Ask a Vet Archive

When it comes to your pet's health, there's no such thing as a dumb question. Search questions real clients have submitted to our popular Ask a Vet Q&A series, and then submit a question of your own.

  • How do you know when a dog is in heat? My female dog keeps going to a spot in the basement and won't come out? She has never done that before.

    Hi Stephanie,
    I recommend that you take her into see a veterinarian as soon as possible. The hiding is not usually a sign of heat but it could be an early sign of pregnancy, or a more serious underlying medical issue. Signs of heat in dogs usually starts with an enlarging of the vulva followed by a bloody discharge. This stage usually lasts around 7-10 days. She will then become receptive to males and open to breeding. The end of heat is when the vulva decreases to its normal size. In total, heat can last for 2-3 weeks. Sometimes the signs of heat can be subtle but if she is in heat, your vet will be able to talk to you about what to watch for in your individual pet.


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Behavior