How To Keep House Clean When Dog Is in Heat
If you have a female dog in your house who has started her heat cycle, you know how messy it can get if proper care is not taken. And tips for how to keep house clean when dog is in heat are what you are going to look up immediately once that happens. But this article is going to be extremely helpful for you.
When your dog is going through her heat cycle, as dog owners, it is your responsibility to make sure your furry baby is comfortable and your house is tidy and odor-free at the same time.
But before looking at the tips, let us clear out the basics first so that you know what you are getting into.
What does ‘dog in heat’ really mean?
When a female dog reaches the stage of reproductive maturity, that stage in her cycle of life is known as being in heat. Many female dogs even go into their first heat cycle while they’re still puppies.
To dive deeper into this, when dogs are ready to mate for the first time, there is a significant drop in their oestrogen levels and the ovaries release mature eggs during this time. This cycle also causes changes in the dog’s body and her behavior
Many vets recommend spaying your dog at an early stage so that she doesn’t even have to go through the heat cycle. However, there are some exceptions to this scenario and that would be for large breed dogs as they go through a minimum of one heat cycle before spaying.
The heat cycle is necessary for them to allow their bodies to grow properly before their hormones responsible for heat and growth are cut off. A to-be mother is another exception.
The different stages during a dog’s heat cycle.
There are many ways via which you can figure out if your dog is in heat. You will notice a decrease in their energy levels; they might behave slightly more aggressively, there will be higher levels of urination or even a case where they might run away from home.
The intensity, duration, and frequency of your dog’s heat cycle or estrus depend on their age and their breed. Usually, this takes place approximately every 6 months, and the duration lasts for around two to four weeks.
Hence, you might even come across the symptoms which are particularly unique to them. However, male dogs do not go through heat cycles.
If you do not know if your dog is in heat, it may result in an unplanned pregnancy. Overall, the heat cycle of a dog can be summarized into the following stages-
- The first is the proestrus stage at the beginning of the heat cycle, during which the vulva of the dog becomes swollen. This can last between 3 and 17 days. During this point, male companionship becomes challenging for a female dog, and you might notice hunger changes, a lot of tale tucking, and mood swings.
- Then, of course, comes the estrus stage, where the female dog will be highly responsive to mail company and will follow her breeding instincts. This stage lasts between 3 and 17 days, and you might notice many times that she raises her tail towards male dogs.
- Then the heat cycle reaches the diestrus stage. For pregnant female dogs, this stage will last until they give birth to puppies, which is usually around 60 days. During this period, you will notice that the swelling on her limbs has started reducing gradually.
- The last stage is the anestrus stage which is the longest one in the entire heat cycle. It is also known as the resting stage, and after this time period, the heat cycle of your female dog will have a fresh restart.
Each of these steps will help you observe when your female dog is in heat.
14 Tips to keep your house clean when your dog is in heat
During the entire heat cycle, keeping your house tidy and free from any unpleasant odors is challenging.
If you do not pay attention to the well-being of your home and living space, it will quickly turn into a huge mess.
And you definitely do not want that. Here are a few tips which will help you understand how to keep your house clean when your dog is in heat.
1. Always keep fresh water easily accessible.
This is the first and the foremost solution that is easy yet effective at the same time. Make sure you always have fresh water available so that you can easily clean and mop up the floor if your dog leaves a trail of blood behind.
2. Keep your dog clean.
Most dogs always try to keep themselves clean so that their vulva does not get dirty and accumulate bacteria. There are some dogs that do not like to clean themselves, and there are some which cannot reach that area.
But as a dog parent, you must ensure that your dog is clean and smells fresh. You can bathe her 2 times a day, and even if you do not want to wash the entire body, you can just wash the rear legs and the tail with lukewarm water.
Your dog will also appreciate you if you keep her fresh and tidy as when the discharge dries up, it can irritate her skin and her genitals. You might notice that larger breed dogs bleed more as compared to smaller ones.
Hence, you might have to even clean them more than 2 times a day, depending on the amount of discharge. Wash off any stains as soon as you notice them.
Avoid using any products near and on her genitals, and use a simple wash cloth or paper towel, and warm water to clean her. Adding products directly to that area can also lead to other issues like yeast overgrowth.
Do not use wipes designed for humans, as the pH levels are different and might end up irritating their skin. According to research, the pH level of a dog’s skin is around 7.2, and another study says that the level is below 5 in humans- which is sort of acidic.
Also, do not spray water on her vulva directly. Let her sit comfortably in the water and clean it gently using a soft cloth. You must also know that it is common for female dogs to have a peculiar scent while she is in heat.
But this scent shouldn’t be too strong and the discharge must reduce significantly before the cycle ends. If you notice a very foul odor and excessive quantity of discharge, visit a vet immediately as it can be a symptom of a fatal womb infection known as pyometra.
3. Clean up as soon as possible.
As soon as you see any stain or trail of blood or discharge stains, wipe down the surface immediately using disposable wipes.
There are some great options available in the market that will let you clean up everything easily without leaving any permanent marks. Choose one which is suitable according to your budget.
4. Take help from stain removers.
This is one of those essential supplies you should always keep within a hand’s reach. Get one that is effective for both fabrics and carpets, especially if your pooch loves hanging out on the furniture.
As soon as you see any stain, try out a stain remover and it will be of great help in keeping your house tidy when your dog is in heat.
5. Try out dog diapers.
Dog diapers are the most helpful thing you will come across during this time. And there are many benefits to using them. Your female dog might leave stains on any surface she sits on due to heavy bleeding.
Using diapers will let you prevent her from staining carpets and your furniture. Moreover, your dog might also have many incidents where they pee too frequently.
Female dogs also follow urine marking where they try to spread their scent. This is their nature and they cannot stop doing it, but you can at least prevent it by putting a diaper on her.
This will also prevent your dogs from licking their private parts less often. However, not every dog can adjust to it immediately. While some dogs get pretty comfortable with wearing dog diapers very soon, others need a little time.
While you are putting them on, try using yummy treats as a distraction. Show the diaper to your dog beforehand and let her sniff it so that she can get used to it slowly. Be gentle with her and if she is adamant about pulling it off or getting rid of it, do not force her on the first day itself.
You can try again the next day. And if your dog ends up using it, it is very hygienic, will be very convenient without having to clean up your dog time and again, and will also be calming for them.
But how to know which diapers to go for? Disposable diapers are comparatively pricey Minakshi and can also irritate your dog’s skin. Concentrate on getting reusable diapers with softer fabrics. They are inexpensive as you only need to replace the pads inside. But you will need to wash them often.
6. Only use cleaning products that are safe for dogs.
You can be extremely careful at all times, but it still does not guarantee that accidents will not happen. Your carpets and furniture main still end up getting stained with blood and vaginal discharge. At the same time, dog urine has a strong smell, and it is not easy to eliminate it using only water and soap.
Hence, opt for enzymatic dog safe cleaners, which contain enzymes to break down unpleasant odors and unwanted stains. Even if you want to eliminate the strong vomit smell or odors from feces and dirt, this will do the job. These are very effective, non-toxic, and safe for dogs.
7. Clean her sleeping area regularly and place soft towels on her resting spot.
Your dog definitely must have a spot in your home where she sleeps or spends most of their time in or maybe you even have a dog playpen. Keep the area tidy and fresh to make her feel as comfortable as possible.
It also helps avoid unwanted smells from lingering in your living spaces. Whenever your dog is in heat, wash her bedding, toys, blankets, and even her plastic crate if she has one.
Grab a clean fluffy towel and some sheets and spread them on the areas she usually lays down. For example, maybe on her favorite spot on your couch or even on the floor. These will help to absorb the discharge and blood quickly.
8. Cover as many things as you can.
Depending on various scenarios, dogs’ heat cycles can last up to 2 weeks or even longer. But of course, you cannot keep an eye on the condition of your house at all times.
But to protect all areas, you can cover the various areas, including beds, sofas, your couch, and other surfaces, to prevent them from staining. You can do this by using old blankets, but they can be somewhat small and cannot always cover large areas.
In such scenarios, you can look for covers and protectors online. Later on, once the heat cycle is over, you can simply remove them, wash them, and keep them all ready for the next cycle.
Another benefit of using these covers is that they will also prevent fur and odors from building up. Plus, it will also make cleaning everything much easier.
9. Invest in an air purifier.
Air purifiers are extremely helpful in any home to promote better indoor air quality, especially when you have a pet. The toxic pollutants and allergens present in the air can also affect our pets.
So using an air purifier can really reduce pollutants and also the impact of getting exposed to these harmful contaminants. Look for a design that is safe for your pet and has a lower risk of falling and causing any injuries. Place it somewhere where your pet cannot easily access it or knock it over.
The pre-filter used in air purifiers is excellent for trapping larger particles like pet fur, hair, and pet dander. At the same time, when your dog is in heat, air purifiers will also help control odors and keep the indoor air feeling fresh and quite clean.
10. Try to keep your dog in a good mood.
While your dog is on her heat cycle, she will need some extra love and attention, so she does not get bored. Dogs also have the instinct to mate during this period and crave extra affection.
Try petting her and playing with her to keep or entertained. It’s a very sensitive cycle, and your dog might easily feel stressed and make a mess if you do not take care of her enough.
Get her a new toy to prevent her from choosing random stuff in your house. As already established above, dogs undergo behavioral changes during the heat cycle. So she might behave somewhat differently than how she usually does.
Try petting her for around three seconds to see how she responds. If she likes it, then continue. If she starts growling or acting aggressively, give her some space and let her be.
11. Use air fresheners whenever necessary.
Along with air purifiers, air fresheners also help a great deal in keeping your house smelling all fresh and clean. When a female dog is in heat, she lets out a very particular odor, which can be pretty overpowering for many.
You can use air fresheners or an essential oil diffuser to keep your house smelling good. Go for lavender or chamomile, or even menthol oil. You can also apply a small dab at the end of your dog’s tail to mask the scent.
However, avoid using pine, tea tree, pennyroyal, or wintergreen oils since they are toxic to dogs, according to Senior Veterinary Information Specialists.
12. Make a DIY cleaning solution if you do not find dog-specific products.
Products with enzymes are great for breaking down stains and are mostly safe for dogs. However, if you are not able to find these kinds of products, go ahead and make a DIY solution.
For general cleaning purposes, make equal parts of vinegar and water and store this solution in a spray bottle. If you want to make a solution primarily to remove stains, mix baking soda and vinegar in water.
Store this in a spray bottle as well. Whenever your dog is in heat, keep these solutions handy. While you are using these solutions, you might notice that your dog is staying away due to the scent. But both of them are safe for dogs.
13. Spay your dog beforehand if you don’t want them to breed.
If you spay your dog, it will prevent them from going into heat. Until you have her spayed, your dog will go into heat at least once or twice a year depending on her breed.
If you cannot spare time now to take care of a litter of puppies or don’t want to stress yourself over cleaning after your dog, schedule an appointment with your vet to go ahead with the spaying process.
However, do this while she isn’t in her heat and give her a hygienic space to recover while taking good care of her. Another benefit of spaying your dog is that it saves them from facing serious health issues during old age like breast cancer and uterine infections.
14. Don’t sweat it too much.
This is the last and probably the most helpful tip in this list that you should know about. Female dogs going into heat is a natural process and part of breeding, and you can see a few blood stains on your floor at times.
Don’t sweat too much on it and be ready to deal with it if you plan to breed. And it’s not just before the delivery, you will have to deal with some blood after the delivery as well.
Take a deep breath and keep a bucket of water ready with you at all times and simply mop anything up when you see it.
The above-mentioned steps in this list will definitely be extremely helpful to keep the mess down during this heat stage.
Is there really a lot of blood during a dog’s heat stage?
If you have a dog who has not yet reached her heat cycle, you might be wondering about the amount of blood you will be dealing with.
The first thing you must know is that do not get too many opinions from anyone regarding what to expect. It is important to focus on only your dog. Every dog is different and while some may just bleed a tiny amount, others may have heavy bleeding.
Both these scenarios are completely normal and the amount may range from very little to a lot the duration can also vary between a few days and a few weeks.
Another point to know is that the mess created also depends a lot on the dog herself. While some are very particular about keeping themselves clean, others tend to make more mess.
So, it is hard to give a fixed answer regarding how much mess you will see. But the most common pattern is that there will be a heavy amount of bleeding at the beginning of the cycle which will gradually reduce and ultimately just fade into straw-colored discharge.
Summarized tips for caution.
- While bathing your dog, use a mild dog shampoo, and do not ever use a shampoo for humans.
- Be aware of the fact that your dog may get irritated or agitated easily while she is on heat.
- It is normal for dogs to lick their genital areas often while she is in heat. There is no need to worry about it.
- Pay attention to the dog’s entire body language and actions and you will know if she wants to be loved and petted or if she needs some space.
- If you do not want to use a diaper on her, make sure you keep her in a contained space or a crate so she doesn’t spread the mess to the rest of the house.
- Dog wipes are a great option to clean up any discharge while she is in heat.
- If you are not getting your dog spayed, she will go into heat again and you need to be prepared to deal with anything that comes along with it.
- Vacuum the dog’s bedding and use a dog-safe laundry detergent for fabric softener to get rid of stains.
It’s understandable that the situation might not be entirely pleasant for you or her when your dog is in heat.
These tips on how to keep house clean when dog is in heat will help guide you better to keep your house clean and take care of your pet properly while she is going through her heat cycle.
Try to be kind and compassionate towards her and understand that she might not always be eager to be petted or hugged. Try to keep her clean and her area sanitary while she is dealing with a new stage in her life.