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When Does a Pitbull Go into Heat? Vet-Verified Facts & FAQ

Written by: Hanh Duong

Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

black pitbull lying

When Does a Pitbull Go into Heat? Vet-Verified Facts & FAQ


Dr. Karyn Kanowski Photo


Dr. Karyn Kanowski

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Female Pitbulls typically have their first heat cycle between the ages of 6 and 12 months, more commonly after 8 months. Like the majority of canines, they experience estrus cycles every 6 months, but this may vary according to their age and general health.

Read on below to find out more about the heat cycles of Pitbulls.

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How Do I Know If My Pit Is in Heat?

The signals of estrus, both behavioral and physical, are usually fairly obvious. Overall, you may find your beloved pet urinating more than usual, and there may also be discharge with some blood and swelling of the vulva.

She will be open to male dogs and may even start things off by “flagging,” which is when a female deflects her tail to one side and lifts her rear in their direction. A female Pitbull may actively court males in the middle of the cycle and may do so until it is over.

female pitbull puppy
Image Credit: J.A. Dunbar, Shutterstock

Do Female Pitbulls Get Aggressive When in Heat?

A common issue is that female dogs exhibit aggressive behaviors when they are in heat. Even if a Pitbull has never been aggressive before, drastic hormonal changes might have a negative effect on her temperament and make her more likely to act aggressively. These hormonal fluctuations result in irritability, so take the necessary precautions if your dog becomes too hard to handle while in heat.

In this period, identify the factors that cause hostility and attempt to steer her away from them. If she is hostile toward other canines, keep her separate from these animals. Note that females who haven’t been spayed might occasionally battle one another to get a male dog’s attention.

How to Help During Your Pitbull’s Heat Cycle

You must be prepared if your female Pitbull is not spayed and going through a heat cycle to avoid unwanted pregnancies, aggressive behavior, or attempted escapes.

The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that if a female canine in heat comes into contact with an unneutered male dog, she could become pregnant. So how do you assist your animal while she’s in heat?

Follow these suggestions:
  • In order to keep her safe from other dogs, ensure she is confined in a house or secure enclosure. Even contact with neutered or spayed dogs can lead to hormone-related hostility. But interaction with unneutered males will likely lead to pregnancy.
  • Her bed, water bowl, and food bowl should all be in her own place.
  • This is the right time to breed her if that’s what you plan to do, but you need to discuss the ideal breeding procedures with your vet. It is advisable to wait until the third estrus if you plan to mate your female Pitbull.
  • Wait a month following the end of your Pitbull’s heat cycle before planning to spay her.
  • Allow your dog to approach you if she wants to interact with you more; if not, give her room.

Your dog’s heat cycle can be easily managed with the proper care. But if you notice that their cycle is irregular, there is chronic discharge or bleeding, or they start acting abnormally, you should schedule a consultation with your vet.

Dog Heat Cycle
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Pyometra – What Is It and What To Look Out For

Pyometra is an infection of the uterus (womb) that usually occurs 2-4 weeks after a season. It can make your dog very sick, and in some cases, even be fatal. When in season, the cervix is open, which can allow infection to enter the uterus. There are two types of pyometra: open and closed.

Open pyometra is the most common and is also more easily diagnosed, due to the presence of pus coming from the vagina. Other signs include lethargy, inappetence, drinking and urinating more, and licking their back ends excessively. Dogs with an open pyometra tend to appear brighter than those with a closed pyometra.

A closed pyometra, as the name suggests, occurs when infection sets up in the uterus but the cervix has closed, trapping the infection inside. This can lead to a buildup of pus inside the uterus, which can rupture internally. The clinical signs of a closed pyometra are similar to an open pyometra but without the discharge. These dogs also tend to be more lethargic and appear quite unwell.

If your dog shows any signs of vaginal discharge, changes in eating or drinking, or illness in the weeks following her season, contact your vet immediately. In the majority of cases, ovariohysterectomy surgery (spay) will be curative.

pitbull inside crate
Image By: sophiecat, Shutterstock



Female Pitbulls will go into heat if they are not spayed, and their first heat cycle will be between the ages of 6 and 12 months, and twice a year thereafter. Keeping your Pitbull safe and comfortable during the heat cycle is possible if you know when they are going into heat and what to do. The best way to prevent them from getting into trouble during a heat cycle is to keep them away from other dogs and monitor their health and behavior. Make sure to take the time to understand your Pitbull’s unique needs and provide her with the care she needs.

Featured Image Credit: Alessandra Sawick, Shutterstock

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