Basenji in Heat Cycle (Signs, Frequency, Care)

For Female Basenji dog owners, it is important to get to know more about the heat cycle so you can understand and care for your dog properly when the cycle occurs.

Female Basenji goes into heat once a year. The heat cycle lasts for 3 weeks and in this period there are numerous signs and changes.

Swollen vulva and bloody discharge are the first signs. Mammary glands are enlarged as well. Another sign you can notice is a change in behavior. Basenji in heat are prone to sleep more than usual, loss in appetite, excessive licking (themselves), demanding more of your attention or even the opposite total solitude, hiding and avoiding contact during this period.

What Are The Signs That Basenji Is In Heat?

  1. Swollen vulva ( the vulva might swell up to three times its normal size)
  1. Nipples are clearly visible and appear darker in color
  1. Vaginal discharge. The color of discharge changes from pale pink, to deep red and lightens again.
  1. Longer sleep and naps are common when Basenji is in heat
  1. Loss in apettite is also one of the signs.
  1. Intensive licking ( self- grooming)
  1. Craving for attention and you company
  1. Nesting behavior, starts collecting toys and food and placing them in some protected area. You should allow ger to this.

When Does Basenji Go Into First Heat?

A general rule of thumb for the first heat is 6-9 months of age. There are some cases when the first heat happens when a puppy is just 5 months old, but it is not common.

In some rare cases, the first heat may happen later, when your Basenji is 12-15 months old but these cases are pretty exceptional.

In case your Basenji is experiencing her first heat first signs are easy to miss.These signs can occur even one day prior to the breeding cycle and they are :

  • swollen vulva
  • enlarged nipples that appear darker in color.

How Long Does My Pomeranian Stay In Heat?

On average heat cycle usually lasts for 18-21 days. But note that this is average length and heat cycles may vary ( 2-4 weeks)

How Often Do Basenji Go Into Heat?

Basenji dogs come into heat once a year and this is specific for this race compared to other dogs that experience heat cycle 2 or even in some cases 3 times per year.

Dogs are born with all eggs they will ever have. Over the years, those eggs will start to lose their effectiveness and die off.

What Is Split Basenji Heat?

Split heat is a false heat and it happens to younger or older dogs. Your Basenji may have the heat signs but these can last only for 4-5 days and then stop. You Basenji should go into real heat 3-4 weeks after the false one.

Believe it or not, your dog may get pregnant during the false heat. Good thing is that split heat shouldn’t be happening more than once or twice in a lifetime.

If case this problem is chronic and repeating, ask your vet for help. He might decide to run some tests in order to rule out Hypothyroidism or some other condition.

What If I Notice Lumps on my Basenji During or After the Heat Cycle ?

The lumps on your dog’s nipples or around them may occur at any time but there are more obvious during or right after the heat cycle.

The lumps may indicate the presence of mammary gland hyperplasia. (Mammary gland hyperplasia is a benign overgrowth of mammary epithelial cells).

There is also a possibility that lumps in that area can indicate a more severe condition such as breast cancer which is malignant. To be sure if the lumps are malignant or not is to get them removed by operation and examined.

Lumps on Basenji should always be checked because according to statistics 50% of tumors in dogs are diagnosed as malignant.

In case of heavy vaginal bleeding additional attention is required and in If bleeding lasts for more than 40 days, you should visit the vet immediately

Do Basenji Have Menopause?

Basenji ( dogs in general ) don’t have menopause-like humans. Actually, girl dogs stay fertile for their whole life unless they are spayed.

In older dogs, the heat cycle may last shorter or even longer than normal. Pause between 2 cycles get longer as yor pet ages. Fertility in Basenji decreases as your pet gets older.

Should I Spay My Basenji?

The majority of veterinarians agree that you should spay your girl dog except if you plan to breed her. Yes, most of the vets agree that you should get your Pom spayed unless you want to use her for breeding. According to specialists, spaying should be done before going into the first heat cycle.

In case you missed the right moment for spying you have to wait at least 6 weeks after the last day of Basenji’s heat cycle before you take her for the procedure.

There is a lot of dispute among dog owners about dog spying, but there are several scientifically proven benefits of it.

For example, spaying procedures may significantly reduce the possibility of your Basenji getting ovarian or breast cancer. By doing the procedure on time you are decreasing the chances of your Basenji developing cancer.

Do Male Basenji Go Into Heat?

When it comes to male Basenji average person will notice that they are in heat all the time but they are just reacting to girl dogs in heat and that is not the same.

When male Basenji becomes sexually mature his sex drive is present all year round

The moment the male Basenji senses the female in heat, his behavior will change. The male Basenji will become agitated, in some cases even aggressive in the effort to get to the female.

It’s just biology, he needs to do fulfill his natural drive to impregnate the female.

So if you just focus on the sex drive it will seem as male Basenji is in the heat but they are just responding to the scent of the female dogs. The moment the female in heat is not in the vicinity your dog will go back its normal behavior

If it was a real male heat they would not be able to back to normal behavior that easy and quick.

In case you realize that some girl dog in the neighborhood is in heat do your best to keep your male dog inside as much as you can.

When you spend time in a dog park your dog can come across a female dog in heat, so if he starts sniffing and show special interest in a female that is in heat you should take him out of the park to avoid an unpleasant situation

Your dog is able to detect the female smell from far away so to avoid that owners are known to mask that smell with natural products, for example, mint oil putting it on door frames or windows.

There are numerous ways to cover the smell but take caution and avoid using strong chemicals and do not put any of it on your dog because it can harm your pet.

How To Take Care Of My Basenji In Heat?

Caring for Basenji in the heat cycle is an important topic so we wrote an article focusing on that topic and if you are interested follow this link ”How To Take Care of my Basenji in Heat” and here are the top things you should know.

  • Provide your Basenji Extra Attention because in this condition dogs crave for human attention
  • Provide your Basenji safe and peacefull corner in case she needs some alone time
  • Use Doggy Diapers for hygene reasons and to avoid licking
  • Keep your Basenji Away from other dogs esspecially males
  • Distraction with toys (or other ways) is helpfull during this hormonal change
  • Visit a vet , becuse you will find the best answers and advices for your dog in heat


Your Basenji may go into heat at 5-6 months of age. It can also happen later. Basenji go into the heat usually once a year. The heat cycle lasts for 3 weeks but anything between 2 and 4 weeks is considered normal.

Unless you have decided to breed her, get her spayed before she hit the first heat cycle. If you want to breed her, it’s recommended to let the first heat cycles pass and then to breed her.

The Basenji in heat may require extra attention from your side. Try to be as kind and loving as you can be. Avoid harsh tones and yelling at her.

She may eat far less than usual, make sure she gets all nutrients she needs. Try to keep her distracted with a new toy or game.

Heat cycles repeat in dogs during their whole life. In older dogs, the pause between heat cycles may be longer as the fertility starts to decrease as your Basenji is getting older.

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