Do Dogs Get Period Cramps? What Can You Do?

Do Dogs Get Period Cramps? Can They Experience Cramps And Pain?

Being a dog owner includes much more than people think. It is necessary to get all the information before getting a dog. That especially counts for people that want to become owners of female dogs. Like women, female dogs have a menstrual period that carries many challenges. For that reason, it is essential to have a clear picture and understand their estrus cycles because there is a difference from human menstruation.

So, do dogs get period cramps? Yes, dogs get period cramps, and this is something almost every female mammal animal experiences. Dogs can have period pains and feel sick just like humans. It has been seen that dogs eating their natural raw diet, no processed or cooked foods and no “human” foods, have not so intense period symptoms, and they go through it softer.

What Causes Period Cramps to Dogs?

Generally, the reason dogs get period cramps is not so complicated. However, this is a natural and normal process that every woman experiences. Let’s discuss first how does the process function in the human female body. The prostaglandins substances (similar to hormones) cause the female uterus walls to contract and drop lining. As a result, females get period cramps while they bleed. According to the level of prostaglandins, period cramps can be more manageable or more challenging to endure. As you see, cramps are just the sign of a female body reacting to a natural process of peeling uterus walls.

Let’s see how the menstruation process functions in a dog case. Human’s and dog’s reproductive systems are similar. When a female person gets menstruation, there would not be fertilization. However, it is the opposite situation with dogs. When dogs get menstruation, their cycle begins, and that means that the dog is prepared to get pregnant. Dogs do not drop the lining of the uterus, like humans. They actually tend to reabsorb it. Women bleed because they are getting rid of the shed. On the other hand, bleeding in dogs results from estrogen hormone inducing uterus blood vessels to become highly leaky.

According to the similarity of their reproductive systems and menstrual cycle, it is absolutely normal to assume that even dogs do get some painful period cramps.

How Long Does A Dog In Heat Period Bleed

How to Tell if Your Dog is in Heat And Gets Period Cramps?

As a result of hormonal change, you can expect some physical and behavioural change when your dog is in her period. In the further text, we will list some symptoms that you can expect and get prepared. It is always better to get well informed to spare yourself from the stress and not worry about what your dog is experiencing. Other than that, if you know what your dog is going through, you can make things easier for her and make her period more comfortable.

Personality Changes

Most owners wonder how dogs act when they first get their periods. However, they should not be surprised if they see that their dog changed their behaviour suddenly. Personality changes will depend on the dog. Yet, many dogs have them as a result of hormonal change. You can expect to see your dog more grumpy or clingy. Anxiety and nervousness are one more symptom that you can see in those days. 

Appetite Changes

Appetite change is not rare during the heat period. Sometimes, the dog can lose her appetite, but it can increase in some other cases. It would be best if you did not worry, either way, very soon everything will be back to normal. 

Vulva Swellings

A dog in the heat period can have a swell vulva. The vulva is placed near the pelvic opening, just below the anus. In some cases, swelling can be very noticeable. Also, you can expect to see your dog’s tail tucked between her legs often in that period because, in that way, they protect their swollen vulva. 

Increased Urination

Prepare yourself to take your dog more out if you are living in an apartment. Those people that live in houses with a yard will have more luck. In the period of heat, dogs begin to urinate more often. This is happening because of uterus swelling, which puts pressure on their little bladders. 

Tail Waving

You should know that when the vulva swelling period ends, your dog will start waving her tail often. In that way, the dog spread her scent around to catch the attention of other male dogs. 

Blood Release

In two-three weeks of dog heat, your dog will experience bloody flow. However, you should know that the colour of the blood and the amount of blood will change. The blood will first be heavier red, then bright red, and ends in pink colour. 

Running Away 

Interestingly, many facts show that female dogs tend to run away from home in those periods. However, male dogs can run away from home too. If they sense the heat of a female dog, they can start looking for her. That is just an instinct and a normal reaction.

Why Do Dogs Cry When Get Period Cramps?

Other than many discomfort symptoms that female dogs can experience in the heat period that we listed, one of the most surprising is crying. Many owners get very upset and start to worry when they hear how their little companions are whining. However, this is something you should not worry about. When female dogs start to cry or whiny in the heat period, they ask for a “mating call” from male dogs. Female dogs get interested in sexual activities in that period and alert male dogs that they reached the fertile stage to make puppies. 

At What Age Does A Dog Have a Period And How Often?

When the female dog reaches six months, they have the first heat or estrus cycle. However, it can depend on the breed and size of the dog. When they reach this stage, their body radiates estrogen at increased levels. After that, it starts to decrease sharply, and then ovaries release eggs. The estrus cycles typically last for three weeks. You should know that small dogs go into heat more often, even three or four times a year. On the other hand, large breeds go into heat only once a year. 

How Long Does A Dog In Heat Period Bleed?

do dogs get period

When dogs reach the proestrus stage, their bodies start to bleed. In this period, they are getting ready for the mating stage. You can expect to see your dog changes for three weeks. The heat period usually lasts 19 to 21 days. However, your dog will bleed only for the first two weeks. The female dog becomes most fertile and interested in mating during the second week. In this period, the blood flow will be slow, and the blood colour will be lighter. 

Also, owners should know that swelling of the vulva is reduced during the second week, but it does not mean that the heat period is over. It only means that the female dog is in the prime fertile time. 

How to Help Your Dog With Period Cramps?

The first thing you can do if you want to help your dog is to get well informed about the experience she needs to go through. If you know what she can experience, you will be able to help her and take care of her. We will suggest some tips that can be very useful for you and your puppy:

Cleaning up

First, be ready to clean up after your furry female friend. Your female puppy will instinctively try to clean herself during the period. Your dog will lick herself often. However, you can provide her with a warm bath. Other than that, you can clean her with tissues. However, you should expect that blood spots will get on your floor. You can put towels down for her, and she will lay there. Also, you can control the mess by restricting the area where she will be. That way, you will not spend so much time cleaning. 

Buy Diapers

By getting some diapers for your dog, you can avoid blood spreading on your floor and furniture. You should know that she will need some time to get used to wearing diapers, so you can try putting them even before menstruation begins. There are different types of diapers, so you can find which one suits your dog the most. 

Keep her separate from dog males

If you want to avoid that your dog gets pregnant when she is in this heat period, you need to keep an eye on her always for that 3-4 weeks after the first sing of bleeding. If you do not pay attention, you will have babies soon. 

Temporary pain relief for dogs

You can get your dog some pain relief to feel better and remove the discomfort she experiences. There are some NSAIDs just for dogs, including carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl), deracoxib (Deramaxx), firocoxib (Previcox), meloxicam (Metacam). However, you should consult with the vet first and see which medication it is recommended to give her. 

Natural Pain Treatments

Pet owners can consider some natural pain relief treatments that will help your dog with the discomfort. You can make the menstruation period easier for her with some tips that we will mention below. 

Cold or Hot therapy

You can put some hot gel pack or even an ice pack on your puppy’s stomach and wait to see if this helps her and makes her relaxed. Try both options and see which one suits more for your furry friend. 


By massaging your dog’s stomach with some essential oil, you can relieve the stress and pain. Your dog will feel better and more relaxed. Massage will improve blood flow and relax muscles, so your dog won’t have painful period cramps. There are various essential oils that you can try, such as lavender oil. 


In the end, we will mention acupuncture needles that can improve blood circulation, that will help your dog with period cramps and make her relaxed. 

When you understand all the information and have a clear picture of how the dog heat period looks, you can manage it without any problem. We hope these tips will help you and your furry friend to prepare adequately. Also, it will improve the quality of your life during this time. If there is something unclear, you should visit the vet and remove the doubts with his suggestions. 

Dogs and menopause

Owners should know that female dogs can not have menopause. Dogs are fertile until the end of their life. So, if you see that your dog misses her period, you should visit the vet. 

Spaying Your Pet

Owners should know that vets advise waiting for at least one cycle period before they spay female dogs. In this way, hormones in the body of your furry companion will have time to normalize. Other than this, the spaying process outcome can be healthier and better. In general, vets advise getting your dog spayed around six months. However, you can do this earlier or later than this period. There could be different outcomes and different pros and cons for each period of getting your dog spayed. However, it would be best to visit your vet and consult which option would be best for your puppy.


As you see, female dogs can experience lots of things during their period, so it is up to us to make things easier for them. Help your dog remain relaxed, calm, and comfortable in a difficult period when hormones cause lots of changes in her body. Do not get upset if you see your dog acting strange and having unusual behaviour. They are also confused and have mixed feelings. Give your dog warm baths, massages, and some extra treats so she can feel better. Besides, do not forget to keep a more careful eye on your dog in these periods, as we said earlier. There is a possibility of your dog running away from home, trying to find male dogs for mating. If you do not pay attention, do not be surprised if you have puppies in the future.

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