Having a female dachshund that isn’t fixed means they will have a heat cycle. To help make your dog as comfortable as possible, you might want to understand how often they should be in heat. Understanding their heat cycle can allow you to keep them happy and even detect a problem.
Female dachshunds will typically go into heat two times a year for about a month at a time. They will experience their first heat cycle somewhere between six months and one year. The dog will go through different stages of the cycle before it comes to an end.
Stages of a Dachshund Heat Cycle
There are three different stages that your dachshund will go through. During the first stage of the heat cycle, your dachshund’s vulva will start to swell up, they might need to pee more, and you will notice some blood.
She might also become clingy during this stage. If you notice her holding her tail close to her body, this is a sign that she isn’t interested in breeding. Pay attention to these signs during the first stage.
During the second stage, she might start moving her tail back and forth in a motion known as flagging. This is a sign that your female is trying to attract a male dachshund. The behavior comes from the fluctuating hormones in her body. If you are interested in breeding, now is when you want to consult with your vet.
Your dachshund will be releasing pheromones that male dachshunds will be able to sense from miles away. It is extremely crucial that you keep your dog kept up, as she might become slightly aggressive during this stage.
The third stage is called diestrus and is the last stage of the heat cycle. The female will not be interested in breeding anymore and all of the swelling will go away. Your dog might also think she’s pregnant during this stage, even if she isn’t.
What to Expect During a Heat Cycle
Every dog is different, but there are a few things you can expect from a female dachshund in heat. First, you might notice that they are extremely anxious and extra cuddly. They will be seeking protection and comfort from you, so they will want to be closer to you than normal.
It is possible for your dog to get pregnant during any of the three stages of the cycle, but they will be most willing to mate during the second stage. It is best to keep your dog away from any unfixed male dogs during the entire cycle.
Managing Your Dachshund’s Heat Cycle
It is extremely important that you do everything you can to manage your dog’s heat cycle.
Keep Dog Up
You are going to want to keep your dachshund away from other dogs during her heat cycle. It is extremely common for females to become aggressive towards each other during this time, and this can lead to a fight.
You will also need to make sure your female is kept away from males that aren’t fixed. Make sure your female can’t escape and that no males can make their way to her. This can end up in an unplanned pregnancy.
Consider Doggy Diapers
It is normal for female dogs to bleed during their heat cycle. Due to this, you might want to consider purchasing some doggy diapers for the time being. They will help prevent any mess from getting on your furniture and floors. It can be tricky to get them to stay on, so keep this in mind.
If you aren’t interested in doggy diapers, you can lay out old blankets or towels in places that your dog normally sleeps. This will be much easier to clean up than if anything gets directly on your furniture.
Make Sure She Eats
During their heat cycle, your female dachshund might lose her appetite. This is normal, but you will still want to make sure she is getting enough to eat. You can entice her by adding some cheese, pumpkin, baby food, or another one of her favorite foods into her meals.
Look Out for Signs of Pyometra
Pyometra is a fatal condition that is an infection of the uterus. You will notice a puss coming from the vulva which is a sign to immediately take your pup to the vet. This is an extremely emergent situation and needs to be taken care of immediately.
The symptoms of this infection might not start to appear until somewhere between two and eight weeks after the heat cycle has ended, so be sure to pay close attention.
Can I Prevent My Dachshund from Going into Heat?
There is only one way to prevent your dachshund from going into heat and that is getting them spayed. This is the process of removing the ovaries and the uterus, removing the need for a heat cycle.
It is highly recommended that you wait until your dachshund’s bone plates are finished closing, around 12 months, before getting them spayed. This will allow them to experience a couple of heat cycles to get those hormone benefits and keep them healthier in the long run.
Problems to Look Out for
There is always a chance that your dachshund might have problems with its heat cycle. Knowing their cycle can make it easy to detect an abnormality or irregularity that can be dangerous to their health.
In some cases, your dachshund might have a silent heat. This means they don’t show any signs and are extremely likely to get pregnant. A vet can determine if this is the case for your pup.
Absent heat, when your dog misses a heat cycle, can be a sign of reproductive diseases. Persistent heat (when the cycle is more than 28 days) can be a sign of ovarian cysts and tumors. Split heat can be a sign of hypothyroidism.
If you have a female dachshund that isn’t fixed, she is going to regularly go into heat. This will usually happen twice a year and last for about a month. It is important to make sure your pup is comfortable during the cycle and that you are aware of signs that there might be an issue.
The only thing you can do to prevent your dachshund from going into heat is getting them spayed. It is recommended to wait until they are about a year old and finished growing before they go through this procedure.