When you decide to get a Chihuahua puppy, the next step is to understand whether you are getting a male or female one. Besides such common factors as behavior and temper issues, care and health perspectives, “dog periods” is one of the reasons why many dog owners think that having a female Chihuahua at home is pretty tricky.
First of all, you must understand that although Chihuahuas do have periods correctly called estrus cycles, they are not the same as human menstruation.
In this article, we shall explain the nature and specifics of dog periods, how you should deal with them, and treat your female Chihuahua once she gets in a heat.
When will my Chihuahua get her first periods?
You female Chihuahua will hit puberty at around 6 months old. It will be the time when the first estrus cycles appear.
Just like with a human, the mechanism of this process is based on the release of estrogen. However, the physiology and time frames are totally different once we talk about Chihuahuas or other dogs.
Just before the heat, the estrogen levels will increase and then drop dramatically. That is the moment when the dog’s ovaries release the eggs that are ready to be fertilized.
You may call it “dogs` ovulation.” But unlike the human one that happens in the middle of the cycle, a dog’s ovulation starts right before the “periods.” It occurs because the mechanism and purpose of this process for your Chihuahua are different. While with humans, the process is aimed to renew and clear the system preparing it for the subsequent pregnancy, dogs` estrus cycles are meant to put out a red flag and attract males.
How often do Chihuahua’s estrus cycles happen?
You Chihuahua is a living being. It means that despite the fact that there are specific standard time frames, it is hard to tell when will your Chi puppy get into her first heat and how often you would have to deal with estrus cycles.
While for most dogs, 6 months is a standard age to reach puberty, it may vary from 4 months to 1 year. The time frame, in this case, will depend on various conditions such as the size, genetic peculiarities of your dog, and the overall health condition.
Once your Chi gets her first estrus cycle, don’t expect it to be over in about a week like it mostly happens with humans. The heat period will last for about three weeks. However, this period may also vary. Sometimes Chihuahuas may have a two-week estrus cycle; sometimes, it can last up to four weeks.
However, it does not mean that since your Chi puppy hit puberty, you will have to deal with those periods all the time. Unlike humans, Chihuahuas get their periods twice a year.
It will take your Chi some time before the cycle establishes appropriately. Therefore, in the beginning, your dog may get her estrus cycles once in 18 months. However, the process will develop and stabilize while the dog grows and the hormones come to balance.
Another thing you should know is that your dog will have her cycles throughout her whole life. However, the periods between them will start increasing while your Chihuahua will grow older.
Can I breed my Chihuahua as soon as she gets into her first heat?
If you are planning to breed your Chihuahua, big chances buying a dog was a sort of investment for you, and you want to get your interest as soon as possible.
However, most vets strongly recommend against breeding a young Chihuahua until she goes through at least three estrus cycles. That is because, as we have already mentioned, in the very beginning, her hormones are not adequately established yet. There can be a strong chance of the release of underdeveloped eggs and miscarriages.
Such events are not only colossal stress both for you and your Chihuahua, but they can cause severe and costly health complications that can become chronic and accompany your dog for the rest of her life. In some cases, they can lead to sterility.
The signs and symptoms of dog’s periods.
Many owners wonder whether they will be able to determine when the estrus cycles approach to prepare for this period appropriately.
As we have already noted, the process begins with an enormous emission of estrogen. It will inevitably reflect in your dog’s behavior. You may notice that your Chihuahua puppy has suddenly become extra sensitive and moody. Most of the time, female Chihuahuas become significantly “outdoors” at this period, asking you to take them out more than usual.
It happens due to two reasons:
- The hormone misbalance directs blood towards the Chihuahua’s urogenital system. As a result, your dog will want to pee more often than usual;
- The basic instinct will make your Chi girl start looking for a mate.
You may also notice that your female Chi can become more aggressive towards female dogs right before the heat or during the period and significantly inviting for the male ones. She may raise her rear in front of them and move her tail to the side as soon as she notices a male dog around.
However, the behavioral symptoms are pretty subjective and vary significantly from one Chi to another. You can clearly say that your dog got into heat when you notice some blood discharge every time she urinates. This discharge and its intensity will slightly rise during the first week and decline by the end of the estrus cycle, turning somewhat pink and even transparent.
Your Chi has the most chances to get pregnant by the end of the first week of the estrus cycle.
What should I do when my Chihuahua gets her periods?
Chihuahua is a kind of dog that lives inside the house and is almost always welcome on the furniture. That is why the aesthetic and hygienic aspects of the estrus cycle are most crucial for Chihuahua owners. Let’s go over the main measures and products you may want to consider as soon as your Chi gets into heat.
Disposable dog diapers
Just like kids` diapers, they absorb the discharge and cover your dog’s rear to prevent any kind of leakage. Such diapers come in all sizes, so you won’t have any problem finding ones, even for a teacup Chihuahuas.
Most dog owners call those diapers ultimate lifesavers as they are efficient, hygienic, and low-maintenance. However, just like with kids` disposable diapers, there is a significant environmental concern about their waste impact.
Reusable dog diapers
They are the most eco-friendly and economical way to manage dogs` periods. Unlike disposable diapers, reusable ones can be washed and used again and again. Moreover, they offer a wide range of colors and print patterns, so you adorable Chi can go through her estrus cycle with style.
Whether you decide to choose disposable or reusable diapers, you must understand that they are not a universal solution for all the issues that usually accompany heat:
- Male dogs will still smell your Chihuahua in the heat. Consider it if you are planning to take your Chi out wearing a diaper;
- Your dog should not wear a diaper 24/7. Even the reusable ones soon enough become fruitful soil for the development of pathogens and bacteria. Make sure to let your dog’s rear “breathe” and change the diapers on time.
Restrict you Chi’s moving around the house
We are not talking about any kind of training or physical restriction. This measure will both help you Chi feel secure during this sensitive period and prevent most of your house from staining. Get particular “period” blankets for your dog and put them in the place where she prefers to snuggle. It is best, of course, that this place is her crate, not your pillow.
Change and wash the blankets regularly until the estrus cycle ends. Guided by smells, dogs associate such blankets with the essential nesting process and prefer to keep close to them.
Keep your Chihuahua safe while in heat.
You must understand that male dogs will continue to literary haunt your Chi while she is in the estrus cycle. They can get pretty aggressive and hurt you or your pet if you meet them in the street. That is why it would be wise to restrict your walks and find a safe space where you won’t get exposed to males until your dog’s periods stop.
By the way, the fact that visible discharge is over does not mean that you may relax. Chihuahuas often tend to continue with a certain amount of transparent discharge that is even more attractive to male dogs.
It is best to take your Chihuahua to the vet each time you think that the estrous cycle is over so the doctor could inspect your pet thoroughly, check if she got pregnant or tell you that you are free to walk with her in a regular dog park for the next several months.