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Do Dogs Get Period Cramps? How to Help Your Dog Through Her Heat

do dogs get cramps

If you’re wondering, “do dogs get period cramps” then we have a lot to unpack about the dog heat cycle. Period pains are the bane of many’s existence, so, naturally, we should be concerned about it with our dogs.

Female dog heats undergo several stages, including the proestrus stage, where they have the most discharge, and the estrus, when they are the most fertile.

Just like humans, dogs feel various physical and emotional changes during this time, so we must keep them comfortable with a calming dog bed and home remedies for pain relief. But let’s have a closer look at what our dogs go through.

Dog Period Cramps Symptoms

We, humans, can’t know for sure if a dog is experiencing cramping because we can’t read a dog’s mind. But we can look for symptoms that may indicate that your dog is experiencing period cramps, similar to our menstrual symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include:

1. Lethargy

Lethargy is one of the most apparent symptoms of illness in your dog. If your dog experiences cramping during her period, she may become listless and exhausted. This occurs due to stress placed on the digestive system and the spine. Additionally, if your dog’s cramping causes pain, she may move more slowly than usual or limp when she walks.

Lethargy can last for several days after cramping has subsided, so it’s essential to give your dog plenty of rest and quiet until she feels better. Use a calming bed for dogs to help keep her comfortable while she sleeps.

2. Decreased Appetite

If your dog suddenly stops eating or eats less than usual, this could be another sign that she’s experiencing period cramps. When dogs have their periods, they often exhibit decreased appetite. Dogs eating less is often a sign of pain and discomfort.

If your dog is usually a picky eater and you notice she isn’t interested in her food, she may be going through a phase. However, if you’ve noticed a change in your dog’s appetite that hasn’t improved after a few days or weeks, it could be a sign of something more serious.

3. Bloated Belly

If your dog has a bloating belly, then it might have a period cramp. A bloated belly can be caused by increased fluid retention in the body, which often happens during her period. Bloating can make your dog uncomfortable and may cause them to pant more than usual because of increased pressure on their lungs from all that extra fluid around them.

4. Shaking

If your dog is shaking, it’s often because they are experiencing pain or discomfort. This can happen at any point during the cramp cycle but most commonly occurs when the cramp begins. The shaking may be mild or severe, depending on the intensity of the cramp and how long it lasts.

However, period cramps aren’t always the reason for shaking. It’s important to know that some dogs may shake because they’re cold, because they’re scared, or because they have anxiety.

For example, if you’re wondering why do Chihuahuas shake? It’s important to check for other symptoms before assuming they have period cramps.

5. Excessive Panting and Breathing Fast

During their menstruation, have you ever noticed your puppy breathing fast? If your puppy is panting excessively during her period, it is likely because she is feeling anxious about the changes in hormones that are happening to her body.

Additionally, when your dog is experiencing pain and discomfort in their abdomen and cannot express it any other way, they may begin panting from stress. The best way to help your puppy through this time is to provide a calm and peaceful environment while she is menstruating.

How Long Do Dog Periods Last?

On average, a dog’s period can last between 2-4 weeks. You can estimate the length of your dog’s period by looking at the color and texture of the discharge. If it’s thick or brownish-red, it could indicate that she has an infection. She may go through a regular cycle if it’s bright red, pink, or light brown.

Most female dogs go into heat two times per year or once every six months. But you can read more about this in our article about many litters can a dog have?

Knowing how long your dog’s period will last is important. It helps you understand your dog and know if something might be wrong with them.

What Do You Do When Your Dog Gets Her Period?

A dog’s first heat will start sometime between 6 months and a year. With giant dogs and wolf crosses sometimes taking longer.

It’s important to remember that menstruation in dogs is completely normal and nothing to be alarmed about. You can do a few things when you realize your dog has gotten her period to make sure she is both comfortable and healthy.

  1. Be aware of the cycle so you know when she gets her period and how often it happens.
  2. Monitor her health by checking in on your dog regularly to see how she’s feeling and if there is anything that might be bothering her.
  3. Be prepared for when your dog does go into heat by keeping a close eye on her health and knowing what symptoms may appear so that you can act quickly if any arise.
  4. Keep your pet as comfortable as possible at this time by making sure you have everything you need on hand.
  5. You’ll want to make sure that your pet feels as comfortable as possible throughout this time by providing a safe place.
  6. Considering spaying your dog as soon as possible, as it breeding dogs takes experience and money if one wants to be a responsible and ethical breeder.

How to Relieve Dog Period Cramps

Dog period cramps can be painful and uncomfortable, but there are several things you can do to make your dog feel better.

  1. Keep your dog hydrated

    Dogs can get overheated and dehydrated, so make sure they have plenty of fresh water. Contact your vet if you’re worried about your dog getting sick from dehydration.

  2. Massages

    Massage is a great way to relieve pain and stress in dogs. It can also help improve circulation and keep muscles loose, which helps reduce cramping. Just make sure to use a gentle touch so as not to cause further injury.

  3. Heating pad

    A heating pad or hot water bottle can provide comfort for your dog if she has period cramps. It will take the chill off her body temperature and help relax her muscles. Just be careful not to let the heat get too high, as it could lead to burns or scalding injuries.

  4. Lots of attention and affection

    Many dogs can show behavioral changes at this time, with many becoming extra clingy and needy. Make sure you give them extra love at this time.

  5. Keep her away from other dogs

    Dogs in estrus can be either intimidated by other dogs badgering them at this time, or they may grow irritable and snappy. Making sure she has her own space will help prevent fighting.

Home Remedies for dog cramps

  • If your dog is experiencing period cramps, there are some natural remedies you can try.
  • Comfrey is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help reduce the pain of menstrual cramps. It has also been used to heal wounds and infections.
  • Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and potent antioxidant that can help reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling in dogs. It’s also thought to prevent blood clots from forming during menstruation.
  • Licorice Root helps improve liver function while reducing inflammation caused by menstrual cramps. This herb has also been shown to have anti-allergenic effects on dogs suffering from allergies or asthma symptoms during their periods.
  • Turmeric contains curcuminoids that have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and pain in dogs suffering from period cramps.

Pain Medication

If your dog is experiencing period pain, you may be tempted to give them some medication. You can give your dog NSAIDs, but you must be cautious. Consult with a vet if you want to give your dog pain medication for period cramps. Many medications for humans are toxic to dogs.

The vet will be able to give you the right dose of the appropriate medication for your dog’s specific needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do dogs get period poops?

Dogs can have period poops because of the hormones released during their menstrual cycle. They may also experience abdominal pain and discomfort during their periods, which can cause them to tummy upsets. Additionally, hormones can cause a buildup of fluid in the abdomen, which may accompany constipation or diarrhea.

Do dogs get period cravings?

Dogs get period cravings, and it’s common for them to eat more food during their periods. This is because of the hormonal fluctuations that come with having your period. Your dog’s body is undergoing many changes, and she needs more food to compensate for it, especially for nutrients like iron.

Do dogs get period symptoms?

Dogs can get period symptoms. Not all dogs show the same signs, but many will experience a behavior change and some visible changes that are easy to spot. The most obvious symptom is increased urination and decreased appetite. Bloody vaginal discharge and swollen mammary glands are also symptoms.

Final Thoughts

Dogs experience discomfort and pain when they’re in heat. The best way to handle this situation is to monitor your dog for any signs of abnormal behavior and to give her the care she needs. It’s important to get your dog checked out quickly if you notice she’s acting more listless than usual. You can ask them if she’s having cramps and get advice on how to help her if she is.


Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.

Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

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