When Do Pitbulls Go Into Heat? How Long Does a Pitbull Stay in Heat?

🔄 Updated on November 17th, 2022

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My first Pitbull started acting “off” when she was about six months old. I thought something might be wrong with her and was about to call the vet. Then I asked myself, “when do Pitbulls go into heat?” 

The vet confirmed that my dog was probably going into heat. Understanding my dog’s heat cycle saved me a lot of worries. 

Every time her behavior started to change, I could look at the calendar and tell if it was an impending heat or whether something else might be wrong.

When Do Pitbulls Go Into Heat?

Pitbulls go into heat for the first time when they’re about six months old. The time can vary a little from dog to dog, but most will have their first heat at about this age.

Some dogs might have their first heat when they’re only four months old, but larger breeds tend to have it at six months or later. 

How Often Do Pitbulls Go Into Heat?

After your dog’s first heat, it will usually have another heat cycle every six months. The average time between heats can vary, but this is the average. 

Small breeds sometimes have up to four heats a year, but Pitbulls, being larger dogs, have heats every six months to one year.

How Long Does a Pitbull Stay in Heat?

All dogs typically stay in heat from two to four weeks on average. They’re most fertile about a week and a half after the heat starts for four or five days. 

The rest of the time, they still display heat symptoms and can get pregnant, but pregnancy is easier during the most fertile part of the heat.

When Do Pitbulls Get Their Period?

How can I tell if my Pit bull is going into heat? You can look for the telltale signs since a Pitbull displays several symptoms before her heat cycle. 

Female Pitbull in Heat Symptoms

The Pitbull heat cycle has four general stages with different symptoms. 

The most notable symptoms during your Pitbull’s heat will be menstrual blood, changes in appetite, and changing levels of interest in other dogs, especially males.

A female Pitbull in heat will go through these four stages

Proestrus

This first stage of the Pitbull heat cycle can last from a few days to nearly three weeks, depending on the dog. You’ll notice that the dog’s vulva is swollen or puffy, and menstrual blood will be visible. Your dog may lick excessively. 

I use doggie diapers during this stage to keep the carpet and furniture from getting blood-stained. 

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Your dog might also shy away from other dogs for a while. The dog’s appetite might decrease. Your Pitbull might also tuck its tail between its legs. 

Estrus

This heat stage can last up to two weeks and is part of the Pitbull’s heat cycle in which the dog can get pregnant. The menstrual flow will lighten up and look less red. Your dog’s appetite might also increase, and it will show an interest in male dogs.

Your Pitbull might try to mount and hump other dogs and behave aggressively with female dogs.

Diestrus

This third stage sees the end of the menstrual flow and less interest in male dogs. The dog’s behavior and appetite should start to get back to normal.

Anestrus

This stage is the end of the heat cycle and the period of months until the next one.

How Do I Care For My Pitbull During Heat?

Offer your dog some extra time and lots of cuddles because it might not feel the greatest during the heat. Some dogs get extra needy and want more of your attention during this time.

Make sure your pet eats and drinks enough, and take it outside frequently because dogs in heat typically need potty breaks more often.

Is There a Way To Prevent My Dog From Going Into Heat?

You can prevent your dog from going into heat by getting her spayed before her first heat. Vets can spay dogs after they’re eight weeks old. Puppies recover very quickly from getting fixed, so having it done before a heat cycle is the best option.

You should still spay dogs with one or more heat cycles behind them to prevent pregnancy, but it’s easier for them to recover from the surgery when they’re puppies.

FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Pitbull heat cycle.

When will my Pitbull go into her first heat? 

Your Pitbull should have her first heat around six months of age. If your dog hasn’t had its first heat by the time it’s eight or nine months old, let your vet know. Fortunately, a late first heat is usually nothing to worry about, especially in larger breeds like Pitbulls.

How often is my Pitbull going to go into heat? 

If your dog had her first heat when she was about six months old, you could expect her heat cycle about every six months. If your dog’s heat came late, it could have more than six months between heat and might stretch to nearly a year between them. 

How long is my Pitbull going to stay in heat?

How long are Pitbulls in heat? The average time is two to four weeks. After your dog’s first couple of heat cycles, you’ll get a better idea of how long your dog’s cycles typically last. 

When should I spay my Pitbull?

Ideally, you should spay your Pitbull after she’s eight weeks old and before her first heat. If your dog has had one or more cycles, spaying is still a safe and simple procedure to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Final Thoughts

So, when do Pitbulls go into heat? You can expect your dog to experience her first heat cycle when she is about six months old.

I hope that understanding your Pitbull’s heat cycle saves you the stress of worrying about whether something might be wrong with your dog. Now that you know what to expect, you can prepare for it and make the whole process more pleasant for your dog and you. 

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Sarah Alward | Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Sarah Alward | Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Our resident DVM helps review every article to ensure we always provide scientifically accurate, up-to-date information. She’s proud to help provide pet parents everywhere with the info they need to keep their pets safe, healthy, and comfortable.