Female Chihuahuas undergo a critical period called a heat cycle numerous times in their lifetime unless they’re spayed. When they go in heat, they draw the attention of male dogs. Unless you want a whole lot of puppy litters, it’s best to know more about their heat cycle so you’ll know how to deal with them and avoid unwanted litters.
Female Chihuahuas’ heat cycle duration lasts for 3 weeks or 21 days. This can happen once or twice a year. There are different stages of the heat cycle – proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus. During the first stage, proestrus, you might not immediately notice the physical and behavioral changes that happen to your furbaby. A good indication though is when your female pet suddenly begins to show interest on nearby males. They want to chase or badger them around. After about a week, your pet enters the estrus stage. It is the time when they are most fertile and ready to mate with male Chihuahuas. Physically, you may see a bloody vaginal discharge or notice their swollen vulva. The scent of her discharge draws the males towards her. The third stage of the heat cycle is the diestrus. This period lasts for 1 to 3 months wherein the Chihuahuas body recovers from the changes it has been through. She is no longer attracted to males at this time and her body begins to go back to its normal size. The final stage in the heat cycle is anestrus. During this time, the female Chihuahuas’ body and organs are back to normal – there’s no more bleeding, her genitals are back to normal size, and she’s back to her usual mood. This stage can last for 3 to 6 months after which the heat cycle will begin again.
Chihuahuas have their first heat during their puppy stage right about when they are around 6 to 12 months old. This is normal for toy breed dogs. If your furbaby does not have its first heat within its first 18 months, you should have it evaluated by the vet to see if there are any underlying health issues. Or it could also be that your pet is just a late bloomer as there are some Chihuahuas who experience their first heat when they reach 2 years old. When your Chihuahua goes in heat for the first time, it means she’s already reached her puberty stage. But please don’t allow your furbaby to be pregnant at this time. Let her body get used to the changes first. You can wait until her second heat cycle if you want her to get pregnant with those cute little puppies. If she does become impregnated during her first cycle, there’s a great risk for health complications for her and her litter that would require close monitoring by the vet.
Fur parents need to be aware of their Chihuahua’s heat cycle so that they can give their furbaby the love and attention it needs during this critical time.