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. my chiquita says:

    my lil chiquita has been in heat now for over a lil bit of a week now. i have been pretty good at monitoring her from her 2 sons that we kept,one is from her first litter and the second is from her second litter only his dad is from her first litter lol yes incest only it wasn’t planned just to clarify lol. anyways , i have been pretty cautious this time around cause i didn’t want to happen like the first time with her son from the first litter. its been over a week since she went into heat and i let her outside to go potty for her first days potty session from just getting up. i checked the yard to make sure no unwanted strays were in the yard and there wasn’t, i came back in to get the trash and a stray made himself in and might have got chiquita but im not certain.

  2. Ian Godden says:

    I have a 8 month female I have not seen any blood but her nipples are bigger

    • Ryan says:

      We have the same problem, she went through heat, her genitals seem to have returned to a normal size but her nipples are still swollen, weeks after the heat cycle has finished

  3. Diamond says:

    My Chihuahua will be 7yrs old next month and I think she’s pregnant…could this be dangerous for her?

  4. Shirley Baglin- taylor says:

    I have 8yr old Chihuahua. Is she to old for puppies? How do I tell when she is in heat?

  5. Tracy says:

    Have had my lil girl just over a year, was told she was pregnant, but she was not She then went into heat but I saw very little blood and she hasn’t went into heat again should I be concerned?

  6. Sacha says:

    I have a 12 yr old ….3 lb chi. She is a master at humping constantly…..but is currently in heat again. She never ever comes in contact with other dogs because she is always on a leash….and is quite frankly scared to death of other dogs. Is there a menopause for my old gal? When she is in heat she is very high maintenance….which is ok….i have nothing but love and attention for her…..but im curious if it ever stops. The full on humping is both talented and impressive….but also embarrassing since she seems to be a bit of an exhibitionist. Any advice?

    • Linda says:

      If she was mine I would take her to a vet to do a simple hormone test. If it’s not hormones it may be learned behaviour. I am sure a good vet can lead you to a dog psychologist or even the veteran nurse may help you if they think behaviour classes may help. No dog is too old to learn despite the old saying ☺️ Good luck 😉

    • Nikki says:

      Maybe the humping is a sign of heat and when she stops she’s no longer in heat. My chi humps her stuffed toys but she’s 5 years and I have never seen her bleed but she does go through a humping stage.

    • Brittany house says:

      I have a female and she just turned 14 years old and weights 4 pounds and she hasnt had her period in 3-4 years and when i took her to the vet the vet said she stopped getting it but however i also have another female and shes 10 years old and she still gets hers and i took her to the vet for it amd had said to her that my other chihuahua stopped getting hers at this age and my vet explained to me that it has nothing to do wiyh age rather than her life .

  7. Sandra McKeehan says:

    Our baby girl experienced false pregnancy after being in heat. She stopped eating, drinking water and almost died. Now looks like she is in heat again. This all happened earlier this year. We are petrified right now..Is this normal?

  8. Ali says:

    I have 2 female chihuahuas (8months) Harper and Poppy. One of them is in season 2 weeks now but I find she wanting to hump the other chihuahua. Is this normal?

    • melehi says:

      I don’t know if being in heat would cause this. I have two females and one male, all neutered at 6 months. The largest is a female and she humps the male dog all the time, especially when they are playing and wrestling around. He doesn’t hump her though. I have read that this humping is simply a way of one dog showing dominance over another and has nothing to do with anything sexual. My large female is definitely the alpha dog among the 3 and seems to “rule the roost”, so it makes sense to me that she would want to dominate the others.

      • Brian Cornelius says:

        I have a 3 year old,neutered, American Bulldog. About a month ago I rescued a younger female chihuahua. They will play and wrestle around and Xena, the chihuahua, will mount Conan, the bulldog, and make humping motions. He is real laid back and easy going. A real gentle giant.

    • Ms. Drey says:

      Mine too! I think that’s a great question and I hope someone gives an answer.

    • Shelly Beam says:

      My 3 year old chihuahua babygirl always humps any stuffed animal that she can especially right now why she’s in active heat cycle. They need extra love and attention during this time and if not wanting to be pregnant this it’s very important to not let any male Chihuahuas around them period.

    • kay says:

      It can be a dominance thing. My older female does it.

  9. sherry says:

    Do they ever stop going into heat and if so at what age?

  10. Ana says:

    My female is 1.5 years old and in heat nearly a week now. I say nearly because I haven’t kept track of when she began because I wasn’t planning on letting her have a litter. Well a 6 yr old male Chihuahua has tried to mount her and it was only for a second. I want to know if she could get pregnant? Her spotting has been dark brownish for 2-3 days now. I dont want puppies.. she is only 1 year and 6 months old… is that too young for a litter? Could this hurt her? I am worrying now. Stressed out….

  11. Michael & Rosetta says:

    My eight month old is in heat, she is swollen and licking herself and want to stay in bed under the covers with me and my wife. Please help don’t know what to do. Also she has not started bleeding. ( HELP ).

    • Kathy says:

      My Chihuahuas 5 mos. Old. 4 days ago she woke up with some swelling, licking, and staying in bed, not wanting to listen an mind.

  12. Mark-n-Carry says:

    My oldest girl got pregnant 1st heat and had 7 pups, 5 lived. The other 2 she was just worn out and couldn’t push them out in ample time for them to live. My other chi girl had a very light heat cycle right behind her and not is in Heat again. I pray that my male got her and all goes well.

    • Mark-n-Carry says:

      Now in heat***

    • Alyssa says:

      Being a breeder is tough business but a lot of love must go into your relationship. The birches depend on someone knowledgeable about epsomimetes (misspelled )where you sanitate area well and when she has her most difficult push you must have a sharp blade to gently slice a very very small thin slice near the vagina where a bag with pup is trying to come out. Be very careful not to cut puppy. Your only helping her with a very small opening help in that area. She will not notice the pain with aspirin as much and the blood will be locked up by her and she will be happy . Do this only if she is panting too heavy, crying and looking at you for help with her eyes. Instinct should cut in hopefully on your part if you have a good relationship with your bitch. Afterward, when she has expelled all, including after birth bag, the cut not being huge because you used a very very sharp knife and it only took a wee bit of more pushing for her to jolt out the rest with that little slice of help. No more then 1/2 inch if that!!! She’s giving birth, not a bridge . Ok, good luck, best wishes, neuter your pets. Otherwise, invest in a common get for your breeding needs and write it off your taxes. Ttul

  13. Amy says:

    My best friend died recently, leaving me with her 11 year old unaltered chihuahua. Lucy has been bleeding for at least 2 weeks now. I’m trying to spend grieving time with her, but because of the blood spots, I have to keep her at a distance. PLEASE spay and neuter your pets!

    • Lisa Burford says:

      If your chi is bleeding and you don’t want her spayed you can get those washable cloth diapers. Also, doesn’t not getting them spayed give them a higher risk of cancer? I gave a 6 month old chi and didn’t want to have her spayed ust because it’s not necessary- our male chi is 4 and is neutered. But then I remembered it can cause her to get cancer do now I’m thinking I will get her spayed.

  14. Alexis says:

    PLEASEEE HELP!!! my puppy (8 months) just went into heat and she’s bleeding a lot every 2-3 hrs and her gums are yellow and she won’t walk or even move. She won’t drink or eat. What’s wrong plz help!!

  15. rose newlon says:

    My female dog is been in heat 3 weeks now her teats are swollen howlong until go down in size?

  16. Jennifer says:

    I have a female chi bella is her name, she is a lil over a year m maybe a month over a year anyway she is in heat licking a lot she is swollen down there But not acting any different but she hasn’t bled is that uncommon? Please if anyone knows why email me back thank you.

    • Karry says:

      When my baby girl went into heat for the first time, she liked A LOT! I think that kept the blood from dripping everywhere. She is kinda OCD though.

    • Candace Mcneely says:

      Our chi has such minimal amts of blood, we never really see it. We got a Yorkie and had to put a doggie diaper on her this go round and we did see it, but it was clear/light brown/red. Very small amounts. So maybe, you just don’t notice it. Our chi is 3lbs

  17. rose newlon says:

    I have 7 month female she’s been in heat almost a week how much longer will heat cycle last need to get her spayed soon!!!

  18. Jenny says:

    I have a teacup chihuahua who just turned 1. She just went though her 1st heat, is it normal for teats to still be prominent?

  19. Christina M Garcia-romero says:

    Hi my female Chihuahua will tease her boyfriend and back up on him and do it to him but when he tries she flips over on her back what can we do to help her get pregnant.all she wants to do is play

  20. Cydnehandley says:

    How long do they bleed?

    • Carolyn says:

      I’d like to know that myself. How long do they actually bleed ???

      • Wanda Nikitenko says:

        I owns an 8mo old chihuahua who is going thru heat at this time so would like to know how long this process takes as to the bleeding. This is something I know very little about as my other dogs were spade when they came to me. Are they in pain if so is there anything I can do to make things more comfortable for her

        • Kevin R says:

          My wife and I give her lots of attention and rub her chest and neck.
          I have a small pool and set her in it. It calms her down alot.

      • Joyce H says:

        Female chihuahuas usually bleed about 10 days or so.

  21. April De La Cruz says:

    Hi i have a female long hair and my mother in law has a regular size chihuahua she’s been bleeding for two days and she managed to get out of her cage.He mounted her and now I’m afraid she may have puppies.Will she get pregnant and if so will she be able to have the puppies with out dying?

    • My dad is a dog breeder says:

      Just monitor the size of her nipples and the change in weight. When she is ready to have puppies she will begin to nest, as in finding a place to lay down and have the babies. Be sure to be around her around that time because complications can happen. When she is in labor, and a puppy is taking too long to come put. You may want to gently pull on the puppy to help get them out. If the puppy is not breathing, you can rub the puppy with a warm towel, it is like giving it CPR. Other than that I am sure you dog will be fine.

    • Kerry says:

      Hi my chihuahua got caught on her first heat delivered 3 beautiful puppie all healthy thankfully just look up how to break the bag for her as my one also didnt know how to but shell be fine just remember to keep a close eye on her youll know when she in labour shell pant and dig like crazy in her bed good luck !!!!

    • Alice says:

      Hi there, have you received any feedback or reply. I have the same problem my 8 month old chihuahua got her first season and due to lack of my husbands attention our boy got her in the garden through the puppy nappy and they manged to tie. His a 9 month boy, do you think she is pregnant as I have contacted the vets about the injections however they are £350 pounds and there are risks that she might get internal infection and die, is there any chance she should deliver without problems. Please any information will be helpful.

    • Lyssa says:

      Was she pregnant from that situation?

  22. Rebecca says:

    Hi I have a chi girl about 9 months old. I’m hoping she hasn’t fell pregnant for her first bleed as I do have a boy as well. Has anyone else had puppies on 1st bleed within the 1st year?

    • Angela D Strickland says:

      somebody gave me a female when she was bout 10 months and she was pregnant. I was so worried but thank god she survived and 1 pup survived (she had 3). But I would take her to the vet and get her checked out and I hope everything turns out good.

    • Kathy Schrenk says:

      My granddaughters female chi became pregnant at about 10 months. She is small and we worried how large she was getting. She had an ultrasound and it showed 4 little chi babies. She delivered 4 healthy babies and she recovered nicely. I hated that she was pregnant and suffered thru delivery, but she was a little trooper. If you can, hold off til second year heat. I know its better for momma’s health.

    • Ashley says:

      Yes I have. its the same as another birth, be sure to be there when she is giving birth because she doesn’t know what to do and she will need your help breaking the placenta. let her eat the placenta, its what they do once they break it and help her clean the pup by brining it closer to her to lick. make sure to have the cage covered with a blanket because they prefer it darker when giving birth. the chihuahua that is pregnant will not die, but the baby will, be careful. on my dogs first birth she only had one and it died a couple days later. its just what happens sometimes, you just have to really be there for her and help her if something like that were to happen.

    • Veronica says:

      My female did get pregnant by my male at 8 months old. I done lots of research. She had three beautiful and healthy babies and all is well. They are 4 wks today! Good luck…

  23. Jennifer hall says:

    I have 2 female’s 4 and 5 years of age and would like to breed them they are both on their cycle now i live in cedar park texas any one in texas have a male Chihuahua

  24. kim says:

    Hello I have a 10 month old Chihuahua and she got mated didn’t realize she was in heat til it was to late she wasn’t stuck long she tore away but been couple weeks now her breasts are swelling will she be able to have puppies at her age please help

  25. Jewelene says:

    Well wish I could be so lucky I have a 8 month old female and a 1 year old male, well I knew she was coming in but was shocked she being so young. So I graded diapered, no sleep walked the floors, got to third week thinking yes I’ve got this? wrong turn head I second and he had her. Now almost three weeks now she still going any idea how much longer? And yes praying she didn’t take. Any advice would be greatly appreciated 😵

  26. Shay says:

    Hi my chihuahua has caught on her first season and is due to give birth any day now and i am quite worried about her is there anything I can do?

  27. Kimberley Cole says:

    My toy chihuahua will be 2 years old this next month on the 20th! When will she go into heat?

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