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When Does a Pomeranian Go Into Heat? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Written by: Brooke Billingsley

Last Updated on April 6, 2024 by Dogster Team

When Does a Pomeranian Go Into Heat? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Having an intact female dog takes a lot of planning and care to prevent accidental pregnancy. Even if you are planning to breed your Pomeranian,  it’s also important that you aim to not allow her to become pregnant within her first heat cycle.

Dogs reach sexual maturity at a much faster rate than their bodies fully develop physically, so many dogs, especially small and toy breed dogs, end up having high-risk pregnancies if they get pregnant in their first heat cycle due to their small size and immature body. The typical recommendation is to keep your female from having any pregnancies until at least 18 months of age.

To prevent your Pom from becoming pregnant in her first heat cycle, which can be as young as 5 months old, and to take the best care of her at this time, you first need to fully understand when you can expect her to go into heat and what the signs are.

When Do Pomeranians Go Into Heat?

While your female Pomeranian can go into heat as young as 5 months of age, the most common range for a first heat cycle is 6 to 9 months of age. You may see some physical changes in your Pomeranian shortly before she enters her first heat cycle, including enlarged or swollen teats, darkening of the teats and abdominal tissue, and a swollen vulva, which is the external part of your female dog’s reproductive organs.

These symptoms may appear as soon as 1 week prior to her heat cycle beginning, but there is a possibility that you will overlook these symptoms or she won’t show any symptoms at all.

Once your Pomeranian has started her heat cycle, you can expect her to go into heat every 5 to 8 months until she is spayed. However, some female dogs may not develop a regular heat cycle until up to 2 years of age, so make sure to keep a close eye out for symptoms of heat in your Pomeranian on a regular basis.

Her heat cycle will last, on average, about 3 weeks, but anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks is considered normal.

red pomeranian on a white coat
Image By: Tvm1980, Shutterstock

Signs of a Heat Cycle

To know if your Pomeranian has gone into heat, there are some signs you can look for. The most obvious sign is that your dog may develop vaginal bleeding, but this isn’t something that is guaranteed to occur in a noticeable amount. If it is occurring, you can put doggy diapers on your female to keep things neat and tidy in your home, but under no circumstances should you expect a doggy diaper to keep your female from becoming impregnated.

Other signs of heat in female dogs are a notably swollen vulva, up to three times its normal size, and swollen and noticeable teats. Behaviorally, you may notice your Pomeranian humping objects and other animals or people, grooming herself more than normal, isolating herself or resting more, and nesting behaviors.

Nesting behaviors can include creating a “nest” in blankets and bedding, as well as hiding toys, food, and comfort objects in the nest. She also may become less tolerant of other animals, especially females, or more receptive to the advances of male dogs.

Does a Heat Cycle Cause Pain?

Unfortunately, science has not been able to definitely determine if female dogs experience pain during their heat cycle in the way that women experience pain during their menstrual period. The bleeding during a dog’s heat cycle is caused by the lining of the uterus shedding to become receptive to egg implantation. In order to create this shedding and expel the shed tissue, the uterus contracts.

In women, these contractions are responsible for a significant amount of pain and discomfort during the period, so it’s safe to assume that your female dog may have at least some discomfort during her heat cycle.

It isn’t believed that dogs feel the same level of pain that human women do during their cycle, so if your dog seems to be experiencing significant pain, she needs to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. Abdominal pain may be shown through back arching, whining, hiding, lack of appetite, low energy levels, and tenderness when touched.

Incredibly beautiful red-haired Pomeranian in the park
Image By: Oksamutnaya, Shutterstock

The Threat of Pyometra

Pyometra is a dangerous uterine infection that can occur in intact female dogs that have experienced a heat cycle. Pyometra can occur at almost any age, but the more heat cycles your dog has, the higher her risk of developing a pyometra.

During your Pomeranian’s heat cycle, you can expect her discharge to appear pale pink in the beginning. This discharge will change to a darker red color, and then back to a lighter color.

Due to hormonal changes during the heat cycle, female dogs are at an increased risk of developing pyometra around 4-8 weeks after the heat cycle ends. Discharge that is milky or green, discharge with a foul odor, vomiting, lethargy, lack of appetite, frequent urination, fever, and an increase in water consumption can all indicate that your dog has a pyometra.

Contact your vet if you notice any unusual discharge or signs. Pyometra is an emergency that is often only able to be treated through a spay surgery.

If you are not planning to breed from your Pomeranian then the best way to prevent a pyometra is by spaying her. Speak to your veterinarian about the ideal time to do this.

Summary

Pomeranians typically don’t enter their first heat cycle until 6 to 9 months of age, but anywhere between 5 to 12 months is possible. It may take a few heat cycles for your dog to develop a regular, predictable cycle, but you can expect your Pomeranian to go into heat two or three times every year. The heat cycle can last between 2 and 4 weeks, and pyometra is a risk, especially as your Pomeranian gets older.


Featured Image Credit: Pearl Lynn, Unsplash

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