Female German Shepherds come with some things that need more attention than male German Shepherds do, and one of those things is the girlies being in heat. One of the main questions that a dog owner can ask themself is, ˝How to care for German Shepherd in heat?˝
This is a completely normal question because your GSD being in heat comes with some responsibilities that you need to take care of.
During that period, your dog will go through some changes, and will possibly behave a bit differently than they usually do.
Don’t worry – we are here to help you out. If you want to find out more about how to take care of your dog that is in heat, then keep on reading.
How To Care For German Shepherd In Heat
Female German Shepherds, and well any female dog, will go through a cycle that is referred to as your dog being in heat. We will talk a bit more about the process later on.
This is the time when you need to take good care of your pooch. You will need to be extra careful if you don’t want your dog to get pregnant.
If you are planning a litter, it does not mean that you need to be any less careful. You probably don’t want your female GSD to get impregnated by just any dog.
Here is a list of things you can do to make your dog comfortable and safe.
1. Give Your Girlie Lots Of Love
This is something that is amazing for both the dog owner and the GSD. Long cuddle sessions are not something that can be considered as a burden, well… it is quite the opposite.
When a German Shepherd is in heat, her estrogen levels will be through the roof. She will also be a bit uncomfortable because of the bloody discharge that appears during this period of time.
Use a nice and calm tone when speaking to her, and give her a lot of praises. You can also use a happy voice to get her excited a bit.
She can sometimes show weird behavior, and even be a bit snappy, but try not to yell at her and punish her. Hitting is something that you should avoid at all costs. If you hit her, she might not forgive you later on.
If you will be busy with work, and will be absent from the house for longer periods of time, you should find someone who can give your dog some company.
2. Let Her Do Her Thing
A female dog that is in heat can showcase a lot of different behaviors. Sometimes, she might want to be alone, white other times, she will be following you even to the bathroom. This is perfectly normal, and the advice we give you is to adapt to whatever behavior she showcases.
A female German Shepherd might also get an increased appetite. Try to fill her needs, but don’t overdo it because you can cause her to become obese.
Some females also can be less active than they normally are, while others might be even more active. You never know what you might be dealing with, but try to help them the best you can.
She has natural instincts so most of the time, she will know what she wants and what she needs to do. It can be tricky for young pooches that are inexperienced because this might be their first or second cycle.
3. Give Her A Room To Isolate Herself
When dogs are in heat, they will most likely have a moment when they want to be all alone. They can easily become overwhelmed, and that is the period when they will try to get away from everyone.
You should provide your pooch with a room where you know not a lot of family members will go. Leave the door open so she can come in and go out as she pleases.
It is very important to keep that room clean not just for yourself, but for your doggie as well. German Shepherds are very clean dogs, and they hate to be somewhere where there is a big mess. The discharge can also get very smelly, so you need to take care of that, too.
4. Keep Her Away From Other Dogs
During this period, she will exude a certain smell that makes the male dogs go wild. They will surround her, and probably try to mate with her.
This is not only bad because she can get pregnant, but it can also be very traumatic and overwhelming for her. Sometimes, things can happen in a split second so you will have no time to react.
Females will also show some interest in her. Because of the hormone levels being higher than usual, she might showcase some signs of aggression. Don’t worry – this does not mean that your female German Shepherd is all of a sudden an aggressive dog.
This will just be the way for her to protect herself. Try avoiding dog parks.
5. The Crate Is Sacred
This is for dogs that are used to crates, not for the ones that sleep wherever they want or that have a dog bed. Dogs that are crate trained consider the crate as their safe space.
Depending on your dog’s needs, you should put the crate either somewhere where she can see you at all times, or put it somewhere that is a bit more isolated so she can have her peace.
There are two things that you can do, depending on your dog’s and your preference. You can put in a lot of blankets and toys to make your pooch more comfortable and snuggled up.
If your dog does not like this, or if you don’t want to clean a big amount of items, you can keep it minimal.
When it comes to cleaning, make sure that you do it regularly… almost on a daily basis. There can be a lot of discharge produced by your dog that can get really smelly in a short period of time.
Your German Shepherd will also not appreciate and might even avoid getting in her crate if she senses the bad smell.
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6. A Leash Will Be Your Best Friend
We already mentioned that your beautiful girl will get a lot of attention from the male doggies. Not only because of her beauty, but because of the smell she will produce when in heat.
When you plan on taking her for a walk, you should always put on a leash. This way, you will be able to remove your dog from other dogs, and keep the situation more controlled.
Some suggest even putting on a leash when your dog is in the yard of your house. Some males may come to the fence, try to destroy it to get to your lovely pooch, and also make a lot of noise because of the frustration of not being able to get close to her.
This is not always needed, especially if you live in a calm neighborhood. Assess the situation, and react accordingly.
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7. Take Her To The Vet
Your dog being in heat does not make her sick, and it is perfectly normal, but we understand that it can be very scary, and it can keep you on your toes.
A visit to the vet is more so to make you more comfortable, and for you to ask any questions that you may have. This is more for first-time dog owners who are experiencing their dog’s first heat cycle.
The vet will for sure examine your dog just to be safe, but the biggest chances are that your dog will be in perfect health.
Sometimes, they can showcase lethargy, which can be scary, and this is the thing that usually makes dog owners take their dogs that are in heat to the vet.
8. Try To Keep Her Busy
Sometimes, dogs that are in heat can be all over the place. When they are experiencing this, you should try to distract them and keep them busy.
It does not need to be anything extreme because they most likely won’t be that happy about being exercised a lot.
The simplest thing that you can do is offer them new toys. Puzzle toys might be a great idea, but not every dog will show the same interest. Try to find a type of toy that your dog loves, and then get a couple of new ones.
Also, try to play some games that also include you. This is probably the best option because you will be spending some time with your dog, and keeping it busy as well.
A Few Words About The Heat
The heat cycle is something that every female dog will experience for the majority of their life, including German Shepherds. During this cycle, the dog is becoming fertile and has high chances of becoming pregnant.
You need to know that a dog can not get pregnant when not in heat. This is something that dog owners who want their pooch to get pregnant need to know.
Heat cycles happen in 4 stages:
– Proestrus stage
– Estrus stage
– Diestrus stage
– Anestrus stage
The heat cycle will happen every 6 months for the rest of your doggy’s life. Heat, or to be more specific, the estrus stage, lasts for 4 to 11 days, and this is the time when the dog gets pregnant.
Be careful! A dog’s spermatozoids can survive in the female dog for almost 11 days. If your dog mated a bit before the estrus stage, it can also get pregnant.
The first heat usually happens when the dog turns 6 months old, but with German Shepherds, it comes a bit later. Their first heat cycle can happen when they turn 9 or even 12 months of age.
To Sum It All Up
When you are planning on getting a female German Shepherd, you need to prepare for a situation called the heat cycle. This is something that will happen to every female dog, and it is completely natural.
Some dog owners can get a bit scared and overwhelmed, but don’t worry – you are not alone.
We hope that you got all the answers to the question, How to care for German Shepherd in heat? You can either combine all of the things we listed or you can just pick one.
This is up to you completely, but the most important thing is to make sure you understand your dog’s needs, and shower them with a lot of love.