Intact female Labradoodles will go into heat two times a year ( although once per year is also possible). The heat cycle approximately lasts 2-3 weeks during which your Labradoodle needs special care.
Since attention-seeking behavior is totally normal for Labradoodles in heat, do provide additional care and time for your dog during the heat cycle. Due to hormonal changes, her behavior might be slightly changed so you have to be full of understanding ( she might start peeing inside or become moody). Take your dog for a walk but note that your Labradoodle may suffer from a lack of energy. Keep your dog away from male dogs, especially during walks. Offer her tastier cuts of meat or her favorite food since she may suffer from appetite loss.
If you want to get more details and tips about taking care of your Labradoodle during the heat cycle keep reading this article.
How Do I Comfort (Care) My Labradoodle While in Heat?
Being in heat, for every intact Labradoodle is a quite special experience. Your Labradoodle will feel much different than usual due to hormonal level changes.
During her heat cycle, your pooch may become clingy, needy, and quite snuggly but also nervous sometimes. Take a little more time than usual to cuddle her. She really needs that.
Don’t be surprised if your, until recently sweet and calm Labradoodle shows a bit of a defensive attitude or gets easily agitated by the actions of other people and dogs.
Distract her by providing some new toys
During her second phase called Estrus, she will have only one thought on her mind- to mate! In order to distract her and make her focus on something else, a new, interesting toy or some chew-resistant toy would be perfect.
Labradoodles in heat get tired faster than usual. Provide a safe and calm zone, where she can rest as much as she wants.
During the first stage of the heat cycle, called Proestrus, your Labradoodle girl will have vaginal bloody discharge.
Dogs usually lick themselves intensively during the heat cycle so most probably you won’t find any mess on your floor( although this depends on the amount of blood and some dogs bleed more than others so this is really individual) but still, if you do, don’t yell at her, don’t scold her, just comfort her gently while you clean the mess.
How To Walk My Labradoodle While In Heat?
There is a misconception that we shouldn’t walk female dogs while in heat. On contrary, dogs in heat do require some physical activity. Your Labradoodle may not have as much energy as usual but still, she needs to go out.
Labradoodles in heat tend to urinate more frequently and that’s normal. This is her way to leave a scent message to every available male. So you might be forced to take your dog out even more often. Accidents in this period are also normal, don’t scold your pup if she starts peeing on your house floor.
When you walk your Labradoodle while in heat, you need to take precautions to avoid any unpleasant situations like unwanted litter.
First, make sure that the ID tag and microchip information are up to date. Dogs in heat usually have a strong urge to escape so they can find a mate so this way you will find your Labradoodle easier if she runs away.
Another thing, you can invest in is a GPS tracker for even better results.
Another thing- never leave your Labradoodle alone outside. She has to be under constant supervision. No matter if you have a big yard with a tall/strong fence. You won’t believe what males are capable of when they smell the female in heat.
It’s recommended to walk your Labradoodle in less popular hours – either very early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce the possibility of meeting other dogs.
Dog parks, dog shows, or public events where you think other dogs will show up are big NO-NO for your Labradoodle in heat. Pick some isolated place/park/path for a walk where you won’t be meeting other dogs.
It’s a good idea to mask the scent of your female in heat. Some dog owners apply a tiny amount of Vicks VapoRub cream on the tip of her tail and that should keep the males away from her.
Dogs hate menthol scent but you should be careful and do not let her lick the area you applied the cream as this product contains menthol and camphor among others and these are toxic to dogs.
Giving your dog Chlorophyll tablets may also reduce the odor but you should consult the vet about the exact dosage. Never give any medicine to your dog before consulting the vet!
You should also prevent male dogs to track her scent all the way from the park or some other spot to your home.
Males can detect the scent of a female in heat up to 3 miles. So they know that there is some female in heat even if they don’t see her.
They can track her smell all the way to your home and then hang around trying to get to her. This is a possibly dangerous situation that should be prevented.
If you take a car ride from your home to the place where you will walk with your Labradoodle and then ride back home, males will have no chance to track your girl.
Always keep your Labradoodle in heat on a leash while outside. No matter how trained she is, how obedient she is, her natural instincts would win in this situation, so keep her tight and never let any intact male come near her.
How To Keep My Labradoodle Clean While In Heat?
The general rule of thumb for Labradoodle is one bath in a month unless your dog gets really dirty so you are forced to bathe her. Labradoodle’s coat has the ability to repel dirt so that’s why there is no need for frequent bathing. Frequent bathing may harm this quality in their coat so eventually, you will have to bathe your Labradoodle more often.
Like we said in the beginning, the heat period is a bit different than anything else so different rules apply when it comes to hygiene as well.
Even though Labradoodle dogs like other breeds keep really good care about their intimate area, and lick themselves more than usual, they might need your help in order to keep a good level of cleanliness.
During the first phase – Proestrus ( around 7 days ) of the heat cycle, you might be able to see the bloody discharge. The amount of discharge varies from dog to dog but still, it can make a mess.
So some extra baths or only spot cleaning will make no harm to your Labradoodle skin and fur. If you don’t feel the need to bathe your dog you can only wipe her intimate area on daily basis ( use a clean washcloth and always keep a spray bottle of water on hand). This will keep her clean and will reduce the scent.
Many Labradoodle owners use either disposable or washable diapers for dogs in heat. This can prevent a mess but never consider these items as contraception for dogs ( as some owners do) as males will easily find the way even if a female wears diapers or heat pants. Also according to many Labradoodles owners’ testimony, some dogs are not willing to wear these diapers while some of them are pretty ok with wearing protection.
You can also place disposable absorbent pads on the place where your pet sleeps. You can also use washable pee pads. But be aware of the fact that your Labradoodle may catch a urinary or vaginal infection if has a diaper on for too long (she pees while having diapers on and the plastic lining keeps it moist, a perfect area for bacteria growth)
What To Do If My Labradoodle In Heat Won’t Eat?
Appetite changes ( the majority will have decreased appetite while the minority might experience an increased desire for food) are totally normal for Labradoodle in heat – especially for the second phase ( Estrus). Your Labradoodle has only one job to do and that is to find a mate and breed. Nothing else matters, not even the food.
Luckily the appetite loss during heat doesn’t last long enough to harm your dog but still, you have to do your best so your Labradoodle gets all nutrients she needs.
No matter how well she usually eats, during those days she may become a picky eater. That means that she likes one food today but totally dislikes it tomorrow. As a good dog parent, you have to cope with it.
- Offer her favorite food more often than you usually do.
- Bribe her with some tasty treats.
- Give her tastier cuts of meat.
- Put some delicious topping over her regular food. That can be a healthy and tasty fish or coconut oil or even peanut butter. You can always purchase ready- to use toppers or cook a delicious unsalted chicken broth and soak her kibbles in it. It will give a different texture and improve its dry food taste.
- Treat her with some tasty fruits like blueberries, strawberries, or bananas.
- Try with meat-based baby food ( without onion or garlic)
- Always make sure your Labradoodle drinks enough water to keep her hydrated.
- If she refuses to eat, try hand-feeding, in some cases, it helps since she needs more of your attention and affection.
Your Labradoodle won’t be so interested in food during the first and second phase of her heat cycle ( around 2 weeks ) If her appetite doesn’t recover after the heat cycle symptoms are over, you should consult the vet.
Your Labradoodle will go into heat every 6 months and will stay in heat for approximately 2-3 weeks, and during that period she will require special care and attention.
The most important thing you need to do is to give her more cuddles and more of your time if she asks for them.
Another equally important thing is to keep her away from an intact male. This means that you should seal up your house, don’t let any intact male come in, always supervise your girl while outside, walk her on a leash and never let her go near males.
I really do hope that you find this article helpful and that you will find some tips on how to handle and take care properly of your Labradoodle female in heat.