How Long Does a Chihuahua Stay in Heat?

Is your Chihuahua in heat? Wondering how long it’ll stay that way? In this article, I’ll help answer that question.

A Chihuahua stays in heat for about 21 days or three weeks, on average. While all dogs go in heat, owners of Chihuahuas encounter extra challenges when their dogs go in heat. Chihuahuas obsess over cleanliness and will lick away proof of being in heat.

Below, I’ll talk more about a Chihuahua’s heat cycle. I’ll discuss what it means if a Chihuahua is in heat, the signs, how often it goes in heat, and the stages of its cycle. My goal is to help you understand everything about a Chihuahua’s heat cycle.

What It Means for a Chihuahua to Be in Heat

A Chihuahua in heat (an average active heat cycle of 21 days) means its vulva will swell and release a pink or red bloody discharge because it’s fertile. During this period, its hormone (estrogen) levels start to go up, down, and normalize.

You should know not all Chihuahuas can show signs of going in heat. Typically, the only ones who can do so are dogs that haven’t undergone ovariohysterectomy, a surgical procedure that involves the removal of a dog’s ovaries and uterus. The common name for this surgery is spaying.

To put it simply, a Chihuahua in heat means it can become pregnant and reproduce. If you want to breed Chihuahuas, a time to find a suitable mate — an intact male dog — for it and have it ready for reproduction is during this 21-day period.

What Are the Signs a Chihuahua Is in Heat?

An obvious sign a Chihuahua is in heat is the blood on its vulva. The tricky part? It’s difficult to detect because Chihuahuas are small dogs. Because of their size, it’s possible to overlook a bloody discharge. Unless you look closely at their bodies, you won’t know the truth.

It doesn’t help that Chihuahuas are obsessively clean. Chances are, before you can see a hint of these dogs being in heat, the tangible proof — a bloody discharge — already disappeared. You’re too late because they finished licking it away.

Therefore, you shouldn’t use the blood on its vulva (and/or droplets of blood on the floor) as the only basis. To be fair, Chihuahuas aren’t cleaning up their bloody mess to deceive you on purpose. They’re doing it because it’s in their nature to keep everything clean.

Instead of holding it against your Chihuahua for not showing the obvious sign it’s in heat, be vigilant. Are male dogs giving it more attention than usual? If so, your dog may be in heat and you should watch out for the signs.

Below are some common signs that a Chihuahua is in heat:

  • Pinkish discharge or reddish droplets
  • Dark pink or red discharge
  • Inflamed or swollen vulva
  • Inflamed or swollen nipples
  • Tail tucking or the act of hiding the vulva with its tail
  • Tail flagging or the act of lifting its tail when male dogs come close
  • Need for male attention

How Often Does a Chihuahua Go in Heat?

Chihuahuas go in heat once or twice a year. On average, they complete a heat cycle (with active and inactive stages) once every five months (sometimes, longer). This frequency depends on the particular Chihuahua.

The space in between every heat cycle isn’t set. Therefore, you can’t predict the exact date a Chihuahua goes in heat. For example, if it went in heat in January and June last year, it doesn’t mean its heat cycle will always occur during those months.

If it goes in heat in February, then in July the following year, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong. Its health — particularly, reproductive health — is fine. Rest assured, it’s normal for a Chihuahua to have its heat cycle happen unpredictably.

A Chihuahua’s Heat Cycle

A Chihuahua may be trickier to handle when in heat. However, its heat cycle does not differ from any other dog’s heat cycle. Its heat cycle consists of three active stages and one (almost) inactive stage.

The four stages of a Chihuahua’s heat cycle:

  1. Proestrus (active)
  2. Estrus (active)
  3. Diestrus (active)
  4. Anestrus (almost inactive)

1. Proestrus (Active)

In this primary stage of a Chihuahua’s heat cycle, your dog’s hormone levels are at their highest levels. During this time, its body is preparing to conceive a puppy. While male dogs will show their interest, your Chihuahua is most likely to reject them at this stage.

2. Estrus (Active)

This stage is also called standing heatand here, a Chihuahua is ready to mate. It’s only at this point when mating will be a success and can result in pregnancy. Because your Chihuahua will be at its peak fertility state, a male dog can impregnate it any time.

At this stage, the situation will reverse. The rejection your Chihuahua previously gave to male dogs? It’ll turn into acceptance. Your Chihuahua will even be the one to chase after the males. If your Chihuahua comes into contact with a male dog, it’s most likely to get pregnant.

3. Diestrus (Active)

This final stage is also called metestrus. It’s where your Chihuahua’s hormone levels normalize. Technically, your dog is still in heat. However, this is the end of the active stages of its heat. At this point, it can’t conceive a puppy anymore.

Again, the situation will turn around. If it accepted the attention male dogs gave during the previous stage, it won’t want that attention anymore. It might even get angry when a male dog tries to look its way. If a male dog impregnated your Chihuahua, you’ll know at this stage.

4. Anestrus (Almost Inactive)

At this stage, your Chihuahua’s hormone levels should already be normal. Its body will also return to normal — no more swollen vulva. Male dogs won’t show interest anymore. If you noticed any behavioral changes in your dog (for example, it was more energetic), these changes should go away, too.

Anestrus isn’t part of a Chihuahua’s active heat cycle. However, it’s an important stage and is therefore worth acknowledging. It marks the end of a reproductive process. And despite the absence of any obvious signs, your Chihuahua’s reproductive system is preparing for its next heat cycle.

Final Thoughts

Learning about a Chihuahua’s heat cycle is important, especially if you want to be a Chihuahua breeder. As the discussions above go, a Chihuahua in heat can be trickier to handle compared to other dog breeds. Its small size is definitely a factor.

A Chihuahua is also so obsessed with cleanliness it’s challenging to see obvious signs it’s in heat. No blood on the floor? It doesn’t mean it’s not in heat. If you’re not a keen observer, you might miss these obvious signs. The result? You’ll assume your Chihuahua isn’t in heat.

You can depend on a Chihuahua to clean up after itself if it’s in heat. Its obsession with cleanliness can be a downside if you’re focused on detecting droplets of blood. However, for dog owners who appreciate clean surroundings, it’s obsession to stay clean isn’t bad at all.