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.




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

  1. Kelli says:

    My female chi is about 8 months and went into heat and I guess she is at the last stages of it…I wanted to get her fixed but my last female dog was a bigger dog and she went into heat at about a year, I thought I had a little more time! when I got her she was very sick had to be hospitalized and I was so scared to do surgery right away at 6 months after that…but anyway here we are and she is aggressively humping everything!! My bigger dog never did it like this! she has a duck toy she humps every night…and do they actually climax?!! oh my goodness it looks like it she is…she collapses and rolls over panting ive never seen anything like it!! is she weird or has anyone ever seen this?!! I plan to get her fixed before next cycle but will the humping stop? I love her anyway ive just never seen a girl dog hump like the boys whoa!

  2. Jacque says:

    My Chihuahua has only bleed twice in 5 years. She will still get swollen when she does go into heat but she never bleeds. Is she still fertile or what? She is up to date will all her shots and vaccinations and is healthy. But to me this is very odd. I did want a mini her and my friend wants a chihuahua puppy but I am not sure that anything will happen. Nor how it could affect her, is this normal?

  3. PATHETIC says:

    Wow!Most of you have no business owning pets! Sounds like you can’t even afford 2 take them 2 the vet & you all have excuses about it because of your guilt. A pet is a luxury not a right. If you are broke you can’t afford the vet, clothes, treats, quality dog food from pet smart & the groomers. Even short hair chis needs ears, teeth & nails done. The pets shouldn’t have 2 suffer through going into heat! I have 2 chis & we got 2 the groomers every 2 weeks & vet every 6 just 4 checkups. Pathetic pet owners make me sick.

  4. madison b says:

    Yeah my dog Maleficent I didn’t know about this. So we now nearly noticed that she’s started but we don’t know when. Thing is she’s a tiny dog is there gonna be different possibilities or problems that will cause? Are they supposes to feel pain.? And wat if ur dog has a hernia will there be any problems? Plz reply back thxs

  5. verlanemcdonald says:

    My chihuahua is two year old in
    She got stuck twice she weighs about 8 pounds
    Will she be presgnant and will she be ok having pups, i am very worried about her

  6. jeanne says:

    Tudi Is 2 and a runt of the litter

  7. jeanne says:

    My Chihuahua/Pomeranian has been on her period on and off, for about 4 months. Is this normal

  8. beth says:

    Our chi. Is a resuce. She stayed on our porch for days before we let her in. About 3 weeks ago we noticed her bleeding lightly no swelling of any kind. Yesterday while giving her a bath i notice her parts are very swollen. It doesnt seem to hurt her but it looks as if it would! She has been licking.we have a male shitzu as well. He got crazy when she was bleeding but both moods are back to normal. Could she be pregnant? Or just continuing her cycle? We kept them separated as much as possible but she tends to ninja herself out the front door.

  9. G.g says:

    I have two females dog . it been about 4 days my female dog is bleeding but as the day pass my male dog seem very terretory about her. Everyone is very upset when it come to dealing with him since he got anger issue way before having her. How can i deal with both of them . The sad part is she look for him n when there together she start to cry :'(. How i can help both of them? Yes i do want her to have babies n then nutter her . But i dont know how to deal with them :'(

  10. Vycles Ayche says:

    Hello there, I have 2 female Chiuauahs. MiMi is 4 yrs old. In the past, the bleeding and swelling of her parts only lasted about 2 weeks. My other one is LouLou and she is MiMi’s biological niece. LouLou is only 8 months old. 2 weeks and a day ago I discovered that they were BOTH swollen and bleeding. MiMi seems to have no swollenness and no bleeding now. But LouLou is swollen and bleeding.
    Puting a diaper on LouLou doesn’t work. She’d just rip it up. So I’ve been keeping her in her kennel for a lot of the time. I have red carpet so When I let them play I can’t tell of the bleeding. But MiMi has been humping poor LouLou for the last week or so.
    QUESTION: Is it OKAY for her to hump the other dog? Is LouLou’s cycle supposed to last more than 2 weeks of bleeding and swelling?

    • Julie says:

      Chihuahua cycles can differ, go to bellybelts.com for a girl’s belly belt that she can’t chew and is totally safe as long as it is kept clean and dry.

  11. Julia says:

    Hi, m’y dog has had her period for 5 month now!!! Thé bleeding will stop for a couple of days and then resume. I am starting to get worried. Has anyone had a similar experience? She is 1 y.o. Thank you!

  12. shelleighR says:

    My female chi is Almost 7 months old no sign of going into heat but she keeps randomly cocking her leg up on me, not to pee cuz she’ll stand there for a while with her hooha on me until I shrug her off! Can anyone tell me y she keeps doing this???

  13. sam says:

    i have a 11 month old female chihuahua and still no sign of her first season yet is there a promlem with her???? someone please help me out as i dont no whats going on.

    • Julie says:

      Chihuahuas vary greatly, many don’t come into heat till after a year, rarely even two years. If no heat by 18 months then check with vet. Otherwise don’t worry.

  14. Paula says:

    My 9 yr old chi is on the 21 st day of her cycle and there is still mucus/ blood coming from her, is this normal ?
    Worried , vets I think!

  15. Cassandra says:

    My Chita girl is 17yrs now. She has never mated and never will! She has been in her cycle for more 4 weeks now! Is this normal? I’m going nuts! It is very difficult to walk her with soooo my strays in our neighborhood. So I be worried about her?

  16. Terri McMichael says:

    I was going to breed for the first time my 5 and a half year old female Chi, but the more I read, it say’s 5 is the limit on age.
    I don’t want to put my angel in jeopardy…….

  17. cassie britton says:

    My chi is 7 minutes old when is it ok to start breeding her… She is the runt

    • amanda says:

      She is far too young to breed id wait atleast until after her second heat cycle an being the runt is just greater risk for complications during pregnancy and birth…hope this helps..

    • Gl says:

      I hear what you are saying, don’t think many others get it though :p

    • Faye Martin says:

      I hope you were joking and about breeding your 7 minute old dog … even 7 months is too young JEEZES …

  18. anon5 says:

    I got a rescue chihuahua back in February that had been kicked out onto the street after the death of the elderly owner. I don’t know if she’s beginning her heat cycle or is just getting fat. She was serious underweight and now she waddles a bit, so I don’t know if the swelling in between her anus and vulva is from the heat cycle or slight obesity.

    There’s no bleeding or strange behavior, but I’m worried because she has no scars or indication of having been fixed, she’s an outside dog AND all we have around here are large, unfixed males the neighbors let run free to guard their herds. We live on a farm.
    Two huge yellow lab males and a young male mastador.

  19. donna says:

    Do females run away for a day or two when they go in heat I have a little dear head don’t know if she’s in heat or not but she got out and I haven’t seen her yet I have been calling her but that do any good could u please help me on this

  20. Jennie says:

    Okay , so my chihuahua hasnt even been in heat at all . But her nipples just recently started getting really swollen . She has also had mood swings where shes just so depressed she wont even eat or play around with anyone . She is usually a very playful dog . Then all Of A sudden She Gets All Happy And Just Plays Like Normal . & We Are Sure she Isnt Pregnant She Has Been with any Dog Shes Always Inside & When she Does go Outside Shea With Me Soo I want To Know Whats Wrong With Her . Please Reply Back

  21. Joanna Ramirez says:

    So my chihuahua is going through her heat cycle, I’m not sure if it’s her first since I’ve only had her for three month’s but I don’t think it is since she is already two years old. My concern is that all of a sudden she randomly attacks me and scratches me like if she was a cat! Is that normal?

  22. Constance McNair says:

    My Chihuahua is on her 2nd heat cycle. She has been laying around and sleeping a lot. Sometimes she is not sleeping but just laying around. She wants to be held a lot more and is not eating like she used to….is this normal?

  23. Thomas says:

    You anyone tell me why do my chihuahuas when tied together walk in circles? and I notice her anal area opens wide then closes, will someone let me know why? thanks Mr.Curious.

  24. Vicki says:

    Comment was for Sandyd

  25. vickie says:

    I have a female chiwawa and she is in her first heat I keep her away from my male chiwawa don’t want her too get preagant now or ever have apt too take her too the vet but I am on ssi and they say it will cost 250 bucks but its worth it too me I love my babies

    • Vicki says:

      My Chihuahua nipples often stay huge after a heat cycle. Some times yrs but they eventually reduced to almost normal. The lower nipples always stay larger. At least with my girl. She is in heat right now so they are bigger but not huge like other times. I hope this helps you.

  26. sandyd says:

    Hi I have a 5 year old Chihuahua and her nipples the two closest to her bottom are sswollen since her last heat..what can I do to bring them down? Any help would be appreciated!

  27. rate eileen says:

    My girl came in heat and she 6or7 months she is very nasty and aggressive with me, when changing her diaper or attaching the harness belt from the pet store. She is not like that with anyone else n the family. I feed, walk and bath her w no problem is this normal. .

    Concerned. Ray eileen

  28. sue says:

    I have a 1yr old and I know shes in heat, but I also noticed that her nipples are getting bigger everyday and she is also swollen does this mean she is pregnant cuz I have another male dog who’s been mounting her but never locked in can she be pregnant?someone please help me

    • pat says:

      This happened to one of my cats. It was a hormone problem that when they are fixed will go away. You don’t have a choice NOT to fix them or they can die. She was perfect after surgery!!

  29. april says:

    Hi my female Chihuahua is about 8 months she just had her first cycle its over now. But shes developed lumps around her nipples as well as fuller nipples. its giving me reason to worry. Is this normal?

  30. Haley says:

    I have a half Mexican chihuahua, half tea cup chihuahua. She is about a year and two months old. I noticed this morning that her woman parts are swollen and her pp is bleeding a little. I haven’t noticed this happening to her before. My boyfriends stepmom has a male chihuahua she brings over often to his grandmas house, where we live with our female chihuahua. Could they have mated? Is this why she is lightly bleeding or is she in her first heat?

  31. diane says:

    reading the post are breaking my heart. isnt there a program in your state that will help with the cost of spaying these little ones? I love my little Chi so much I dont want her to have to go through this. she is 5 months old and has had her vet apt. to be spayed since i got her.Im not against breeding BUT just because a dog can be bred doesnt mean you need to breed her.if you are going to bred PLEASE study and read anything you can get your hands on,,,study,study,study….be prepaired for anything that could and will happen.Please love your dog enough to do that for her, thank you, Diane

  32. Doreen says:

    What about other females being around a female in heat

  33. Monica says:

    My female chi is almost 3yr since we had her we only saw her bleed one’s n this was when she was 1 yr.She licks herself a lot never let’s my male chi get close he humps her but she bite. Will she very get pregant.

  34. shelli says:

    my chi is 3 years old and is coming in heat every 4 months. It is driving me crazy. it just seems like she is always in heat. is this normal. we plan on getting her fixed but do not have the money right now.

    • Karen says:

      There are free neuter and spay programs. At least, in Arizona there is in the Phoenix metro area. So, please have your chihuahua spayed so that she or the puppies don’t suffer if you can’t get them adopted out. The Chi is a very common breed in the southwest, at least, that is what I’ve seen. And the chihuahua I have, was rescued by me. So, please check with your local humane society or ASPCA and not let there be unwanted dogs. Follow the advice and care for your dog as other dog owners have done on this site.

  35. marie says:

    hi..may chi is 8 months and got her first heat…how many months do you think his second heat?? its my first time to take care of chi..

    • Dexter says:

      Ha it Dort of worries me that your chihuahua is goimg through heat and is a “he”

    • Chrissy says:

      My Chihuahua had her first heat about 6-8 months also. Her second one didn’t come until almost a year later. Check with your vet and see what they say

  36. Sandie says:

    Hi my chi first came on her cycle on Friday 31st of January just the swelling so what day would I breed her on many thanks sandie

  37. Fatima says:

    My chihuahua had her first heat in dec2012 her 2nd July 2013 she hasn’t had one since ,does anyone know why r has this happened to anyone else’s dog.

    • Chrissy says:

      Chihuahua’s vary at when they go into heat. One of my Chihuahua’s went into her first heat at about 6 months. And the second one she had almost a year later. But check with your vet and see what they say.

  38. Annie Montgomery says:

    My almost 2 year old female has been so kind to my almost one year old she has cleaned her up and they have been so close. My older dog protects my chihuahua . It is a precious sight.

  39. Lisa says:

    Chrisie my vet said we could get our Chihuahua Terrier mix spayed while in heat for an extra charge. Hope that helps.

  40. chrisie says:

    Half chihuahua half terrier in heat 2 or 3 days, swollen, bleeding, licking, and just turned one. Getting her fixed has been on my to do list actually written down but we’ve been moving for 2 wks. So busy packing, working, moving, so question is, when can I get her fixed? Wait 3-4 wks till she’s done with all stages?

  41. vicky says:

    Hi I have a chihuahua crossed with a pug and she is having pups but she still hasn’t went big like a normal dog would and she only has 3weeks left

  42. Rose says:

    Hi, My chihuahua went in heat about 6 weeks ago,is this normal to go this long? She humps her stuffed animal all the time and is still swollen. Shes 8 months old and this is her first cycle. How much longer will this last.?

  43. shanna says:

    Sashus is 8 months and I’m surprised she is not bleeding
    heavily. We are giving her space until all is over, but how long does this last?

  44. Crystal says:

    If she got hooked yes she can be. Just tell the vet when u take her that away they can check her

  45. Paula says:

    My 8 month old chi, is in heat and has been for a week now but no blood. Well today she got out and my son come in and told me she was “stuck” with on of my outside dogs. Does that mean she could possibly be pregnant? I was going to get her fixed next month, already have appointment set.

  46. krishanna says:

    Hey, my chihuahua is in her first heat, she is almost 9 months old and we have been doing our best to keep her away from our male. But they found a way to mate and got stuck. I am worried that she is pregnant and don’t want anything bad to happen to her. So I was wondering if it was possible for her to have a healthy pregnancy and what I can do to help her. I am unable to take her to the vet because of financial reasons right now. So I was wondering what I should do.

    • Jennifer says:

      This happened to my chihuahua when she was 2 years old back in 1997 and our vet gave her a shot to prevent here to become pregnant bc the other dog involved was a neighbors dog and breed unknown but 4 times the size of my dog- so obviously she couldn’t give birth to puppies of that size without risking her life. Perhaps you could look into this should it happen again. I do not recall it being but around $50 or less. Obviously cheaper than having a litter of puppies who will need shots and such later.

  47. natalia bibby says:

    Hi my 8month old chi keeps humping my kitten… also im not sure is its wee or a clear liquid around her vigina could this be a sign of her coming in heat or just playfull?

    • Hey Natalia,

      It’s hard to tell based solely on this information. The female’s natural hormones oftentimes creates the urge to mimic the sexual movements of males. And when a female goes into heat, she produces more of these hormones. This doesn’t necessarily mean she’s in heat or going into heat, but female Chihuahuas are more likely to exhibit this behavior when they are about to start.

  48. amii says:

    my dogs have swollen vulvas is but noticed any blood or not red what does this mean ? an should I started counting her cycle now or when ? xx I only noticed today

    • Amanda says:

      I too would like to know when I start counting. My dog is clearly in heat and at least 4 days to a week. No blood or anything that I can see, although she is always licking it so it’s hard to tell if there’s clear fluid. And she is a bit more aggressive and playful and she is beginning to hump people.

      • Jayla Brackeen says:

        My chihuahua is doing the exact same thing. I’d like to know if I need to worry about impregnation and when.

    • Sounds like the early stages of heat. Keep an eye on her during the next few days to see if she starts bleeding, as this is when a female Chihuahua’s cycle technically begins.

  49. mary gary says:

    ruby is 5 month on her cycle can she get pregnancy at 5 month

    • Hey Mary,

      A female Chihuahua can become pregnant following her first cycle, but 5 months is way too young for a safe and healthy pregnancy.

      • Chrissy says:

        Mary you should wait until your Chihuahua is 2 years old before she gets pregnant. At 5 months she is still a puppy herself. She will not know how to take care of her offspring. And she will have a difficult time delivering. My niece’s Chihuahua got pregnant at 5 months and more than one of her puppies was getting caught in the birth canal. One of the puppies was caught so bad that she had to be taken to the vet. She had to stay overnight and the vet ended up fixing her. After getting fixed she ended up getting a hernia.

    • tina says:

      Yes she can

  50. daniela says:

    so you can use diapers when there on their heat cycle? or what other things can you use?

    • Hey Daniela,

      Either the disposable or cloth reusable doggie diapers work for female Chihuahuas in heat. Just remember to choose the appropriate size so they comfortably stay on your Chihuahua. Another idea is to wrap your Chihuahua up in an old blanket. Hope this helps!

    • Bethany says:

      What I did for my dachound Lulu when she was a puppy and going through her special time I went to my local pharmacy and bought the tiniest. baby diapers I could find which were premature baby diapers I just cut a hole out with a exactO knife in the bottom to make a hole for her tail I then put masking tape on the edges that were cut to prevent fraying I hoped this helped I am going to use this method on my chi when she starts

    • Chrissy says:

      You can use actual diapers for dogs. Or you can use cloth doggie diapers and use panty liners. That’s what I use for my Chihuahua’s. And yes you can wash the cloth dog diapers in the washing machine

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