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, bleedingĀ 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.




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

  1. 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

  2. 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 !!!!

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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 šŸ˜µ

  7. 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?

  8. 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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