If you are a female husky owner or looking to get a female husky, it’s important to learn about their reproductive cycle; but when do huskies go into heat, and how long does it last?
Huskies usually go into their first heat at 6 to 12 months old, although the first heat can occur after this period in some cases. After this, you can expect your husky to go into heat once every six months or so until they reach an older age, at which point the time between heats will become longer.
Every husky is different, and in this article, I’ll take you through everything there is to know about their heat cycles, including how long they last, physical signs to look out for, and much more.
Let’s get into it.
- Understanding The Husky Heat Cycle
- Signs That Your Husky Is In Heat
- How To Tell If Your Husky Is Experiencing Their First Heat Cycle
- Can Huskies Mate On Their First Heat Cycle?
- Caring For A Husky In Heat
- How To Handle Male Huskies During Female Husky Heats
- Risks Of Unplanned Husky Pregnancies
- Consider Spaying
- In Summary
Understanding The Husky Heat Cycle
It’s important to know what the heat cycle actually is and how long it lasts.
What Is A Heat Cycle?
When your husky is in heat, this simply means that they are more receptive to mating. This is caused by hormonal changes and is accompanied by several physical and behavioral changes that will become easy to recognize as you gain experience.
The heat cycle, or estrus cycle, is a term used to explain the different parts of the cycle:
- Proestrus – This is the start of the heat and lasts anywhere from a week to ten days. Bleeding begins in this phase, and the vulva will begin to swell, and at this time, your husky is not ready to mate yet.
- Estrus Stage – This mating period lasts five to ten days. Bleeding may be reduced in this period.
- Diestrus – This period lasts for 10 to 140 days, and this is when your husky is either pregnant or resting.
- Anestrus – This usually lasts six months and is the period of time between heats. In older huskies, this period will become longer as they enter heat less often.
If you want more info, I highly recommend reading this WebMD dog heat article.
Average Age Of The First Heat Cycle
Most huskies will enter their first heat between the ages of 6 to 12 months, but there are exceptions to this rule.
If your husky has not gone into heat by the time they are one year old, it is recommended to take them to your veterinarian for a quick check-up.
In most cases, your husky will just be a bit late to their first heat, which is completely normal. In other cases, it could be due to a health issue such as hypothyroidism or even tumors, so it’s always worth getting them examined to be sure.
How Long Are Huskies In Heat?
Huskies will be in heat for anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks on average, but again this can vary, and it is incredibly hard to predict accurately.
Signs That Your Husky Is In Heat
There are multiple telltale signs that your husky is either in heat or about to go into heat.
These can be separated into changes in behavior and temperament, as well as physical changes.
Changes In Behavior And Temperament
Huskies in heat will experience quite a few changes in how they behave, which can confuse new owners quite a bit.
If your husky suddenly stops wanting to cuddle and becomes aggressive, it is just part of the process – don’t take it personally!
Anxiety And Stress
It’s common for huskies in heat to become anxious and stressed.
This is even more common during their first cycles as they don’t know what is happening to their body.
Another common change in behavior is an increase (or decrease) in energy.
This can be challenging, especially for a breed like the husky that needs at least 2 hours of exercise per day as standard.
Huskies in heat can become aggressive to their owners and other dogs.
As the cycle progresses, they may become more friendly towards male dogs but keep the aggression towards other females.
As well as changes in behavior and temperament, your husky will show several physical signs when they are in heat.
Turning Tail To The Side
Initially, your husky may hold her tail closer to its body, but as the cycle progresses, it will move the tail out of the way as a sign to males that they are ready for mating.
Bleeding & Discharge
At the start of the heat cycle, your female husky will produce blood or straw-colored discharge.
This can lead to spots or stains on furniture and other household items. It’s important not to scold your husky for doing this, as it is not their fault.
This one can be alarming for owners who are inexperienced, but your husky’s vulva – which is located below the anus – will swell in size and turn red.
This is completely natural but can often catch owners off guard.
Urinating More Frequently
Urinating is used to alert male dogs nearby and becomes much more frequent during heat.
Be ready to take your husky outside more often for toilet breaks when they are on heat, and there may even be some accidents through the night inside the house as well.
Huskies can sometimes lick excessively anyway, but females are more likely to lick their genital region frequently during their heat.
How To Tell If Your Husky Is Experiencing Their First Heat Cycle
The first cycle will occur between 6 and 12 months, and the first time is normally when your husky will be the most anxious and stressed as they won’t be used to it.
Can Huskies Mate On Their First Heat Cycle?
Female huskies can mate on their first heat, but it is standard veterinary advice to wait until your husky is in their third heat to breed them. This usually happens when your husky is around 2 years old.
This gives your husky the time to develop and mature fully, and it will also allow time for any health problems to become known. Breeding before this heat can cause complications and put the mom under a lot more stress than necessary.
Caring For A Husky In Heat
If your husky is in heat it’s crucial to look after them properly.
This is a time when their behavior will change radically, and they will be under a lot of stress. Here are a few top tips for making this time as peaceful as possible for them:
Understand Their Needs
Some huskies may become more affectionate during their heat, while others might have more energy and need more exercise.
It’s important to respond to their needs during this time by assessing their behavior.
Don’t React To Blood Spots
Huskies will generally keep themselves clean, but if you notice any spots of blood around the house during their heat, it’s important not to scold them.
Remember that they will be trying their best to keep things tidy, and it’s your responsibility to clean up after them if they can’t help it.
Be Wary Of Male Dogs
Male dogs can smell female huskies in heat from miles away, so you need to be wary when walking your husky outside and letting them in the yard.
Keep them on a leash and supervise them at all times when they are outside to prevent accidents.
Tips For The First Few Cycles
As I mentioned before, huskies are even more prone to stress during their first few cycles as it is completely new to them.
Reassure them by spending more time with them, such as cuddling or grooming them to help them relax.
How To Handle Male Huskies During Female Husky Heats
If you have a male husky in the same house, you need to keep them completely separate from the females during heat.
They will be strongly attracted to the female during this time, even if it is a family member, and it only takes a few seconds for mating to occur.
Risks Of Unplanned Husky Pregnancies
When your husky goes into heat, it can attract male dogs from miles around.
This can lead to unplanned pregnancies, which is not ideal for several reasons.
Firstly, pregnancy is incredibly hard on the mother’s body, and there are risks of health complications along the way.
It also will produce a litter of an average of 4 to 6 puppies, all of which will require feeding and vet checks which will be very expensive. You should also seek veterinary support during the pregnancy, which again will add to the overall cost.
Once the pregnancy is over and it has hopefully gone well, you will need to find homes for all of the puppies, which can also prove to be very difficult.
There are many huskies that end up in shelters due to the high demand of the breed, so finding owners that are responsible enough for this breed is hard work.
It’s also hard to breed responsibly if it is unplanned. Responsible breeders screen for health issues before breeding and pair huskies carefully, whereas unplanned pregnancies can result in unhealthy pups.
Spaying is very common these days as it has been proven to improve the lifespan of dogs and also help fight against overpopulation.
If you aren’t a registered breeder, then most veterinarians will advise that your husky is spayed when they are ready. Some of the most experienced breeders recommend this to be done between 6 and 7 months, but your veterinarian will be able to guide you through the process.
Huskies will go into their first heat between the ages of 6 and 12 months, although this can vary in individual cases.
After this, you can expect cycles every six months until your husky reaches an older age, at which point it may slow down.
If you are not planning to breed your husky, then the best advice is to spay them, as this has been proven to extend lifespan, and it also helps to reduce the number of huskies left in shelters (which is very common for this breed).