Chihuahuas are wonderful little creatures. They have so much personality in that little body, don’t they? Many Chihuahua owners prefer the females of the breed, as they don’t mark out their territory like males, but there is a caveat. Sometimes your female Chihuahua is going to go into heat. So, how long does a Chihuahua stay in heat? We’ll answer this and a few more of the popular questions on the subject so that you know what is occurring, what to expect, and what you can do to help calm your little friend. Let’s talk about your female Chihuahua.
How do I know if my Chihuahua is in heat?
Has your Chihuahua been really clingy lately? Do you often see them with their tail between their legs or behaving aggressively towards male dogs? Congratulations, you may be witnessing your Chihuahuas first heat cycle. Don’t worry, it will pass, but a deeper understanding of exactly what is going on can help you to understand what your doggy is going through and what you can do to help. Let’s discuss the cycles of heat that your Chihuahua will be going through.
How long will my Chihuahua stay in heat?
Generally you are only looking at 3 weeks of time for this to pass. A Chihuahua’s heat cycles progress through 4 specific stages throughout this time. Those stages are as follows:
- Proestrus – This is the first stage of your Chihuahua’s heat cycle and there are a few things which you will notice. Your Chihuahua may be chasing males around more than usual, for instance. Enlarged nipples, cleeding, excessive licking, and even sudden mood shifts may occur that indicate the heat cycle is in its first stage.
- Estrus – After about a week your Chihuahua enters the Estrus stage, which is when they are fertile and ready to mate. You’ll notice male dogs paying more attention to her and she may even have a bleeding, swollen vulva as well. If you don’t want puppies this is a good time to get proactive.
- Diestrus – If your Chihuahua does not get impregnated at this time then she will enter a 30 to 90 day ‘rest stage’ called the Diestrus. During this period the swelling of the vulva should go away and she will no longer be seeking the attention of nearby males any longer.
- Anestrus – The final ‘cooling down’ stage is called the Anestrus stage and during this period there should be no swelling or odd behavior and your dog should be behaving like their old self again. This stage lasts for 2 to 6 months before the heat cycle will begin again.
Wait, so this might happen more than once a year?
Yes. Smaller breeds of dogs tend to go into heat 2 or 3 times a year and your Chihuahua is no exception. Once you learn the symptoms and behavioral changes specific to your Chihuahua then you won’t need to dread their heat cycle. You will simply know when it is occurring and you will be able to prepare accordingly in order to help your little one during this time and to avoid any little furry ‘surprise litters’.
What can I do for my dog to calm them down?
While your dog’s first heat cycle may be a little scary (they do tend to mood swings) there are some things which you can do that will help. Here are a few tips for you to try:
- Switch out those long walks for quick ones – During this time it is a good idea to add one walk a day to your walking schedule and to shorten the duration of the walks. As you know, your Chihuahua often likes to nap after walks and once they adjust to the new schedule they will still want to do this. A napping Chihuahua is a calmer Chihuahua, so give this one a try.
- Give lots of attention – Your dog is going through a lot of mood swings as her hormones are all over the place. Giving lots of attention during this time can help to comfort her and keep her distracted so that she is more at peace.
“Make sure that you are very careful with the outdoor time”
- Hide her indoors – Avoid unsupervised outdoor time. Male dogs are sneaky and right now your little girl is open to their attentions. So unless you want puppies you should make sure that you are very careful with the outdoor time.
- Stock up on toys – New toys that your dog can play with will help her to occupy her time and thus relieve a lot of stress during the various phases of her heat cycle. So take a trip to the pet store and see what you think that she might like!
- Make the home environment a peaceful haven –During this time your Chihuahua is going to react very poorly to surprises. Watching out for loud television or music is a good start or you could even use some relaxing music if your Chihuahua is fond of some that you are aware of. Keeping peace at home helps so try to minimize the surprises when you can.
Will spaying my dog prevent her from going into heat?
Spaying your Chihuahua should end those heat cycles and has other benefits as well. Vets advise that spaying your pet reduces or removes their chances of developing ovarian tumors, mammary tumors, or pyometra. It also, of course, will remove the fear of surprise puppies and so overall it’s considered quite the optimal choice for many pets and their owners.
Some final words
In this article we have discussed a Chihuahua’s heat cycle stages as well as advised you on what you can do to help during this time as well. Don’t forget spaying as an option, either, as the benefits for your dog are nothing to sneeze at. Whatever you decide, you can make that decision an informed one and we hope, panic free. We wish you and your little angel the best!