Do Dogs Get Period Cramps?

Many owners of female dogs may want to get an answer about if their dog gets period cramps.

The answer is: yes!

Because the female dog heat cycle is similar to a woman’s menstrual cycle in many ways, it is reasonable to assume that your dog is uncomfortable and may even experience cramping and mild pain during her heat cycle.

During their cycle, female dogs can experience various other symptoms, some of which are more severe than others.

Female dogs entering heat for the first time can perplex their owners.

As you know now the answer to the question “do dogs get period cramps”, let’s dive deeper into the topic of female dog periods, such as what period cramps are and how to manage them, with the goal to take good care of your furry friend!

A Dog’s Period

dog looking sad

Your female dog will experience her first menstrual cycle or estrous cycle at the age of six months.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Estrus is a state of readiness for mating in mammals other than higher primates.

Your dog’s estrous cycle typically happens twice a year in non-primate animals, with certain exceptions for tiny and large breeds—the female releases particular pheromones at this time to entice the male.

Heat Cycle In Dogs

dog under blanket

It is divided into four stages:

  • Proestrus

  • Estrus

  • Diestrus

  • Anestrus

Proestrus Stage

This early stage of a dog’s cycle typically lasts between three and seventeen days.

The period typically lasts nine days in dogs.

One of the most common indications of this stage is vulva enlargement and bloody vaginal discharge in most dogs.

Other signs include a personality change, tail tucking, and altered appetite (the dog may feel hungrier).

Estrus Stage

The dog is fertile at this point (actual heat).

Female Dog ovaries release the fertilized eggs.

The dog tends to breed according to her innate inclinations and is open to mating calls.

Lightened discharge, softening of the vulva, and flirtation are typical signs of this stage (inviting male dogs towards her rear end).

Diestrus Stage

The heat cycles conclude or end at this point.

The dog won’t be fertile anymore. It may persist for 60 to 90 days.

The stage will endure from the end of estrus until the puppies are born if the dog becomes pregnant (around 60 days).

The gradual reduction of vulva swelling and a decrease in flirtatious behavior are typical symptoms of this period.

Anestrus Stage

The last stage of a dog’s heat cycle is often known as the resting stage.

The female dog loses interest in or stops being open to mating with males.

It typically lasts between 100 and 150 days, after which the entire cycle restarts.

Do Male Dogs Get Period?

dog lying on floor

Do male dogs get a period?

In short: No. 

The estrous cycle, also known as “heat,” refers to the phase of the female dog’s reproductive cycle during which she is most open to mating with males.

Male dogs do not go into heat, and once they become fertile at around six months of age, they can mate all year round, according to the American Kennel Club.

Is My Dog In Heat?

brown dog sad

Several physical and behavioral changes can occur while your dog is having a period or in heat.

Physical changes like bloody discharge and an extended back when you push on her lower back indicate that your female is ready to start looking for a mate.

Behavioral changes go hand in hand with body changes.

Your pet will start to release pheromones and court every male she encounters.

She might grow noisier, become more active, urinates more frequently, and let dogs smell and lick her.

How can you tell if your female dog is in discomfort or uncomfortable now that you’ve determined she’s ready to get pregnant?

How Do Dogs Feel During Their Period?

angry pug

Even though we humans can’t read a dog’s thoughts, many experts agree that dogs can experience many of the same symptoms as people regarding their monthly cycle.

No one wants to make their dogs feel such pain.

Humans experience periods when their uterine lining on uterus walls is shedding; the resulting contractions will be painful and crampy.

On the other hand, dogs are beginning their productive cycle, not finishing it.

Therefore the period cramps are not brought on by shedding.

Since this frequently occurs around the start of a menstrual cycle, most people concur that an increase in hormones brings on the cramping.

Your pet might experience a variety of negative emotions as a result of this hormone surge.

A female dog’s first cycle could depend on the dog’s body.

You can anticipate that many dogs will also feel compelled to locate a partner.

She will feel anxious to leave the house and find a guy because her entire heat cycle indicates that she is eager to mate.

Dog Menstruation Symptoms

dog lying on side

You may identify whether or not your dog is menstruating in several ways.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Bloody discharge

  • Dragging her stomach around on the floor

  • Raising her hind end toward dogs

  • Moaning or crying

  • Wandering around aimlessly

  • Trying to escape

She is in her heat cycle, and her body and hormones urge her to find a mate.

These are all indicators of this.

When she finishes her cycle in 20 to 30 days, this will all go away.

Do Dogs Feel Bad During The Heat Cycle?

dog bored

Dogs may experience cramping during their heat cycle.

Like humans, all dogs may not experience the same symptoms, and some cycles may be more difficult than others.

It won’t be every month like it is with humans, which is one benefit of only going into heat approximately twice a year.

Many people find it difficult to observe their dogs during the heat.

Although it is distressing to witness female dogs howling in pain, it is also annoying since they will discharge and need to wear garments to protect furniture.

Additionally, they’ll be pretty eager to leave the house in search of a suitable partner because this is what their bodies are telling them to do.

You might think about having her spayed if you discover the heat cycle.

Her reproductive organs will be removed during surgery and completely halt her heat cycle.

A spay operation also has a lot of advantages in terms of health.

Do Female Dogs Feel Pain During Their Period?

Yes, female dogs feel pain during this period.

Pain varies from relatively mild to more severe.  

A female dog may seem more clinging and attentive toward her owner occasionally, or she may act a little touchy.

Changes in appetite: During the first week, it’s common for a pet to become a little less hungry or to go off her food slightly.

How Can I Help My Dog With Menstrual Cramps?

dog under blanket looking

If the heat cycle seems to go on forever (and it can sometimes), then being dog lovers, you need to find a solution.

Some things you can do include:

  • Stay calm and controlled

  • Give her love and affection

  • Give her some pain medication

How To Relieve Dog Period Cramps

It would help if you took extra precautions to ensure your dog feels secure and comfortable to assist her in passing her periods without any problems.

Here are a few tips you might use:

Aromatherapy Massages

Massages incorporating essential oils and aromatherapy are excellent for improving blood flow and twitching muscles.

Additionally, they reduce stress and improve sleep quality, essential for reducing period pain.

Hot Or Cold Pack

The pet may feel more at ease and experience period cramps alleviation by placing a heat or cold pack on the painful or stomach area.

Off-The-Shelf Pain Relievers

If you believe your pet is in pain, you may consider using over-the-counter pain relievers—always use them with your veterinarian’s guidance and clearance.

Make sure everything is done right because painkillers can lead to various health problems in dogs.

Favorite Treats

Another best way to make your pet feel better is to give her a few extra treats, which are favorites.

Some dogs may skip meals when they are menstruating.

So make sure they are eating wholesome, superior meals.


CBD oil is recently recommended for dogs as a pain reliever.

If you notice that your dog is in discomfort during her period, you can also give it a try.

Before administering CBD oil to your dog, as with any other drug, you must talk with your veterinarian.

What Do You Do When Your Dog Gets Her Period?

Handling the issue when a dog gets her period is common, particularly among new dog owners.

Your girl may find getting her period for the first time confusing, so it’s essential to know how to support her.

Here are a few things that you can do:

Give Her Love

dog and hand heart

During their periods, some dogs may feel more snuggly than usual.

Consider lavishing her extra attention and love if yours falls into this category.

Allow her to cuddle freely with you and even sleep on your bed if possible.

Consider putting her in a diaper or surgical suit if you are concerned about her leaving discharge on you or your blanket.

And don’t chastise her if she makes a mess.

Instead, reassure her and avoid expressing your displeasure.

Stay Calm And Controlled

When our pets are screaming and crying for days or weeks on end, we all feel annoyed.

However, it would help if you stayed calm and controlled. 

The pet is not grumpy or depressed; this is an uncontrollable trait.

A female dog merely reacts to her body pain and hormonal changes.

Strike A Balance Between Rest And Play

Neither you nor your pet wants to play or exercise when you or your dog are in pain or get period cramps.

Therefore, make an effort to balance recreation and rest. Let her lead you in terms of her activities.

Avoid Off-Leash Walks

First, it is not a good idea to take your pet on a walk during her period since she will easily attract male attention quickly, and you know what that means—puppies in around three months.

Even if you believe she is well-trained, keep her on a leash if you must leave the house.

Instincts are stronger than any amount of obedience training.

Get Her Female Diapers

As mentioned above, purchasing female dog diapers for your pet is highly advised if you don’t want her poop on the floor and your furniture.

There are now reusable options for dog lovers concerned about their budget or the environment.

Give Her Some Pain Medication

We understand that being in heat isn’t a big deal, but talking to your local veterinarian about any unusual symptoms.

Managing things may go a long way in preparing you for the unexpected.

Speaking with your vet is even more critical because indications could point to severe conditions.

What Can I Give My Dog For Period Cramps?

dog taking pill

You can do two things if you want to give your pet something to ease her cramping pain.

Traditional pain relievers can be prescribed by your vet and picked up from the drugstore.

These include CBD oil and conventional painkillers. Some may even suggest using an over-the-counter painkiller in tiny doses.

Make sure you always heed your vet’s approval.

Painkiller side effects can be pretty harmful to your health.

Dogs are frequently given CBD oil as a calming agent and to treat various illnesses.

Most people discover that this is all they need for their dogs because most mares merely owe to the hyperactivity of their heat cycle.

Again, a vet can advise on type and dose.

How To Tell My Dog Is In Pain?

In some cases, the whining can mean that she is in pain.

That is a good indicator if she is whining after her heat cycle has stopped.

If this behavior happens at any other time of the year, you are correct in assuming it’s from pain!

As far as when she is in heat, however, common indicators of pain include:

  • Sudden lack of interest in cuddling

  • Lack of hunger

  • Aggressiveness and irritability

  • Lack of interest in being anywhere near anyone

These are all hard enough to deal with in humans, but they can be even worse with our dogs because we often feel powerless to help them.

However, we’ve got more on that a bit later to help you do what you can. 

When Should I Get Veterinary Advice?

dog at vet

It’s simple to believe that your dog’s behavioral and physical changes are all due to her period.

That may be the case, but it’s still a good idea to speak with a vet if it’s happening for the first time.

Your vet may confirm your dog’s period, or they may identify an issue that requires attention.

If the vet does discover that your dog is menstruating, they may also recommend some medicine to lessen your pet’s discomfort.

Before You Go…

Now you know the answer to the question, “Do dogs get period cramps?'”.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Dimitra Kokologianni, DVM
Dimitra holds a Masters’s degree in public health and a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. She is a versatile professional with over 7 years of experience. Her passion for animal welfare and preventive medicine makes her an excellent resource for our readers.