Understanding your chihuahua’s season

We all know chihuahuas make the best pets, they are fiercely loyal, loving, happy and downright wonderful. While we know our chihuahuas inside out, when it comes to your chihuahua’s season or is ‘on heat.’ things can change. Understanding your chihuahua’s season can be a minefield, but here are some pointers to keep in mind.

Like female humans, female dogs react to the hormones released during this time, and it can affect your chihuahua in many ways. 

Be aware of changes

Whatever your chihuahua’s normal temperament, this can dramatically change when she is in season. While some owners don’t see any changes, mood swings happen. No two dogs are the same, so it’s impossible to know how your chi will handle the situation but expect to see differences from their normal behaviour.

No better than she should be!

Be prepared for you angel chihuahua to behave like a trollop, she is hardwired to mate so attracting the attention of male dogs is her primary goal. There are two ‘complete’ pugs in our street and Minnie spends a lot of time peeing by their house leaving them messages. 

She will know a complete dog when she smells one and will be very flirty, she may bend her tail out of the way as a signal to the dog she is ready and happy to be mated.

How her cycle works.

1. Proestrus

Getting ready for mating, but not fertile yet. You will start to see the changes in her vulva. Last about 9 days but this can vary. But she will not allow a dog to mate her.

2. Estrus

Oestrus is next, also lasting around 9 days. Now she can get pregnant and bleeding will be more visible. She will be flirty and more likely to run off to find a mate.

3. Diestrus

This third stage is the period following mating, it commonly lasts 63 days if your Chihuahua becomes pregnant and 60 to 90 days if not. If she is not pregnant this is where the risk of Pyometra, basically a womb infection, comes in because of the long exposure to progesterone hormone. Be extra vigilant to any discharge from her vulva, swollen abdomen and general signs of being unwell. If you suspect Pyometra take her to the vets. She may need antibiotics or in extreme cases surgery.  

4. Anestrus

This is the last stage and lasts about 90 days, and is the recovery stage before the process start again. If you were having her spayed this would be the time to do it.

If your dog has never had a season before it can be alarming when you see how much her girly-bits swell up and protrude. Because of this it might be best to avoid taking her to the groomers, it’s unpleasant for the groomer, will drive all the male dogs nuts and you could aggravate a sensitive area with chemicals.

She needs the doggy equivalent of Bridget Jones and ice cream.

It is common for chihuahua in season to become quiet, subdued, lethargic and lifeless. Alternatively, you may see your pup becoming more anxious, tense, hyperactive and jumpier. Minnie has been very barky. Constantly barking into the garden. The best way to look after your chi is to give them a safe and quiet haven where they can retreat.

It is important to give your chihuahua space during this time so that they can handle their mood by themselves. Create a big bed full of soft comforts where they can get away from people and busy environments, let them sleep all day or whatever they need to do. Peace and quiet is a great thing and can really show your chi you care.

Accidents happen

Some chis will bleed a lot when they are in season, with some you may just notice minor spotting. To protect your home, it may be wise to restrict the rooms your chi can visit and remember to have dog-friendly floor cleaner on hand at all times. Although Minnie kept herself very clean she did bleed at night so you might need to rethink sleeping on the bed unless she will wear a nappy.

Toilet training out the window!

During the season, it may seem like your pooch has completely forgotten all her toilet training. This is fairly common, and accidents do happen. Be prepared for mishaps and don’t be alarmed for unusual toilet problems. In fact, diarrhea is fairly common in dogs in season, prepare your home and make sure that you keep an eye out for accidents, so they don’t ruin your furnishings.


If your chihuahua seems well enough for walking, there is no reason to shut them indoors for the whole three weeks. It is wise to take your pup out at very quiet times or quiet places so you little chi does not get ambushed by excited male dogs. I walk ours everyday, at the times Minnie is in season I keep her on the lead if their are other dogs about.

You want to protect your chihuahua and it is important to show consideration for other dogs, it is only natural that complete dogs will be interested, that’s the whole point, so you can’t blame other owners if their dogs get excited. So make sure you only take her out in public when it is safe to do so.

Be prepared

Female chihuahuas need extra special attention when they come into season, but unfortunately, there is no way to tell when the heat cycle will start or how your dog will react. The best thing to do is give comfort and security while offering space if they become cranky and irritable.

Most importantly, it is absolutely your responsibility to prevent unwanted pregnancies by keeping her away from any males that may be sniffing her out nearby.

You also might like to read: We need to talk about spaying and Is spaying the right thing to do?