Pitbulls, also known as American Pitbull Terriers, are a popular dog breed. Despite its popularity, there is still the misconception that they are dangerous and aggressive. Contrary to that, Pitbulls are friendly, fun-loving, and protective.
For Pitbull owners, it is essential to have an understanding of when your pet goes into heat. Knowing what signs to watch out for and things to do when your dog is in the estrus/heat stage is vital.
When Do Pitbulls Go Into Heat?
Pitbulls will go into heat when they are about 6 months up to 2 years old. The heat cycle is roughly six months apart. The standard heat cycle could last up to 3 weeks.
Most dogs, including Pitbulls, typically go into heat twice a year. But, this differs depending on the dog’s breed, well-being, and overall health. In addition, factors such as the dog’s age, size, and the regularity of her heat cycle.
What Is The Heat Cycle Of Pitbulls?
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), a dog’s sexual maturity varies depending on its age and breed.
Some dogs can reach reproductive maturity as early as 4 months, while others are in the later months. But, the standard cycle of a dog being in heat is around six months.
For responsible breeders, a good breeding practice is within 18-24 months. This ensures that your dog has a fully developed reproductive system. Also, this ensures that their body is strong enough to support birth.
Four Cycles Of Pitbulls In Heat
Your Pitbull in heat will undergo the four stages or cycles where changes in its body are evident. Watch out for these signs and symptoms. The four stages of the heat cycle are proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus.
Proestrus Heat Stage
The initial heat cycle (estrous cycle) is called the proestrus stage. This stage could last for more than a week. Look out for swelling of your Pitbull’s vulva.
You may also notice that your pet keeps on licking its genital part. It could be more excessive than usual. There could also be some blood discharge coming from her genitals during this stage.
At this stage, you might notice your pitbull becoming aggressive to male dogs. If you have a male dog inside the house, make sure to keep a close eye. While some are aggressive, others are hiding more often. This is a way of avoiding male dogs.
Pitbulls are a loving breed but during this stage, they become extra clingy. Do not be surprised if their affection towards you has heightened.
Estrus Heat Stage
The Estrus stage follows the proestrus in the heat cycle. This stage could last for more than a week.
This is the exciting stage where your Pitbull is fertile and ready to get pregnant. Unlike the first stage, the females are now welcoming and receptive to their male counterparts.
This is also the stage where your pet would prepare a ‘nesting area’ within the house. So make sure not to leave any clothes or blankets that it could use in its nest.
Female Pitbulls would often pee around, marking their territory. This is also a sign to the male dogs that they are ready for mating. Their vulva remains red and swollen at this stage. There will still be discharge coming from it though it may have some color changes.
Diestrus Heat Stage
This third stage of the heat cycle could last up to three months. This is the stage where your dog’s body is either prepared for a pregnancy or in its normal state. The discharge will stop. Her vulva will return to its normal size and appearance.
Anestrus Heat Stage
This is the last and final stage of the heat cycle. This stage also normally lasts up to 3 months. Also known as the ‘inactive’ stage, there will be no signs of hormonal changes in your pet.
How Do You Manage Your Pitbull While In Heat?
For first dog owners, when pets are in heat, you can follow these guides to lessen your worry and avoid mishaps while she’s in heat.
If you wish your Pitbull not to breed, it’s recommended to keep her confined. During the heat cycle, she will be releasing pheromones that attract male dogs.
Make sure that your pet is kept in a secured area. If you are taking your dog out, it is also recommended to use a leash when walking your Pitbull.
During the heat cycle, make sure that your dog’s genital area is kept clean. Use water and mild soap to wash away the discharge.
Bathe when necessary. Also, make sure that you clean up their place to avoid any infection. You can consider buying out some dog panties to keep the mess manageable.
According to research, one way of hiding your female’s scent from your male dogs is by rubbing menthol into their nose.
You may also consider spaying your Pitbulls. Spaying is done by veterinarians where vets take out your dog’s reproductive organ. This is a way of preventing unwanted pregnancies for your pet. In addition, spaying can control, if not prevent, genetic diseases.
Typically, spaying is best done before the first heat cycle. The surgery entails that your dog should be healthy for faster recovery.
Of course, there are many other factors that need to be weighed on the best timing for spaying. This includes factors like health, behavior, as well as the environment. Consult your vet to know the best time to spay your dog.
Being a responsible pitbull owner, it is important to know the signs and symptoms when your pitbull is in heat. At least you won’t go into panic is essential for you not to panic.
Changes in their behavior are normal during the heat cycle. But, more importantly, being knowledgeable about these things allows you to keep your pet’s health in check.
It’s a natural life cycle when our dogs are in heat. Over time, you will become more adept at noticing these changes. Do not worry too much when you see the changes happening.