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Beagle Heat


Having a female Beagle will mean having to understand all about the heat cycle unless you have her spayed before she enters puberty. There are many myths about heat, spaying and all that is involved. If you are thinking about bringing a female Beagle into your family or you currently have a female dog, let's take a look at heat issues including the age Beagle heat begins and all related information.

What Heat Is

Heat is a stage in a female canine's reproductive cycle and is the canine equivalent to a female human's menstruation. This is also referred to as being in season and the medical terminology is the estrus cycle. 

The first heat marks the stage of the dog entering into puberty. It is during this time that a dog is fertile; eggs drop and she is able to become pregnant.
female Beagle 15 months old
Honey, 15 month old female
Photo courtesy of owner: Danielle Williams
On average, your Beagle will have her first cycle when she is about 6 months old. However, this does vary with each dog. Some enter heat as early as 4 months and some enter as late as 15 months.
It seems too early in the eyes of so many owners, however it can start this young and owners must be aware of what will happen and how to keep their dog safe.

Note: If your Beagle is over 15 months old and has not had her first heat cycle, she should have a full and complete veterinarian checkup.

The Signs a Beagle is in Heat

You will notice:
  • Her vulva will become swollen - this may be minor to moderate. It is suggested to take note of how this area looks when the dog is not in heat so that you will know when this begins to swell.
  • There will be discharge. The color will range from a light pink to a dark red and change color over the course of the heat cycle due to blood mixing with other fluids. The amount will also vary depending on the particular dog. Medium sized breeds such as the Beagle will usually have enough to notice.  While there may not be a constant flow, the discharge will accumulate onto bedding, flooring and other surfaces over the course of these couple of weeks. For this reason many owners choose to use a "doggie diaper" on their female during this time for hygiene reasons and placing a canine panty over that is often done as well.
  • Male dogs may seem overly interested in her. You may notice that stray male dogs actually come over to roam in front of your home. This is because un-neutered male dogs will be able to detect that your Beagle is in heat from as much as 3 miles away. For this reason, it is very important to not allow your dog outside by herself during this time. 
  • During a smaller window of time during the cycle, the female will be receptive to males and express this by raising her tail to them (known as flagging).
  • There can be some mood changes. Some females may seem to be a bit clingier during this time and others may retreat more often.
Beagle 4 month old girl
Snoopy Girl, 4 months old
Photo courtesy of owner: Lori


Many owners wonder if a dog feels pain during heat. Studies suggest that due to the female dog's behavior, she is very aware of her cycle and may feel cramping and discomfort as the uterus contracts. 

Many female dogs may show nesting behavior and she may wish to rest more often than normal and avoid normal exercise which lends to the theory that canines do indeed have some abdominal pain during this time.

Note: Never medicate your dog during this time, simply allow her to rest when she wishes and provide a soft, warm spot for her to do so. Some dogs do find that a warmed heating pad on the belly feels good as it can relax the abdominal muscles.

How Long Heat Lasts

Most heat cycles will last between 2 and 3 weeks.  Beagles have heat cycles every 5 to 7 months, so this averages out to twice per year. Unless and until a female is spayed, she can continue to have this for the rest of her life.  Unlike humans, there is no menopausal phase as dogs mature into seniors.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to have a female spayed as early as possible. If you will not be breeding your dog, studies show that spaying even before the first heat eliminates the risk of developing ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the risks of infection and mammary cancer. Spaying, even if you wait until your dog is older, will give her a longer & healthier life.

Skipped and Silent Heats

Once in a while a dog can enter into season without showing any of the typical signs. This is known as silent heat. This is different than a skipped heat, in which the dog's cycle does not occur at all. If a Beagle has very light discharge some owners may mistake that for a silent or skipped heat. However, in either case this is due to abnormal fluctuations with hormones and should be pointed out to the veterinarian if it happens more than once.

Keeping Your Female Safe

Your un-spayed female Beagle will be the "chase" of every un-neutered male dog within a 3 mile radius. Un-neutered male dogs of any breed will pick up her scent from this distance. Each time that a female in heat urinates, some blood is deposited along with that, which leaves a strong scent in the yard.

It is highly suggested to always accompany her outside during this time, only go outside for elimination reasons and to keep her on a short, 6 foot leash.

When you are getting ready to bring her out, open the door slowly and have a good look around before you allow her out with you. 
older female Beagle dog
Daphne Olivia Gwenivere, 11 years old
Photo courtesy of Gloria Alkins 
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