When you own a female dog, there are times where the bitch will show mood swings and an unusual behaviour. A bitch in heat is a bitch having to deal with heightened hormone levels that consequently influence how she behaves with and without you.
Generally, a bitch in heat is anxious and tends to either sleep a lot and move a lot. She might change her eating habits and if she is usually very close to you, she may feel the separation anxiety even more.
These are five ways you can soothe your bitch in heat.
1 — Increase The Exercise
Obviously, if your bitch sleeps too much, you need to make sure she exercises enough to she remains healthy. And the same goes for the opposite, if instead of sleeping too much, your bitch walks in circle at home, provide her with a lot of tiring play time so she can get rest.
Exercising is the best cure for most comportmental problems — it releases soothing hormones that provide her with a feel good attitude. Additionally, it doesn’t make her feel good during the exercise only; it keeps on affecting her mood for the next hours too!
Don’t be lazy or don’t find excuses during bad weather because with some motivation and imagination, there are several ways to exercise a dog indoors, too!
2 — Use Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP)
Lactating bitches who are nursing puppies naturally emit a scent that is soothing and calming the entire litter. DAP, or dog appeasing pheromone, is a synthetic chemical compound that mimics that hormone.
Definitely working with puppies, more and more DAPs work with adult dogs so it is worth investing in a plug-in diffuser that will last for a month. If dog appeasing pheromones are not enough, some people pair it with soothing essential oils.
And before you ask… No, humans cannot smell DAP!
3 — Give More Attention
A very simple way to soothe an anxious female dog in heat is to cuddle her more, stroke her more, speak to her more. Dogs appreciate the physical contact and when their human is touching them gently, it relieves most of their anxiety, fear and stress. Just remember when you were much younger and distraught, how great being against your mother felt.
For the busy people reading this, you don’t have to constantly carry her around and keep her on your lap. If your bitch usually sleeps alone or lounges very far from your sofa or desk, move her dog bed closer to you.
A lot of owners wouldn’t go as far as bringing their bitch in their bedroom since she might get accustomed to their presence and start begging at a later stage, once the heat is over. This is a very personal choice that you have to make!
4 — Provide More Distractions
Another way dog owners can relax their anxious female dog in heat is by providing more distractions than usual. You know, just like humans go out with friends to not think about their bad day.
Obviously, exercising is a distraction but you should find ways to keep your dog’s mind busy even when you aren’t present with her.
For example, dog puzzle toys are a perfect addition in your box of dog toys. They are dog toys holding one or several treats that get released only when your dog figures how to unlock them. There are several toys with several levels of difficulty — they are fantastic!
Another way to distract your dog is by keeping the TV on, or by playing classical music. Don’t use aggressive distractions that may stress your dog out more than it would soothe her.
Buying new toys or Antler dog chews is definitely a good distraction, especially for younger females — older ones may not be super interested!
5 — Lead By Example
Lastly, as a dog owner you must absolutely lead by example and never show any sign of stress or anxiety in front of your bitch. Even worse, some owners get angry because of their ovulating female’s blood stains — never do that!
One dog owner is one dog’s most reassuring figure, but if you show anger or stress, you can quickly become your dog’s most anxiogenic or panicogenic figure.
If you are having a bad day yourself, isolate yourself for twenty minutes, relax, and go give your bitch a cuddle. We think our dogs aren’t that smart but it’s not about their brain here, it’s about their very specialized and sensitive sensors.
As you can see, it doesn’t require much to calm your bitch in heat. Commonly, the heat will last around 3 weeks but those signs won’t last that long and they may change over time.
A young female entering her first two or three heats is the most prone to mood swings and behavioral changes. This is simply because everything is new to her and she needs a few occurrences to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable.
Article graciously written by Lazhar from Breeding Business, the free blog educating dog breeders worldwide!