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How Long Do Dachshunds Stay in Heat? Vet-Reviewed Care Facts

Chantelle Fowler

By Chantelle Fowler

Long-hared Dachshund and white dog socializing in park

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Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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A female adult Dachshund undergoes regular heat cycles throughout the year if she is not spayed. If you’re new to female dog ownership, there’s much to learn about your dog’s first heat. At the bare minimum, you’ll probably want to know how long your Dachshund will stay in heat, as some dogs change their behavior and bleed during these cycles. Your dog can get pregnant during this time if she mates with a male dog, so it is essential to understand your dog’s heat cycles. The whole cycle typically lasts between three and four weeks.

There’s more knowledge needed when dealing with an intact dog, such as when to expect the first heat cycle to occur and how many times a year it will happen. In addition, if you’re planning to breed your dog, you should know how to manage her heat cycle for both of your sanity. Keep reading to find the answers to these questions and more.

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How Long Do Dachshunds Stay in Heat?

A Dachshunds heat cycle will last between 21 and 28 days and will go through three main phases.

The first phase of the heat cycle is known as proestrus, which lasts around 7 to 10 days on average. This stage is identifiable by vulva swelling and blood-tinged discharge. In the second stage, the estrus phase, your dog’s vulva will swell further. Her discharge will slowly decrease and turn a lighter color. She will begin to give off pheromones to attract a mate, and she will be receptive. Male dogs can pick up on these pheromones from very far away, so you need to keep your female secure, as males will often get aggressive in their attempts to breed. The third stage of heat is known as diestrus. Your Dachshund will no longer have an interest in breeding. Her vaginal discharge will stop, and the vulva will return to its normal size.

There is a fourth stage of the heat cycle known as anestrus. This simply refers to the downtime your dog experiences in between cycles.

Smooth-haired dachshund standard, color red, female
Image Credit: Popova Tetiana, Shutterstock

What Age Will My Dachshund Go In Heat?

A female Dachshund usually goes into her first heat between four and 12 months old. Smaller dogs can go into heat sooner than their larger counterparts, but on average, a dog’s first heat will occur around six months.

This first heat cycle will typically last between 18 to 21 days, and it is not recommended to breed your female dog during this time. Before trying for a pregnancy, it is best to wait until your dog is around 2 years old. Most breeders and vets agree that it’s not good to breed during the first heat as the young age of the female could lead to a complicated pregnancy. Dachshunds are tiny dogs and may be prone to several issues during their breeding cycles, so it’s best to wait at least until her fourth heat to give her the best chance of a safe and healthy pregnancy.

How Often Will My Dachshund Have a Heat Cycle?

You should expect your Dachshund to go into heat twice a year, though this can vary from dog to dog. Intervals between heat cycles can be between four to 12 months, with most occurring every seven months.

two dachshund dogs sitting on a bench outdoor
Image By: congerdesign, Pixabay

How Do I Know My Dachshund Is In Heat?

Several obvious signs will tell you that your Dachshund is in heat include:
  • Bloody discharge
  • Swollen vulva
  • Feisty attitude
  • Fatigue
  • Being overly friendly with other dogs
  • Seeking out males
  • Fidgeting
  • Nervousness
  • Snuggly
  • Humping or mounting
  • Turning the tail to the side
  • Easily irritated
  • Changes in appetite
  • Urinating more frequently
  • Licking her genitals
  • Slightly swollen nipples

How Can I Manage My Dachshunds Heat Cycle?

A dog in heat will require extra supervision, care, and attention. Your pup will feel hormonal, so keeping her entertained and distracted can help relieve anxiety and discomfort. You can take her out for extra walks (on a leash) to keep her mind off the hormonal changes in her body.

Your Dachshund will normally bleed throughout your home, so you might consider removing carpets and using a sofa cover so you can easily clean up any blood she leaves. You can also use a cover for her bed to catch the blood. Some owners like to use doggy diapers to keep blood under control.

Pyometra is a potentially life-threatening condition you should know about, too. It’s a secondary infection due to hormonal changes in your dog’s reproductive tract. After a heat cycle, your Dachshunds progesterone levels can stay elevated for up to eight weeks. This hormone elevation can cause her uterine lining to thicken in preparation for pregnancy. As a result, her uterine lining will increase in thickness with every heat cycle that doesn’t end in a pregnancy. This will cause cysts to form in her tissues which can then secrete fluids and become a breeding ground for bacteria.

The symptoms of pyometra to look for include:
  • Abnormal discharge from her vulva
  • Licking her genitals
  • Distended abdomen
  • Lack of appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Depression

You should consider spaying your dog if you don’t wish to breed her. Not only will spaying prevent pregnancy, but the ASPCA suggests that the procedure can also prevent uterine infections and decrease the likelihood that your dog will develop breast tumors.

Long-haired dachshund red and black color, brown eyes
Image Credit: Yuliasis, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

On average, a female Dachshund’s heat cycle will last between three and four weeks. Both small breed and large breeds dogs tend to experience two heat cycles per year, on average. If you’re planning on breeding your Dachshund, most vets recommend waiting until your dog’s second year of life before trying for a pregnancy. This will give your pup the time she needs to fully mature before pregnancy.

Featured Image Credit: Blulz60, Shutterstock

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