Can a dog get pregnant when bleeding?

The first days of a dog’s heat cycle are characterized by bleeding. Most pet owners share a widespread misbelief that their dogs cannot get pregnant during the first days of their pet’s heat cycle. The issue of noticing their pets are in heat and what to do during this period is a common concern for most first-time owners of female dogs. This article will focus explicitly on female dogs, their bleeding effect on heat, and the ideal approach to handling them during this period.

Can a Dog Get Pregnant When Bleeding?

Yes, your dog can get pregnant when bleeding. Bleeding is among the most common signs that indicate your female pet is entering their estrous cycle, which is when they are most fertile. Pet owners frequently assume that the beginning of this stage is not a significant concern and that there is no need to worry; however, you should pay close attention to your pet during these early stages.

Even when breeding occurs on its first day in heat, your dog will still get pregnant while bleeding. It would help if you stopped spraying your pet since you want it to attract as many males as possible to breed in her fertile days. There are several reasons why your dog can get pregnant while bleeding, and the next section goes into detail about these reasons.

Why Can a Dog Get Pregnant While Bleeding?

The Red Vaginal Discharge

One of the main reasons your dog is at risk of getting pregnant when bleeding is the red vaginal discharge that appears during estrus. To better understand this theory, we will compare human menstruation to a dog’s. Human menstruation occurs due to the ova not getting fertilized; hence it is flushed out of the body, while in bitches, the bleeding occurs before its fertile days. It means that if you plan to avoid unwanted pregnancies from your pet, then keep it away from unneutered male dogs.

It is Difficult to Predict Ovulation

Attempting to predict a dog’s ovulation is tricky and requires you to be keen on your pet’s behavior and general wellbeing. It is essential to predict ovulation since insemination by a male dog cannot occur before your dog begins ovulation. It means that the first days of the estrous are safest in avoiding unwanted pregnancy for your pet.

Most dogs begin evaluation on their ninth day of heat, while others experience the same anywhere from the third to the seventeenth day. The three-day possibility window makes it hard for you to predict ovulation and even harder if you know when the estrous started.

You Can Easily Miss the Beginning of the Estrous

A bloody discharge is the first sign that your dog is in heat, and most pet owners rely on it to identify the beginning of the estrous cycle. However, it is easy for you to miss this sign for various reasons. One common reason is if the bloody discharge features a different color, most probably pink or yellowish discharge instead of the normal red one. The dog might also clean the release before you see it, meaning that you will not see any vaginal discharge and remain without a clue that it is in heat.

You need to notice the onset of your dog’s estrous despite the task being hard and easy to miss. You can ask your vet to conduct blood tests that are effective in ovulation monitoring, but there are still factors that may result in an unplanned pregnancy after breeding.

Male Dogs Sperm Survival Period

The sperm of a male dog survives up to seven days when in the uterus. This duration period is outstanding compared to humans, but breeding in animals is not guaranteed like in humans. Another reason for explaining the seven-day sperm survival period is that breeding and ovulation are two different activities. Therefore, if your dog is sexually mature during breeding, there is a possibility of pregnancy.

Do Dogs Bleed After Getting Pregnant?

Bleeding is among the first signs of your pet’s estrous beginning, and during this period, it is fertile. After getting pregnant, your pet will bleed for the first ten days while experiencing other symptoms like swelling of the vulvar and emitting an enticing smell. Most females are not receptive to their male counterparts during this period, and conception can only occur from previous breeding sessions. The bleeding gradually stops in the second ten days, and the female becomes more friendly and receptive to the interested males.

Early Signs of a Pregnant Dog

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is an early sign that you can use to identify your dog is pregnant. Just like in humans, they tend to lose appetite and feel nauseated during the early stages of their pregnancy. You should not worry much as these signs are typical and will subside with time, and they will regain an enormous appetite to make up for the weight loss.


A pregnant dog may appear lazy and slightly sluggish, which is not a standard trait for dogs. The main reason for this behavior change is hormonal fluctuations caused by the pregnancy.

Increase in Weight

Another early sign you can use to identify your dog is pregnant is an increase in weight. You should expect your pet to increase in weight during the first month of pregnancy while its abdomen enlarges and feels firmer.

Nipple Changes

Nipple changes are also early signs of a pregnant dog, although it is not easy to identify them in all dogs. Their nipples will swell slightly, and only with keen observation will you get to notice the change. Try measuring its nipple size with tape or regularly taking pictures to compare sizes after suspecting your dog may be pregnant as a dedicated pet owner.

Can Dogs Get Pregnant After Bleeding?

Yes, your dog can get pregnant after bleeding. However, the window period after bleeding and before the estrous ends is relatively small, and pregnancy chances are not high. The bleeding becomes watery and eventually stops after nine days in heat; this period is when your pet is most fertile, and you should expect pregnancy. It is the proestrus stage and can last up to twenty days in most dogs. Every female dog owner should use this stage as a valuable indicator of peak fertility when evaluating their pet’s healthy life.

Do Dogs Breed After Bleeding?

Not all dogs are the same; most female dogs do not allow their male counterparts to mate after bleeding. The period when mating is at its peak is during the first seven days after the start of bleeding. Note that most bitches are already through with discharging the bloody content from their vulva after this period. Understanding your pet’s cycle lets you make informed decisions on whether to breed or pooch and the approaches to take.

Can Dogs Only Get Pregnant on Their Period?

It is true that dogs can only get pregnant on their period or immediately after their period. It is only when in heat that the female dog can successfully conceive and become pregnant. This theory makes it vital to understand your pet’s cycle, challenging since each animal features a unique pattern that ranges between six to eight months. They also differ in times of maturity and how long their cycles last; so, try and understand your dog’s cycle to keep track of its fertile days.

How to Tell Your Dog is in Heat

Since every dog is unique, there are different ways to tell if your dog is in heat. These signs are random; the symptoms you observe during the first estrus are not necessarily the same as you expect in consecutive cycles. Here are the signs that can prove effective in determining if your dog is in heat.

  • A swollen vulva
  • A bloody discharge from the vulva
  • It is receptive to its male counterparts and attracts them.
  • Excessive licking of its genital area
  • Frequent urination
  • Tail position change
  • A change in behavior; agitated, aggressive, and nervous

How Many Days After Bleeding Does a Dog Ovulate?

There are different stages in a dog’s estrus cycle, and each has its own unique characteristics. Ideally, your pet will start ovulating forty-eight hours after bleeding. LH triggers ovulation in mammals, and vets refer to it as Day 0. The optimum fertile period for most dogs is from the fourth to the sixth day post their LH surge, when dogs go through an extended maturation phase. To get a better understanding of a dog’s heat cycle, here are its four stages.

What are the Stages of a Dog’s Heat Cycle?


The first stage of a dog’s estrus cycle is when its body is preparing to mate and is known as the proestrus stage. During this stage, you will observe a swollen vulva, clingy behavior, excessive licking of its genitals, and aggression towards male counterparts.


The second stage of a dog’s heat cycle is the estrus, where your female dog becomes more receptive to the males and is ready for mating. Frequent urination is among the significant indicators of this stage as she tries to mark spots to attract its male counterparts and indicate its readiness to copulate. The vaginal discharge witnessed in the first stage will also slow and slightly change its bloody nature.


The diestrus stage occurs immediately after the in-heat stage and determines your pet’s body reaction after estrus. This stage determines whether your pet’s body will resume normal functioning or develop into a pregnancy. Physical indication of this stage includes the disappearing of the vaginal discharge from the vulva and resizing to average size.


Anestrus is the final stage of a dog’s estrus cycle. It is the inactive phase of the entire cycle, and all signs of sexual and hormonal behavior disappear.

Do Dogs Stop Bleeding If They Get Pregnant?

Yes, dogs stop bleeding after they get pregnant. In the first ten days of estrus, bleeding and swelling of the vulva are standard and attract other males with an enticing smell. During this time, the females are aggressive towards the males and chase them away until the second ten days. They then become more receptive to their male counterparts in the second ten days, when bleeding gradually stops.

How Long Does a Dog in Heat Bleed?

A dog in heat bleeds for around seven to ten days, almost half of the total cycle duration. You will observe that the bitches vulva is red and swollen with some blood-tinted discharge during this period. In general, smaller dogs bleed less compared to bigger prospects.

How Do You Stop Bleeding When a Dog is in Heat?

It would be best if you never tried to stop your dog from bleeding while in heat. It would help to be calm and gentle even if the female dog makes a mess; clean it up and ensure that her diet is ideal and she drinks plenty of water. You can always provide extra potty breaks to avoid mess, since you understand that she may need to relieve herself more frequently.




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