How Long Does a Dog Stay In Heat

  How long does a "heat" cycle or oestrus last? "Heat" cycles vary, but average two to three weeks for most dogs. "Heat" should be considered to begin with the first signs of vulvar discharge, or when the female begins licking or paying attention to her vulva.

How Long Do Cats Say In Heat

  Cats stay in heat for 4 to 10 days, and this cycle can happen every few weeks.

  A cat’s first heat cycle, called estrus, happens at sexual maturity — which, depending on the breed, could be when the kitten is anywhere from 5 months old (for Siamese cats, for example) to 10 months old (particularly for some of the longer-haired breeds, such as Persians).

  As a result, many people spay their cats as soon as possible so their cats don’t experience a heat cycle. Of course, spaying also helps prevent pet overpopulation.

Why Spay or Neuter Your Dog

  Pet sterilization has its supporters and opponents, but most experts agree that the average companion dog should be spayed (female) or neutered (male).

  Surgical sterilization makes reproduction impossible, therefore reducing pet overpopulation. Spaying or neutering can also prevent the occurrence of life-threatening health conditions associated with the reproductive system, including cancer. Dogs that are spayed or neutered by six months of age are far less likely to develop health and behavioral issues that are related to gender-specific hormones.

Poor Excuses to Keep Your Dog Intact

  • You are not a qualified breeder, but want your dog to have "just one litter" before being spayed. This just adds to the overpopulation problem and has not been proven to be medically beneficial. Don't become a backyard breeder.

  • You have found homes for all of the pups. If you know people who want puppies, send them to local animal shelters and rescue groups. For every puppy you place in a home, another may be getting euthanized.

  • You think your dog will get fat and lazy. While hormonal changes can have some effect, weight gain and changes in energy level are also part of the normal aging process. Give your dog a healthy diet and plenty of exercise to prevent obesity.

  • You want your children to witness the miracle of life. Your dog does not exist merely to teach your kids. Contact a responsible breeder or a farmer in your area and plan an educational field trip with the kids.

  • You worry your dog will miss its "parts." Neutering does not make male dogs feel emasculated, and spaying won't leave your female with some sort of emptiness. Animals simply do not think this way. It's unfair for humans to anthropomorphize animals this way.

Dog Overpopulation

From just one unspayed female dog, her mate, and their puppies, if none are neutered or spayed, they will produce:

1 year = 16 dogs

2 years = 128 dogs

3 years = 512 dogs

4 years = 2,048 dogs

5 years = 12,288 dogs

6 years = 67,000 dogs





Can You Spay a Dog or Cat While In Heat


 You meant to have your dog or cat spayed before she came in heat, but you didn't expect it to come so soon. Dogs and cats have their first heat between 4 to 6 months of age. Although, you can ask your vet to spay a dog or cat in heat (also known as estrus), many vets prefer to wait until the heat cycle is over. The size, age, and overall health of the pet are considered as well. If the spay is done while the animal is in heat, the costs are usually a little higher.

Spaying While in Heat

  During a heat cycle, the blood vessels that supply the ovaries and uterus are engorged. Additionally, these tissues are more "friable"—may tear more easily than normal—and bleed more. Even tissue not associated with the reproductive organs such as skin, fat, and muscle often seep more than normal during surgery.

  This makes a typically elective surgery more stressful than it needs to be and carries the additional risk of bleeding problems during the surgery or post-operatively. Some veterinarians will not spay a pet in heat and recommend that surgery is scheduled a week or two after the cycle ends.

Some veterinarians are selective about the type of pet they will spay while it is in heat. In general, cats that are in heat are easier to spay than dogs that are in heat. Small dogs are easier than large dogs. Overweight pets are difficult to spay both in heat and not in heat.

  Anesthesia is riskier for overweight animals too—just one more reason to make sure your pet is not overweight.

Additional Costs When Spaying a Pet in Heat

  If a pet is spayed while in heat, the surgery takes longer and additional surgical supplies such as gauze sponges and sutures may be needed. IV fluids during surgery are standard for many practices and are built into the surgery cost.

  For some practices, this may be an additional cost for an in-heat spay. 


Planning Ahead

  Dogs and cats are typically spayed by 4 to 6 months of age. If the animal is spayed before the first estrus cycle, the chances of mammary cancer are greatly reduced. Spaying at any age eliminates the chance of ovarian and uterine cancers, as they are removed during a typical spay. Some animals, especially those at shelters, are spayed and neutered at much younger ages.

  The "best" age to spay and neuter is a topic of much debate. Speak to your veterinarian about your specific pet for advice on the best age to spay. Most people agree that it is best to avoid spaying when in heat if possible.

The information on this page was acquired from

The Spruce

Cat Overpopulation

From just one unspayed female cat, her mate, and their offspring, producing 2 litters a year with 2.8 kittens surviving per litter can total:

1 year = 12 cats

2 years = 67 cats

3 years = 376 cats

4 years = 2,107 cats

5 years = 11,801 cats

6 years = 66,088 cats

7 years = 370,092 cats

8 years = 2,072,514 cats

9 years =11,606,077 cats