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When Do Labradoodles Go Into Heat? Vet Approved Facts & FAQs

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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If you’re the new owner of a female Labradoodle, one question that many have about this breed is when they can expect their Labradoodle to go into heat. This can help with planning for breeding purposes or for spaying them if breeding is not something you want to do. Labradoodles usually have their first heat around the age of 6 to 9 months, though some individuals may only experience their first heat at 12 months. Let’s learn more about a Labradoodle’s heat cycle so that you can be prepared and plan accordingly.

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Heat Cycles of Labradoodles

The heat cycle of a female Labradoodle typically begins around the age of 6 to 9 months, although it can vary from dog to dog. On average, a Labradoodle will go into heat twice a year, with around 6 to 7 months between each heat cycle. Each heat cycle will last for around 9 days. However, this may also vary depending on the individual dog. During the heat cycle, a female Labradoodle may be more clingy, vocal, and easily excitable.

apricot labradoodle dog sitting on the sofa
Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

Signs of Heat in Labradoodles

During the heat cycle, there are several signs that you can look out for to know when your Labradoodle is in season. These include increased interest in males, vulva swelling, and bloody discharge. You may also notice your Labradoodle licking her genital area more often, as well as acting more affectionate towards you and other animals.

Reproduction in Labradoodles

If you are considering breeding your Labradoodle, it is important to remember that this breed typically only goes into heat twice a year. It is also important to consider the health of the mother and puppy when it comes to breeding, as some genetic conditions are more likely to occur in Labradoodles due to their hybrid status.

F1 labradoodle on the grass
Image Credit: Olga Marti Rodriguez, Shutterstock

Care Needs During Heat Cycles for Labradoodles

During the heat cycle, it is important to take extra care of your Labradoodle. This includes providing an appropriate diet with plenty of fresh water and making sure that she gets plenty of exercise to reduce stress levels. Additionally, it is best to keep her away from other unneutered dogs during this time to avoid any unwanted contact.

What Can Go Wrong During a Labradoodles Heat Cycle?

If your Labradoodle is not spayed, it is important to be aware that she could become pregnant during her heat cycle. Additionally, other health issues such as pyometra (infection of the uterus) can occur if a female Labradoodle goes into heat too often. To avoid these problems, it is recommended to have your dog spayed to prevent her from coming into season in the first place.

white labradoodle
Image Credit: Steve Gill Photography, Shutterstock

Preventing Heat Cycles in Labradoodles

If you are not looking to breed your Labradoodle and want to avoid the heat cycle altogether, it is possible to have her spayed. This involves surgically removing the reproductive organs so that your Labradoodle will no longer go into heat and can enjoy a life free from the associated changes in hormones and behavior.

You can generally spay a Labradoodle as early as between 5 and 15 months of age. Some owners choose to do this before their dog ever has their first heat cycle, while others may let them have a heat cycle or two before spaying. Talk to your vet about which option is best for you, but keep in mind that your Labradoodle can become pregnant during her first heat cycle so it’s important to keep her away from unneutered male dogs.

The Importance of Spaying and Your Labradoodle

It is important to consider spaying or neutering your Labradoodle if you are not looking to breed them. This helps reduce the risk of unwanted litters and may help prevent certain diseases, such as mammary gland tumors (for females spayed before their first heat) and uterine infections, in female Labradoodles. Additionally, spayed or neutered dogs tend to live longer lives and have fewer behavioral issues, making them better companions for their owners.

If you’re involved in breeding or competing with your dog, you can still have them spayed once their careers are over.

Working with your vet to understand the heat cycle and how to best care for your Labradoodle during this time can help you ensure that she enjoys a happy and healthy life. With a bit of knowledge and extra care, you can make sure that your Labradoodle remains comfortable throughout their heat cycles if you choose not to spay.

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Other FAQs About Heat Cycles in Dogs

Do dogs bleed during a heat cycle?

Yes, female dogs typically have a bloody discharge during the heat cycle. This is normal and is not cause for concern, provided that there are no other signs of infection or inflammation present. The bleeding will lessen as the heat cycle starts winding down. If you notice any unusual or excessive bleeding, it is best to consult with your veterinarian right away.

Mini Labradoodle dog
Image Credit: jadimages, Shutterstock

How do you manage discharge during a heat cycle?

During the heat cycle, it is important to regularly check for any signs of infection or irritation. This can include looking for any unusual colored discharge, as well as inspecting your Labradoodle’s genital area for redness, swelling or inflammation. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is best to consult with your veterinarian right away.

In terms of the mess, it is best to keep her area clean and provide her with plenty of fresh, clean bedding throughout the heat cycle. Additionally, you may want to consider using a doggy diaper or cloth wrap around your Labradoodle’s midsection while in heat to help manage any mess.

Is it healthier for dogs to have at least one heat cycle?

No, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that it is healthier for dogs to have at least one heat cycle. In fact, spaying your Labradoodle can provide many health benefits and reduce the risk of certain diseases. It is always best to speak with your veterinarian regarding the pros and cons associated with spaying your dog before making a final decision.

Mini Labradoodle puppy on grass
Image: Danii Brown Photography, Shutterstock

Is it safe to spay older dogs?

Yes, it is safe to spay older dogs, although the surgery may be more complicated and recovery may take longer. It is always best to speak with your veterinarian regarding their opinion and recommendations for spaying an older dog.

Why can’t you spay and neuter show dogs?

In order to breed purebred dogs, it is important that they remain healthy and fit enough to compete. Spaying or neutering a show dog can cause permanent physical changes which may disqualify them from participating in the show ring by many breed standards. Therefore, it is not recommended to spay or neuter show dogs unless otherwise instructed by their veterinarian.

Image Credit: Monika Baumgartner, Pexels

Does spaying a Labradoodle make them lazy and fat?

No, spaying does not make your Labradoodle lazy or fat. Spaying can help reduce aggressive behaviors and the risks of certain diseases. It is important to provide a healthy diet and plenty of regular exercise for your Labradoodle regardless of whether or not they have been spayed in order to maintain their physical condition and mental health.

Do male dogs have heat cycles?

No, male dogs do not have heat cycles as they are not capable of becoming pregnant.

However, male dogs can display similar behaviors during their mating season or when they’re in the vicinity of a female in heat such as increased roaming, jumping fences, and exhibiting abnormal aggression. It is best to consult with your veterinarian for advice on how to manage these behaviors if you aren’t planning on having your dog neutered.

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Labradoodles can have their first heat cycle as early as 6 months of age, and it generally lasts around 9 days. Caring for a Labradoodle during her heat cycle does require a bit of extra effort, but it is important to ensure her health and wellbeing. Make sure to always consult with your veterinarian for advice about how best to care for your Labradoodle during her heat cycle as well as get advice about having your Labradoodle spayed if you don’t plan on breeding her.

Featured Image Credit: Danita Delimont, Shutterstock

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