I thought it would be a good idea to write down some information about the practical side of having a girl “in season” at your house. First of all, I want to say how thankful I am to you for agreeing to your puppy having a season and going through her full growth potential before she gets spayed. This is have life long benefits to her.
If you are curious about finding out more about the benefits to your girl, there is a lot of research out there. This can also help if your vet is pushing you to spay her earlier than the 18 months that you agreed to.
Many of the studies are done on larger dogs such as golden retrievers because they have such large numbers in which to do studies on. Please know that this doesn’t make the information irrelevant to our breeds. There are several articles collated here from Dr Marty Greer from Vet Village.
Okay. Season. 🙂
The first thing you will notice is some swelling a few days beforehand and then some dark red blood will appear on her bedding or you will notice it as she walks around. Your girl may bleed a little, or she may bleed a lot. Some girls keep themselves very clean and others don’t clean themselves at all.
Dogs are the opposite from humans where they bleed before ovulation so get some warning that it is coming. This red blood will last for 7-10 days on average, but each girl is different. It could be a little more or a little less. If you have a cavalier, you are welcome to trim the hair around her vulva and the back of her legs, and even the underside of her tail if you feel she is getting messy (beagles probably wont need this).
During this time, some people want their girls to wear panties in the house like these found on Amazon. Cavalier girls don’t usually mind this at all. Beagle girls are usually 50/50 at tolerating it or not. I usually line them with 1/2 a human pad so I don’t have to wash them as often – I just change the human liner when needed. If you are going to have her wear panties, just allow her to have “pantie free” time also as we don’t want her to develop a UTI.
You may see her licking herself excessivly (to keep herself clean) and she will likely urinate more frequently on walks. This frequent urination is to leave a trail for male dogs to follow, especially as she gets closer to ovulation date.
During this time of dark red blood, you have to be careful with her, but not crazy. I wouldn’t advise going to the local dog park, but if you still went on walks around the neighborhood and let her out in the yard, things like that, you should have no trouble. If you have friends with male dogs (even fixed) probably best to wait to have play dates after the season is over. Yes, they can still “tie” when neutered – and while no babies can be made, they can injure each other by twisting the wrong way.
OVULATION: Okay. This is when you will see the blood turn to a straw color and if you rub her butt, she will “flag” her tail to the side and tilt her vulva upwards – it’s is natures way of prepping her for the male.
You have to be very careful with her during the next 5-7 days. This is when you want to avoid having her outside not on a leash. She can still go on walks, but you may find the neighborhood dogs now find her very interesting indeed. 🙂 If you have another female dog, they will probably play “humpy” with each other, which is fine. It’s a little weird, but fine. 🙂 Totally normal. Or she may choose a toy to use. After the hormone die down, that will stop.
The swelling will start to go down and everything will go back to normal.
During the season, you may find she is more clingy/lovie than normal. She may have “cramps” (just like a human) which can be normal too. Just think about us as humans – they can have those things too. Just carry on your normal routine as much as possible.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for support if you need it – I am always here – but I hope this helps.
The image above is from Kokopelli Assisted Reproductive Canine Services. I believe these are littermate sisters. On the left is a beagle that was spayed before her first season. On the right is a girl who was allowed to have her season and grow to maturity. You can see how much physical change has gone on, on the outside of the body, as well as the bone density (look at the thighs). If this much change goes on, on the outside, think about how much change is happening on the inside of your girl as she is maturing, as well as the emotional maturity she is going through before you spay her.
Once again, I thank you for allowing her to go to full maturity before spaying her.