What To Expect From a Chihuahua’s Heat Cycle

Female Chihuahua

Female Chihuahua

Female Chihuahuas can make wonderful, loving family pets. In fact, many people prefer them because they don't mark their territory like their male counterparts. If you plan on raising a female Chihuahua, though, you'll need to be aware of their heat cycle. This is a critical time in their life that requires special care and attention; otherwise, you could end up with a liter of unwanted puppies around the home.

Like all dogs, female Chihuahuas must be properly cared for when they go into heat. This is when they are most fertile and will draw the attention of any nearby males. In addition, Chihuahuas in heat will also bleed, which means you'll have to come up with a solution to prevent it from getting on the floor. Keep reading and we'll take a closer look at what to expect during a Chihuahua's heat cycle.

When Will My Chihuahua Have Her First Heat Cycle?

It's important to note that all Chihuahuas are different, and unfortunately there's no easy way to tell exactly when your Chihuahua will have her first heat cycle. Some of them will experience it early, while it may take others well over a year. With that said, most female Chihuahuas will have their first heat cycle between the ages of 6 months to one year.

If your Chihuahua still hasn't gone through her first heat cycle by the age of 18 months, talk to your veterinarian to see if there's an underlying health problem. A simple checkup by a professional vet can reveal whether your Chihuahua has a defect or if she's a late bloomer. On rare occasions, female Chihuahuas may not experience their first heat cycle until they are 2 years old. For your Chihuahua's sake, though, take her to the vet to check for any serious health problems.

Also, you should NEVER allow your Chihuahua to breed during her first heat cycle. This is a sensitive time when her organs and body are adjusting to this natural process. Allowing her to become impregnated places her at greater risk for complications. If you care about the health and well-being of your Chihuahua, wait until her second heat cycle at the very least.

Chihuahua Heat Cycle

Chihuahua Heat Cycle

Evaluating The Different Stages of a Chihuahua's Heat Cycle

Contrary to what some people may believe, there are actually several different stages of a Chihuahua's heat cycle. While most owners assume there is only one, there are actual a total of 4 different stages, all of which are unique in their own way.

Generally, female Chihuahuas will go into heat (lasting approximately 3 weeks) about once or twice a year.

Here are the stages of a typical female Chihuahua's heat cycle:

Proestrus - The first stage of a Chihuahua's heat cycle, Proestrus, may or may not be easy for owners to identify. Some Chihuahuas will exhibit clear, concise symptoms that include bleeding, swollen nipples, excessive licking and a general shift in mood change. Others, however, may exhibit few (if any) symptoms.

The most effective way to determine if a Chihuahua is going through the Proestrus stage is to closely observe and monitor their behavior. Typically, Chihuahuas at this stage of their heat cycle will begin to chase males around in a playful or even somewhat aggravating manner. It's not uncommon to find your female Chihuahua constantly badgering any nearby males.

Estrus - The second stage, known as Estrus, occurs about one week after the the Proestrus stage. During this time, Chihuahuas are fertile and ready to breed. While most Chihuahuas won't allow the male to mate with her during the Proestrus stage, they will however allow it during the Estrus stage.

Identifying a Chihuahua in heat during the Estrus stage shouldn't be overly difficult. They will have swollen, bleeding genitals and the desire to couple with nearby male Chihuahuas. Males will also be more attracted to the female due to the scent of her discharge.

Diestrus - As long as the female Chihuahua did not become impregnated, she will enter the Diestrus stage immediately following Estrus. This is essentially a rest period that lasts for 30-90 days when the Chihuahua's body is given time to recuperate. She will no longer seek the attention of males, and her body parts will gradually begin to go back to their normal size.

If a female Chihuahua was impregnated, she will skip the Diestrus stage and enter the early stages of pregnancy. Pregnant Chihuahuas will continue to exhibit large, puffy nipples and swollen genitals.

Anestrus - The last stage in a Chihuahua's heat cycle, Anestrus, is a cooling down period when the body and organs are finally getting back to normal. Owners won't notice any visible signs of a heat cycle when their Chihuahua is going through Anestrus. Chihuahua will have normal-sized genitals, no bleeding or discharge and regular moods.

The Anestrus stage will last somewhere between 2-6 months, until they begin the heat cycle over again.

Happy Female Chihuahua

Happy Female Chihuahua

Tips on Dealing With a Chihuahua's Heat Cycle

The good news is that most Chihuahuas will only be in heat for approximately 3 weeks. The bad news, however, is that you'll need to give them extra care and attention to ensure everything runs smoothly. Far too many owners brush off the heat cycle as a "natural" occurrence without giving their Chihuahua the care she needs during this special time.

Follow these tips for a better, smoother heat cycle:

  • From the time you notice the first sight of your Chihuahua's heat cycle, keep her separated from any nearby males (unless you want her to get pregnant of course). This means always walking her on a leash and never allowing her to run off.
  • Female Chihuahuas can be a bit more cranky during their heat cycle, so use caution when handling them.
  • Use a doggie diaper or wrap your Chihuahua's bottom up in a blanket to prevent her from bleeding everywhere.
  • Don't make the assumption that your Chihuahua is no longer fertile just because she's no longer bleeding. Depending on her biology, she could still be fertile for weeks after bleeding. The bottom line is that you need to keep her separated from males until you are completely sure she is no longer fertile.




92 Responses to “What To Expect From a Chihuahua’s Heat Cycle”

  1. Laura says:

    My chihuahua is in heat right now day 8 of active bleeding and has tied with another dog today will she be pregnant? I’m seeing a lot of 11-14 days but I have been told by 2 different people 1 saying it’s the heat process including swollen vulva and 1 said its from the 1st day of blood which is correct??

  2. janet says:

    I have a female 19 months old and still no sign of heat? I have taken her to vets but he didn’t seem concerned and said it’s not unheard of? It doesn’t stop me worrying though. She is a healthy weight 3kg and healthy otherwise. Anyone else had the same?

    Can anyone recommend good heat diapers for Chihuahuas please for when she does come on?

  3. Kacie says:

    Also one more question, Will the female stop bleeding 1 or 2 day after the mate? Or will then continue to bleed thru their heat?

  4. Kacie says:

    Ok I did notice that my little Chihuahua did go thru the Proestrus stage, she started biting at my male dog and giving him no time to rest and just played a little aggressive at most times, then about a week later on a Sunday she started the Estrus stage, she started bleeding, licking and her mood changed, today is only Monday, a week after starting the stage and although she is still licking (a lot) and pulling her tail over to the side when you pet her and get close to her rear when you are stroking her back she seems to not be swollen anymore or even bleeding. Her other cycles she was swollen for a long period of the cycle but this time only after a week she is not so swollen. She also started Whining. My question is, is she already in the Diestrus stage? (even though before my male went very very crazy chasing her around and us getting no sleep at all keeping the two of them apart and now this time he seems to have no interest at all). Could it be possible that she is in this Diestrus stage? Is there a reason why she is not so swollen? Again she is still licking the area a lot but the bleeding seems to be not so bad this time like it has been in the other three times that she has been in heat before? I guess, is it possible she is still in the Estrus stage even though she seems not swollen but still licking the area? Please help…… Kacie

  5. janet says:

    My female chihuahua is now 18 months old and she hasn’t come on heat. Haven’t had any bleeding she is always clingy and affectionate and sleeps quite a lot normally. Do they bleed noticeably? Could I have missed it? I am very worried something is wrong though she seems healthy enough and happy. I am concerned about crating her if she bleeds as she will get very distressed but she has been used to sleeping in our bedroom (cream carpets). Where can I get good fitting doggy diapers? Any info greatly appreciated.

  6. Carolyn says:

    Rita. I hope this helps. Our dog was doing the same thing. She was peeing in front of the cabinet doors under the sink in the kitchen. Then I noticed that she was being behind the living room door. Then She started peeing on the couch! Come to find out that we had a mouse in the house and marking her territory. We caught the mouse and that was the end of that. But before all this she was barking alot at night to. She was just letting us know there was a mouse in the kitchen. Hope this helps Carol

  7. Karen says:

    It could be her heat, I just lost my 18 year old Chihuahua to cancer. In her earlier years I would put her in a crate(cat carrier) with a blanket and a small amount of water at night. Just for her heat cycle. And only at night. You may want to check with her vet, as it could be a UTI infection. Another option if you don’t want to crate her,(crate training) is put her water up around 7:00p.m. and don’t feed or water until morning. Be sure to take her out a few times before bed. This works well for my new Chihuahua.

  8. Terri says:

    I have a 5 year old Chihuahua. She had her heat and now a month later she is bleeding again, heavier when she was in heat. She is acting normal. Eating, drinking, playing. Not swollen anywhere.

  9. jessica says:

    How often should a female go into season? I’m very curious. I have a female and two males. One of them cannot get her pregnant and the other one can. Should I separate them so the two can mate or what should I do. I would love to get a response on my email. thanks.

    • ally says:

      hi Jessica. They should go into heat twice a year. Since i have male dogs as well i try to mark on my calender at the first sign of her genitles starting to swell so i know when to expect her next cycle.

  10. Aldrin Santos Gregorio says:

    Can you help. My dog is a 3 years old female chihuahua i wanted to know if she still have heat? I just want an answer please send me a message my email is johnaldringregorio@yahoo.com thank you in advance.

  11. Evie says:

    Hello there….
    My chihuahua started her first heat cycle and it’s been two weeks and it looks painful. It’s pink And swollen. It looks like a giant strawberry. I’ve been bathing her n cleaning her.
    How long sbhould I expect this to last? I know it mentioned 30-90days? Please advice?

    • Fancy says:

      I guess no replies ????

    • Karen says:

      A heat cycle lasts 3 weeks. Don’t keep cleaning her as you can make things harder on her. Let her clean herself, and she will be fine. Be careful of the soaps you use too. You don’t want to give her a UTI. She will go into her cycle every 6 months.

  12. GIna says:

    Hi, my chihuaha is not urniating as normal while in heat. SHe has only goes twice a day now where she would go quite often. Is this normal??

  13. Judy says:

    Hey everyone hoping I can get my question answered, my chihuahua (lady) is pregnant 5-6 weeks. She is in good health and form but a bit cranky with my other chihuahua (teddy) he is the daddy to be. I’m wondering should I remove teddy from the home while she is pregnant? My mother wil mind him like the baby he is until puppies bornbut I know he will miss lady and my family terrible? I don’t know what is recommended? Does anybody have any ideas? Kind regards Judy

    • Windy Lloyd says:

      Hello, Judy:

      He should be okay during the pregnancy. I’d temporarily remove Teddy after the whelp and let your mom take care of him for a week or two if he showed aggression toward the pups. Just my opinion based on my experiences, not professional. Good luck, my fellow Chi lover. 🙂

  14. Tracey says:

    This is my first time owning a female chihuahua her name is may a and she’s 9 months old, the problem is that she’s started crying and has losses bowels and picking her parts a lot also very sleepy. Would you say this is the start of her being in heat?
    Any advice greatly received x

    • Katy says:

      I am guessing by now you should know if this was due to your chihuahua coming into heat. I found my female chihuahua has done the same, whilst she had me really worried with the loose stools, so was getting treated with chicken and rice, and I was just about to take her to the vets as it hadn’t cleared up after a few days, when she started bleeding. Now her stools are back to normal, unfortunately she is constantly crying at the front door, and trying to escape the back garden. Although I had already ensured that it would not be easy for her to get out under the fence, and definitely not over as it is 6ft high, it doesn’t stop her from trying, so can’t let her out of eyesight at all. Someone please tell me this won’t be continuously over the next 3 weeks!

  15. meaca says:

    My dog is 6-8 months had her first heat cycle. Now there is no blood but her vulva s really swollen and she is very playful with my dashound what do I do.

    • ally says:

      Sounds like your pup is still in the first stage of her heat cycle. I have a 4 year old and she does the same thing to my terrier mix. This will subside afterva week or two when she enters the second stage.

  16. Rita says:

    Can you help. I look after a 3 yr old chihuahua dog,for some reason we dot t know but she has started peeing in the house at night.
    She has found a patch of carpet she now thinks is a loo
    I think she is just start to heat is this because of this and how can I stop her doing this
    Many thanks

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