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Boxer Dog Heat Cycle


If you have a female Boxer dog, you will want to understand all that you can regarding Boxer heat information. Smaller breeds such as the Pomeranian, Shih Tzu, Chihuahua and others may enter and leave a cycle without an owner even noticing. 

However, with a larger breed such as the Boxer, symptoms and care are much different.

The heat cycle is the phase that female canines enter when their bodies are ready to reproduce. Menstruation will occur (a discharge of blood due to the lining of the uterus shredding off).

Here, we'll go over common questions. 
Alert Boxer dog

What are the Symptoms?

When your Boxer is in heat, the main symptom will be an enlarged vulva. Sometimes it will turn a dark red. As with most medium and large sized breeds, blood will be noticeable. Puppies can wear "doggie diapers" to keep things clean. 

Adult dogs can have a towel put down in the areas that they are prone to rest and sleep. Unless you are seriously thinking of breeding your Boxer (something that should be only done by professionals), your Boxer should be spayed by the time she is an adult; therefore stopping the heat cycle. 

At What Age Does a Boxer Enter Heat?

Some owners may be surprised to know that a female Boxer can enter heat relatively early.  Boxer dogs typically enter the first heat between the ages of 6 months old and 1 year old. However, some may have it as early as 4 months or as late as 15 months old.  If your un-spayed female does not have her first heat by the age of 2 years old, you'll want to alert the veterinarian.  

Since the heat cycle will occur when a Boxer is still a puppy, this means that he is able to become pregnant at that young age.  This is just another reason to consider having her fixed. 

How Long Does Heat Last For?

The cycle itself will last anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks. This will happen about 2 times a year. Each dog is different. However, each dog's body generally will follow a pattern. 

Once your dog has gone through 3 cycles, you should be able to predict how long it lasts for her and how often. Dogs can enter heat for their entire lives; unlike humans it does not always stop as they grow older. 

Allowing a senior dog to go through the physical stress of heat is neglectful. A female Boxer should be spayed as soon as possible. The majority of veterinarians recommend this even before the first cycle comes. This will keep your Boxer healthy and increase her life span.

Can a Boxer Become Pregnant When She is Not in Heat?

The answer is no, but beware. An owner may think that their dog's heat cycle is over, when in fact it is not! If male dogs are taking great notice of her and/or she is overly attentive to males, she most likely is still in her cycle.

Is There Anything I Should Do During This Time?

Yes. Some female dogs will experience pain. When a dog is in pain, they will most often want a quiet place to retreat to in order to rest peacefully. It is best to have a dog bed set up in a quiet area of your home. You can line it with a towel. 

When you take your Boxer outside, keep a close eye out for other dogs. Males dogs, of any breed (even a Chihuahua!) will know that your Boxer is in heat. They will sense this 2 ways: From her smell, up to 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) away. They will also pick up on her scent from any current urine in the yard which will have traces of her blood. 

Especially for Boxer puppies, it is recommended to limit outside activities during this time. This is prevent any confrontations from un-neutered male dogs.
female Boxer dog resting on pillow
It is not unusual for a female to want to rest a bit more or show nesting behavior during her heat cycle.

Should I Spay?

Un-spayed female dogs have increased odds of developing ovarian and mammary cancer. Spaying her will also stop her heat cycle and take away this twice a year issue. Spaying her will also stop the chance of unplanned puppies. 

Since a Boxer will have heat from when she is a puppy to possibly when she is a senior dog, spaying is the responsible action to take for the health of your Boxer. The procedure should be done by an experienced veterinarian. Your Boxer will be sedated and recovery will take a week or so.
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