or supplements you can give her to help ease the pain. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
Your veterinarian will be able to best advise you on what treatments are available for your dog and what may work best for her individual case. They may recommend over-the-counter pain medication, or they may prescribe something stronger.
How to Comfort a Dog in Heat?
If your dog is in heat and seems to be in discomfort, there are a few things you can do to help her feel better. First, give your dog a comfortable place to rest. A soft bed or blanket will do the trick.
In some cases, home remedies like a heating pad or warm compress can help ease cramps. You can also try massage or gentle pressure on the lower abdomen. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian before trying any of these methods, as some of them could do more harm than good.
Take Care of Your Female Dog in Heat – She May Have Cramps
So, do dogs get period cramps? In a way, yes. Female dogs experience pain and discomfort during their heat cycle as the result of hormonal changes in their body. If your dog is displaying any signs that she’s uncomfortable, talk to your veterinarian for advice on how to best care for her.
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