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Puppy First Season: What to Do



Puppy First Season: What to do






I first saw Juno in a photograph.


A former work colleague’s Springer Spaniel had given birth to nine Sprocker puppies and I had asked if I could have one.


I decided I wanted a black pup, preferably female. My luck was in. I spotted a black puppy dog in the photograph. The bad news. It was male.


Then I saw the female brown one and instantly fell in love.


Juno was always the loner of the litter. She would spend time apart from her siblings only seeming to bond with one of her litter mates - the sole black pup.


Her mum was uninterested in her, standing up in mid-feed whereby Juno would drop off onto the floor only to be stomped on by mum.


After bringing her home Juno transformed into a happy puppy with me as her enthusiastic doggy mamma.


What I had not given any thought to was what would happen when she came into season for the first time.


Vets for Pets advises allowing your pet to experience her first season and then be spayed around three to four months afterwards to prevent unwanted pups.


The first time I realised that Juno was in season was when she sat on my knee as she loves to do and when she got up there was a patch of blood.


Dogs can be in season for up to three weeks and females will come into season around twice a year.


At first, there seemed little change apart from a few spots of blood which was quickly contained by placing towels on carpets.


But there are a few other considerations female dog owners should consider.



  • Take her for walks at quieter times of day to avoid unwanted attention

  • Keep her on a lead

  • Avoid potentially stressful situations

  • Keep her happy and distracted by playing games

  • Avoid leaving her alone in the garden in case male dogs get in.


Juno seemed under the weather about a week later, developed conjunctivitis, and needed to have her anal glands squeezed. Such ailments are common in dogs in season I was told.


After her return from the vet, we were both amazed when she lifted up her leg to clean herself and her female parts had swelled up. She was very shocked and kept looking at me as if to say ‘What’s going on mum’.


The Kennel Club says that signs of your dog being in season include:

  • Their vulva (the outer parts of their genitals) become swollen and red a few days before they begin to bleed.

  • A vaginal discharge that starts off bloody but may become watery and more pinkish as it progresses.

  • Cleaning their genitals more than usual by licking them

  • Weeing more often

Female dogs in heat may:

  • Be more friendly to other dogs, particularly males

  • Go out of their way to look for potential mates.

  • Mount other dogs, pets, furniture, toys or you

  • Be anxious, clingy, fidgety or nervous

  • Nest or gather toys where she sleeps

  • Off her food

  • Be defensive of other dogs going near her rear end

I however noticed none of these symptoms with Juno.

Vets advise that female dogs are spayed around three to four months after the first season.

This is because females can be at risk of a condition called pyometra, a life-threatening infection of the womb.

They can also experience false pregnancy - where they swell up and guard toys in their basket - sometimes becoming aggressive.

There are also more than enough unwanted puppies and dogs in rescues.

The good news is that female dogs cannot get pregnant when they are not in season.



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