A female dog’s reproductive cycle is similar to humans in that the first one usually happens when they reach puberty. Their cycles, however, consist of several stages – the most noteworthy of which is called oestrus. This is when your female doggo can fall pregnant, although many refer to this stage as being in heat.
Dogs usually reach puberty when they’re around six months old. This does differ depending on the size of your dog and the breed. Smaller dogs, for example, tend to reach this point earlier while bigger dogs sometimes only reach puberty between 18 months and 2 years old.
So, how often are they in heat? Again, it depends on the size and breed of your pooch but usually, it’s around twice a year or, every six months.
To prevent them from falling pregnant, it’s best to have your female dog surgically sterilised before her first oestrous cycle. You may not always be able to predict when this will be so most vets recommend performing an ovariohysterectomy before they’re six months old.
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