Do Dogs Get Cramps while in Heat?

The heat cycle of female dogs generates many questions for people, ranging from behavior to the physical aspects of this time.  One frequent question about menstruation in dogs is if they experience cramps while in heat. 

Unlike some women, most dogs do not show any signs of pain or discomfort while in heat, though there could be noticeable emotional changes. Some dogs in heat prefer to be left alone, whereas others would prefer more attention.

You might have the type of dog that suddenly becomes aggressive, or you may have a pet who wants some tender handling. Of course, dogs may experience upset stomachs during these periods. The important thing to remember is that every dog has its behavioral pattern when it comes to handling its heat cycle, so the best option is just to offer them the support and love and allow them to handle it naturally.

Let’s take a look at other behavioral patterns that may arise when your dog is in its heat cycle


There could be times when your dog may cry, moan, or whine. This is not a sign of pain or discomfort; it is simply an attention-seeking behavior. All your dog wants at that point is your attention, and the best way to get your attention is by alerting you that she is not feeling well and could use some tender love and care.

When the dogs get into the estrus period (when she is receptive to males) within their cycle, they tend to vocalize their feelings more. This is done in a bid to attract any male dog around.

The moaning, crying, and whining are used as a form of a mating call. Dogs only get involved in sexual activities when they wish to procreate, so the female always becomes vocal at her prime fertility period. This notifies any potential suitors of her willingness to mate.

If your dog seems to be a bit agitated during her heat period, it is quite normal. You could calm her down by indulging her a little.

Toys, special treats, and spending some extra time together can go a long way to keep her calm. You should know that the hormones in her system are wrecking a lot of havoc which could cause crankiness, discomfort, and fatigue.

Swollen Vulva

This swelling is not painful, and it typically develops a few days before the beginning of any discharge or bleeding.


This is the first noticeable sign of heat; there will be a bloody discharge from the dog's vulva. The consistency and color will vary across cycles. It could be clear or bloody, straw-colored, or brown. The discharge varies in amount and depends on the length of time of the cycle.

Mounting Behavior 

In this case, your dog will try to mount an object, your leg, or other dogs. When she is on her heat cycle, she will be tolerant when other dogs attempt to mount her. This behavior is certainly different from her usual behavior, but it is not unusual.

Licking Genital Area

Your dog will attempt the keep the vulva area clean by licking herself. Depending on the species of the dog, she may or may not do this successfully. In that case, doggy diapers would be a great investment to not only keep her clean but to prevent the soiling of bedding and furniture.

Frequent Urination

This is used as a way of marking or letting the male dogs know that she is in heat. If you notice that this might be a urinary problem, then you should take the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Caring for Dogs in Heat

Most species of dog experience heat twice a year, and each cycle lasts for about 21 days. During this period, your dog will bleed, and this will possibly stain your floor or furniture if precautions aren’t taken.

An excellent way to prevent this is to confine her to areas with floors made of linoleum, wood, or concrete because they are easy to clean. If you consider crating to be a better option, we advise that you keep her in a lively area of the house. In that way, she won’t feel isolated.

The better option would be to purchase doggie diapers. You can easily get them at pet stores and keep the discharge contained.

Some owners deem it necessary to tuck a human sanitary pad into the diapers to ensure there is optimum absorbency. It could also, to an extent, help you prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Ensure There Is Proper Grooming

You can keep her neat during this period by trimming the fur around her genitals. The dog’s discharge could be a bigger mess when some of it gets trapped in the fur, especially with long-haired breeds. Trimming the genital region will make her more comfortable and also ensure an easier cleaning process.

While dogs may not experience cramps during their heat cycle, it is still a time that takes a lot of energy out of the dog and the owner. Hopefully these tips can make it a little easier for both pet and owners.


Hello, I'm Shelly! I write about all things dogs. I'm a proud mother of 3. So I guess my official title is fulltime mother, part-time dog blogger. Look around and if you have any questions reach out to me