Being in heat, for one dog can be a rather challenging period. Your St Bernard will go through multiple physical and behavioral changes so it will be good for you to know what to expect and how to provide the best care for your dog during her season.
The things you should do during your dog’s period :
- Provide extra attention
- Never walk her off-leash
- Keep a close eye on your Saint gril, don’t let her go outside alone
- Keep any male dogs away from her
- Don’t go to dog parks, shows
- Try to mask her scent
- Provide GPS tracker
- Offer her more appealing food
- Let her rest more, don’t insist on usual exercises, give her more space
Provide Extra Attention For Your St Bernard While In Heat
Although being in heat doesn’t mean your dog is ill nor requires some therapy or treatment, still she might need extra attention from your side. Due to numerous hormonal changes, your Saint will start acting differently.
Dogs in heat tend to become clingy, to crave more love and attention so you should set aside extra time for extra cuddles. This is characteristic of the first phase of the heat cycle ( Proestrus ).
Can I Walk My St Bernard While In Heat?
Yes, you should walk normally your St Bernard girl even when she is in her season. Although everyday outside activity is recommended, you should follow certain rules and take some precautions to avoid any unpleasant situation.
First of all, you should never walk your dog off-leash. No matter how well trained you think your Saint is, obedience training and your rules cannot compete with the natural instinct and hormones. Don’t push your luck, always keep your dog on a leash when you are outside.
Avoid Dog Parks, Dog Shows and Other Group Events
Dog parks, dog shows, or any other event where you can find a lot of dogs in one place are high-risk locations for your St Bernard in heat.
It’s even recommended to walk your dog in less sociable hours, very early in the morning or late at night, use less crowded areas to reduce the chance of meeting other dogs.
Keep Male Dogs Away From Your St Bernard Female
This is very basic but very important. You must not allow your St Bernard to come into contact with any male dog. Don’t just rely on your fence, make sure you keep her away from your neighbor’s dog, don’t let any of your friends come to your home with a male dog while your dog is in her season.
Stray dogs are especially dangerous, so you really need to be careful. They can be especially annoying when you take a walk with your dog since they don’t have an owner who will pull them back.
Did you know that males can smell the female in the heat in 5 miles radius? So never leave your Saint girl outside unattended.
If you have several dogs in your household and one or more of them are males, you definitely need to separate them from the female in heat.
You should ask the vet for advice on where to accommodate her or contact your breeder. In some cases, breeders are willing to take the dog for a couple of days till the heat cycle is finished, for some fee of course.
Another alternative could be a local pet/dog facility that can welcome your male dog and keep him safe and entertained until your St Bernard girl heat is over.
Try To Mask The Scent Of Your St Bernard In Heat
Logically, the scent attracts all male dogs in the vicinity to come and mate with your Saint girl. So if you mask or reduce the scent you are going to make your dog free of prospective mating buddies.
Even if it sounds simple, it’s not. First of all, you cannot make that scent disappear but you can make it less noticeable.
When you are indoor, try to keep all windows closed so the smell cannot attract stray dogs to come and hang around your house.
You can also use scented sprays and essential oils specially designed for female dogs in heat. Menthol scented sprays are very popular but you can find a variety of different scents on the market ( lavender, clove, eucalyptus, wintergreen)
Dogs dislike the menthol smell very much so this should keep them away from your female.
Another way to keep males from your Bernie girl is to trick them. Put her in the car and drive to the place where the two of you are going to walk.
After the walk, put her in the car again and drive to your home. This way, the dogs that you met during the walk won’t be able to track your dog’s scent back to your home.
Get GPS Tracker
GPS tracker can be a good investment since your dog in heat can have a strong urge to run away and find some male to mate. If this happens, with a GPS tracker you will be able to find her quickly.
Also bear in mind that ID tag and microchip information should be up to date, especially if you don’t have a GPS tracker.
Never Leave Your St Bernard Outside Alone During Heat Cycle
You might think that your spacious backyard with a good fence is a safe place for your St Bernard in heat. Instead of going for walk with her, you may consider leaving her to play in the yard as a better idea.
Well, it’s not! Never ever leave a dog in heat outside without supervision. You wouldn’t believe how creative and aggressive males can be when they smell a female in heat. Your solid fence won’t be an obstacle for them. Another thing is that your dog also has a strong urge to vanish and find some mating mates ( especially during the Estrus phase).
How To Distract My St Bernard Dog in Heat?
Since her mind is occupied with only one thought and that is to mate, you should try to distract your dog a little bit.
Besides cuddling sessions, you should offer her some brain games, interesting interactive, food releasing toys like Kong or puzzles. Chewing toys are also a hit, as gnawing can help her relax a little bit and focus on something else.
When she comes to you as she wants cuddles and extra attention from your side, massage her belly and legs, she will enjoy it!
Allow Your St Bernard to Rest More While in Heat
Some Saints in heat feel a lack of energy and like to rest more than usual. Don’t insist on regular physical activity and let your dog nap whenever she feels like it. Make sure she has a nice and calm spot where she can snuggle and rest.
On the other hand, your St Bernard girl can become aggressive during her heat. Although these dogs are rather docile and gentle, hormonal changes will make them act differently.
It would be good to give your St Bernard girl more space, to move her away from other dogs and even small children ( although these dogs are great with children on normal occasions).
No matter how calm your St Bernard girl is, during the heat period can become pretty anxious and nervous.
My St Bernard Dog Won’t Eat While In Heat, What To Do?
It’s very common for dogs in heat to have a poor appetite. This is simple to explain – your dog cannot think about food since she has more important things to do. She is obsessed with potential breeding and food is not high on her priority list.
Saints are very large dogs so losing a few pounds during the season won’t hurt them much. This period doesn’t last for a long time anyway ( approximately 10 days )
Allow yourself to spoil your Saint a little bit. Offer her favorite treats more than usual. You can put some tasty topping to enrich her food flavor. Offer her baby food ( without any garlic or onion) to make her meals more appealing.
Feed her with tastier cuts of meat, delicious fats like coconut or fish oil, and some nice fruits like banana, blueberry, or strawberry. If you soak dry kibble in lukewarm water, you might prepare a very tasty and different meal your dog will love.
You can practice hand-feeding because many dogs in heat become fussy eaters.
Should I Bathe My St Bernard Dog While In Heat
There is no reason to skip bathing your dog because she is in heat. You should make an extra effort when it comes to your dog’s hygiene and wipe her private parts at least once or even twice daily during the first two phases of her heat cycle. This way you will keep her clean and reduce the odor she emits.
If you would like to learn more about St Bernard dog heat cycle do read our article ”St Bernard Dog Heat Cycle ( First heat, Frequency, and Symptoms) ”