If your pup is an unaltered female (meaning that she hasn’t been spayed), you will eventually have to deal with her first heat cycle.
Although the process doesn’t unfold exactly as it does in humans, it’ll essentially be like she’s having her period. Yup, your little girl is all grown up!
This can obviously cause a bit of a mess, but thankfully, there are products on the market that can help protect your home and prevent your dog from leaving a dark red trail everywhere she goes.
These products are typically called diapers, but we’ll be calling them period panties, as they’re pretty similar to the human version of these products.
We’ll recommend three of the best options available below, and then we’ll explain a few other things you may find helpful when dealing with your dog’s first period. We’ll even explain a neat DIY solution, in case your dog’s period starts before you receive your period panties in the mail.
There are lots of shoddy period panties out there that are basically a waste of money. When looking for the right period panties for your pup, you will want to make sure that they fit well and have a track record of not leaking.
Below we suggest 3 of the best period panties on the market today that fit these criteria. With our help, your main concern will be selecting the proper size and finding a pattern or color that suits your girl.
Weegreeco Washable Dog Diapers are high-quality garments that will help protect your home and belongings while your dog is in heat.
Features: Weegreeco Washable Dog Diapers feature a waterproof material on the outside, while the inside is made from the same wicking material often used in athletic jerseys. The combination of this wicking material and the sewn-in super-absorbent pad situated in the crotch area helps to prevent leaks and keep your dog clean and dry.
The Weegreeco Dog Diapers feature velcro strips to keep the diaper in place, and a small tail hole is provided to keep your dog comfortable. The Weegreeco dog period panties are sold in packs of three, and they are sold in four different versions: Bright Colors, Fancy Print, Inspiring Print, and Natural Colors.
Paw Legend Reusable Female Dog Diapers are designed to help prevent messes associated with urine, menstrual blood and other liquids your dog may release.
Features: Paw Legend Dog Diapers are comprised of three different layers: A waterproof outer layer, a permanent odor-absorbing layer, and an absorbent inner layer. A super-absorbent pad is also included with these period panties, sewn in between the layers.
Velcro straps are included to help keep the diaper in place, and a tail hole is provided to ensure a proper fit. Elastic bands are sewn into the leg and tail openings to help prevent leaks.
The Paw Legend canine diapers are sold in packs of three, and they come in three versions: Cheerful Colors, Black, and Adorable Colors.
Cos2be Washable Female Dog Diapers are designed to help prevent the messes associated with your dog’s heat cycle, but they’ll also work for incontinent dogs too.
Features: Cos2be Washable Female Dog Diapers feature a waterproof outer layer and a soft and absorbent inner layer. A pad is also sewn into the diaper to provide even more protection against leaks. A tail hole is provided to ensure a good fit, and the leg openings feature elastic bands to keep them tight.
These pup period panties are backed by the manufacturer’s 90-day, money-back guarantee. They are sold in packs of three and are available in three sizes. Each pack contains two solid color diapers and a single diaper with a bold, colorful print.
Most dogs have a six-month-long heat cycle, so they usually get a period twice a year, and it will last for a few weeks each time. However, just like human periods, the timing of a dog’s heat cycle can vary pretty considerably.
Some dogs may experience a heat cycle that lasts only four months or so, while others may only get one period per year. Typically, small breeds experience more rapid heat cycles, while large and giant breeds go longer between each cycle.
The timing of a dog’s first few heat cycles can be erratic, but they’ll usually become more regular with age. However, even the most regular dog in the world can experience an oddly timed heat cycle; this is rarely the type of phenomenon by which you could set your watch.
Dogs generally reach sexual maturity between 6 and 24 months of age, depending on the breed, health of the dog, and individual biological factors. Usually small and toy breeds enter their first heat cycle earlier than large and giant breeds do, but there are exceptions.
So, if you are looking at your unaltered young puppy, you’ll want to start planning to deal with her first period somewhere around the time she turns 5 months old. She may not have her first period for some time after this, but you don’t want to be caught empty-handed when she starts.
It is often tricky to determine when a dog’s period is about to start, particularly for young dogs who’ve yet to develop a consistent pattern. However, there are a few things you can watch for, which may tip you off that your dog’s period is about to happen.
Just be on the lookout for the following signs:
Finally, it is important to note that the color and consistency of the discharge produced during a dog’s heat cycle changes over time. For some dogs, the discharge can be remarkably clear at first, before changing into the typical red and opaque discharge most people expect.
So, if you notice any type of discharge it should signal you to monitor the situation carefully and make sure you have period panties standing by.
You’ll definitely want to acquire a set of period panties for your dog’s first heat cycle – there’s simply no other way to contain the mess that’s easy and effective. However, owners may be caught off guard by their dog’s first heat, which can lead to quite a predicament.
Fortunately, there is one DIY solution that can help a bit while you wait for your dog’s period panties to arrive. It isn’t an ideal solution, but it can be quite helpful for a day or two.
First, gather the necessary materials: one pair of men’s underpants (“tighty whities”) and a pad. You may also need a few 10- to 12-inch-long zip ties.
Next, stick the pad to the inside of the underpants. You’ll want to place it in the crotch area, but it may take a bit of trial and error to get the right placement.
Then, have your dog step into the underwear, but be sure that the underwear are on backwards. This way, you can thread your dog’s tail through the fly.
Wiggle the underpants around a bit to make sure that they’re fitting properly, and that the pad is appropriately located.
Lastly, if necessary, use the zip ties to keep the underwear snug and in place. You may need to experiment a bit to figure out the best place to use the zip ties, but one good method is to thread a zip tie through one of the legs, across your dog’s butt and out the other leg. Then connect and tighten down the zip tie (be sure to trim any excess).
Again, this will not be 100% effective, and it will surely become a pain to put this on and take it off several times a day. But, it will help contain most of the mess, and it will help you get through a day or two until you can get your hands on a real pair of period panties.
Have you ever had to deal with a menstruating dog? How did you go about containing the mess? Did you purchase period panties for your pup? How did they work out?
Let us know about your experiences (including any nifty DIY solutions you developed) in the comments below!
Last update on 2018-12-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Ben is a proud dog owner and lifelong environmental educator who writes about animals, outdoor recreation, science, and environmental issues. He lives with his beautiful wife and spoiled-rotten Rottweiler JB in Atlanta, Georgia. Read more by Ben at FootstepsInTheForest.com.