How often do unspayed dogs go into heat?
Unspayed female dogs usually go into heat (the time when they can get pregnant) at least once a year and often two to three times a year.
When she is in heat, she will actively seek male dogs with whom to mate, and will often wander off from the house or escape a fenced yard, putting her at risk of getting hit by a car, being taken by a stranger or getting into a fight. Often male dogs may also come to the female dog in heat, marking the yard, plants and trees in attempts to mark the territory
There are other good reasons for spaying, however. These include:
• Lifelong health benefits, decreasing risk of some cancers: Mammary cancer is most common malignant cancer in dogs and spaying significantly reduces that risk. According to Canine Cancer Awareness, unspayed female dogs are seven times more likely to develop mammary cancer than are spayed dogs. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) states breast cancer is deadly for dogs 50 percent of the time and 90 percent of the time for cats (2008). The ASPCA suggests spaying your pet before her first heat .
• Pyrometra prevention: Pyrometra is an infection of the uterus after a heat cycle. As a result of the high levels of hormones, the lining of the dog’s uterus thickens and fluid accumulates. Often, this fluid becomes infected and the uterus fills with pus. Without aggressive treatment, this infection can be fatal.
• Fight overpopulation: The Humane Society of the United States estimates that approximately four million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters every year in the United States. There simply are not enough homes for all of the puppies and kittens born. Spaying your dog prevents the birth of unwanted puppies who often end up dying in shelters.
• Stops the heat cycle: You just won’t have to deal with the wandering problem any longer!