Poodles are popular crosses for many reasons: they are incredibly intelligent, loyal, and hypoallergenic. If you have a female poodle and are not planning on spaying her, please keep reading to learn more about her heat cycles.
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When Do Poodles Go Into Heat?
Most female dogs reach sexual maturity at six months old, when they will go into their first heat. “Heat” is the stage of their breeding cycle where a female is receptive to mating.
Poodles generally go into their first heat around ten to twelve months. Smaller dogs, like toy poodles, tend to reach sexual maturity faster than the more giant standard poodles.
How Often Do Poodles Go Into Heat?
After her first heat, a poodle tends to go into heat anywhere from one to four times a year. This number varies depending on the size of your dog.
A few additional factors may affect the frequency of heat in your poodle. Those factors include their size, their diet, and outside stressors.
Just like the age at which your poodle may go into her first heat, the number of times per year she may go into heat also depends on her size. Your poodle’s size is the most significant determining factor for determining the number of heat cycles she will go through each year.
Like toy or miniature poodles, smaller-sized dogs tend to go into heat two to four times a year.
Larger dogs, like standard poodles, tend to only go into heat one to two times per year.
Nutrition is essential for all aspects of your poodle’s health, not just for breeding. But proper nutrition can also play a role in the length of her heat cycle. A high-quality diet can help your poodle keep a regular cycle.
Not feeding your dog enough can cause delays in her heat cycle. Malnutrition, in general, can also cause stress and other negative impacts on your poodle’s health.
Eliminating stressors for your dog as much as possible is a great way to keep her happy, healthy, and reproductively cycling normally. Restricting movement, keeping her in a cage for long periods, underfeeding, and not stimulating her brain can all cause an unhappy, unhealthy dog.
These stressors can cause unnecessary anxiety and stress, delaying her heat cycle or preventing her from cycling correctly.
What Are Signs Your Poodle Is in Heat?
There are multiple signs that your poodle is in heat, including both physical and behavioral symptoms. Most of them are easy to spot, although the behavioral signs might be more subtle.
Most of the early signs your poodle is in heat are physical, such as a swollen vulva and bloody vaginal discharge.
Physical Signs Your Poodle Is in Heat
Common physical signs that your poodle is in heat include:
- Bloody discharge from their vulva commonly occurs before the swelling of their vulva. This swelling may or may not be noticeable.
- Frequent urination or marking behavior to attract male dogs.
- Soemtimes dogs will breathe heavily when they are in heat
Behavioral Signs Your Poodle Is in Heat
Common behavioral signs that your poodle is in heat include:
- Loss of appetite.
- Excessive licking around the vulva.
- Better reception to male dogs.
- On the flip side, she may also show more aggression and become easily agitated, nervous, or fidgety.
- Changes in tail position and/or lifting of the rump area.
Should Your Poodle in Heat Breed?
When your female poodle is in heat or estrus, she will accept the male and is fertile. Heat is the only time during her four-period cycle that she is fertile and can become pregnant, so this is the time to breed her.
However, it would be best if you did not breed your poodle during her first season or heat. It is considered very irresponsible to breed her during her first heat, as she is still very young. There is a tremendous potential for health risks and behavioral impacts on her and her pups.
If your poodle is bred at too young an age, she may not know how to be a good mother to her puppies, leading to abandoning, rejecting, or not taking good care of them. This rejection can lead to behavioral issues in her offspring and can also be devastating to the mom.
How to Stop Your Poodle From Going Into Heat
The best way to stop your poodle from going into heat is to have her spayed by your veterinarian. This procedure is permanent and means that your poodle will never have puppies.
It is recommended that you spay your pet if you do not have plans to breed them. There are many benefits when you fix your poodle. Spaying your pet helps prevent dogs from ending up homeless or in shelters because there aren’t enough homes for them.
Spaying also helps your female poodle live a longer, healthier life as it decreases the risk of uterine infections, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and cancerous breast tumors.
Non-surgical options include a few medications that can prevent or suppress heat cycles in your female poodle. These medications include megestrol acetate, mibolerone, and proligestone. Megestrol acetate is available in the US and approved for domestic dogs, but not for more than two cycles.
The other two medications listed are not available in the US. All of these medicines have several side effects, including mammary gland enlargement, possible adverse effects on uterine and mammary tissues, weight gain, and personality changes.
Enjoying Life With Your Female Poodle
Learning more about your pup’s breed is an excellent way to know how to take the best care of her.
Now you have all you need to know about your poodle’s heat cycles and will know when she goes into heat, how often she will go into heat, the signs that she is in heat, and how to prevent her from going into heat.