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How often do dogs come in heat per year?
An_220741 posted:
I have a 16 month old golden retriever she has been in heat twice how many times per year should this happen?
Bonnie Beaver, BS, DVM, MS responded:
For all the "rules" that we commonly give, owners will find that there are a lot of exceptions. Generally dogs will come into heat twice a year (approximately every 6 months). There are, however some that come in once a year, and some three times. We will also commonly see that the first heat is an incomplete one and the dog returns to a full heat about 1 month later. We will also have a few dogs that go through a "silent heat" which means she the ovaries are cycling, but there are few if any external signs.

For a 16 month large breed dog, having had two heats would probably be about what is expected.

I would also mention that unless you are planning on breeding your dog, I would strongly encourage you to consider spaying her, for her good health. Intact female dogs are more susceptable to the life-threatening infection of the uterus called pyometra; mammary cancer, unintended pregnancies, and false pregnancies. Be sure an ask your veterinarian what s/he would recommend for the dog's best health.


Bernadine D. Cruz, DVM, is an associate veterinarian at Laguna Hills Animal Hospital, Laguna Hills, Calif. She specializes in companion animal medicin...More

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