A dog in heat can become pregnant quickly if left alone without supervision or restraints. Preventing pregnancy is essential to reducing the amount of strays and unwanted animals in shelters. It's also an important step for pet owners who don't want the responsibility of caring for puppies and placing them in homes.
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Things you need
- Pen or kennel
- Spray bottle
Remove a female dog from males when she's in heat and place her in a secure location, such as a kennel or pen. Check the pen for openings. Male dogs have been known to dig under, jump over and break through doors and fences to get to a female in heat, according to Guiding Eyes for the Blind Breeding and Placement Center. Females become sexually mature when they exhibit their first heat period, usually between 6 and 16 months old, depending on the size and breed, says the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. A dog stays in heat approximately 18 days.
Walk your dog on a short, strong leash for exercise. Use a secure collar to prevent her from escaping and mating. Take a spray bottle of water to keep males at bay.
Spay or neuter your dogs. This can be done as early as 2 months old; the average age is about 6 months. Spaying and neutering is the only 100-per cent-effective method of birth control for dogs and cats, according to the Humane Society of the United States. If you need help with the cost, contact your local humane society for assistance or negotiate a payment plan with your veterinarian.
Tips and warnings
- If you have a male and a female dog, you can opt to have the male neutered.
- Spaying or neutering your dog comes with risks, according to Laura J. Sanborn, M.S. These include adverse reactions to anaesthesia, haemorrhage inflammation, infection and sometimes death.
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- Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Canine Breeding and Reproduction
- The Humane Society of the United States: Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pet
- ASPCA: Estrus or Heat
- Guiding Eyes for the Blind Breeding and Placement Center: Heat Information and Care
- Laura J. Sanborn: Complications from Spay/Neuter Surgery