A dog in heat is often fidgety and anxious, causing her to leave a lot of mess in your house. Luckily, there are simple preventative measures you can take to ensure your house stays clean during this natural (albeit inconvenient) biological process your dog is going through.
The five most effective ways to keep your house clean when your dog is in heat are:
- Limit the dog to easy-to-clean areas of the house.
- Use doggy diapers.
- Use puppy training pads in her doggy bed.
- Keep her active to minimize fidgety behavior and anxiety.
- Have her surgically sterilized if she is under 6 months.
In this article, I’ll explain each of these methods in detail and how to implement them in your home. It can be stressful for both of you when your dog is in heat. But luckily, the steps you can take to ensure the cleanliness of your home are pretty straightforward and easy.
1. Limit the Dog to Easy-To-Clean Areas of the House
This may seem a little cold for dog owners who see their furry friends as part of the family. Fortunately, your dog will only be in heat for 2-3 weeks max, meaning this won’t be a permanent thing. It’s also one of the most sure-fire ways to keep your house clean during that time.
You can use gates to keep her from roaming around. You can also limit her to areas with no carpet and upholstered furniture to make those areas easier to clean. Your dog will bleed a little when she is in heat, and it’s much easier to wipe up blood from tile or hardwood than to get the stains out of carpet and upholstery.
I suggest using something like the PETMAKER Dog Gate (available on Amazon.com). Since it’s freestanding, you can fit it anywhere: doorways, hallways, in front of stairs, etc. The design and color are pretty neutral, so they shouldn’t look too out of place in your home no matter what your interior design looks like.
If your dog typically goes into heat during summertime, you can let her hang out in the yard if you have a fenced-in yard or other similar fence systems. Make sure she has plenty of water to drink and a shady area to relax if you have her outside for a few hours. Also, make sure she’s well away from other dogs — especially males — because then, your dog being in heat will be the least of your worries.
2. Use Doggy Diapers
This method is great for preventing stains from happening in the first place. After all, a diaper ensures that doggy waste stays well away from the floor.
However, you may need to be careful when you use doggy diapers. Like human babies, your girl may not be comfortable in the diaper, and try to get it off. You also have to change the diaper now and then, because leaving waste for too long near your dog’s sensitive areas can cause skin irritation — causing your dog to become even more anxious and make more messes.
On the other hand, she may be okay with a diaper and not care, especially if she’s used doggy diapers as a puppy while being housebroken.
Whether your dog has used diapers before or not, an essential part of using doggy diapers effectively is making sure they fit your dog snugly so she won’t be uncomfortable.
Another way to decrease discomfort is to ensure you put the diaper on your dog properly. Putting a diaper on her may seem daunting, since your dog may not even let you do it. But it’s much easier than you think. The key is to make sure your dog is relaxed.
To put a doggy diaper on a dog in heat:
- Take the doggy diaper and find the hole for your dog’s tail to go through.
- Slip your dog’s tail through this hole and pull it up to the dog’s hindquarters.
- Make sure the diaper is pulled up over the tail, then hold the bottom of the diaper up to your dog’s belly.
- With the diaper secured against your dog’s belly, take the adhesive tabs and place them in the corresponding place on the other side of the diaper.
- Adjust the tabs as needed for the best fit
- Once the diaper is on and secured, keep an eye on her to make sure it stays on.
The diaper could come off accidentally without the dog even trying to take it off, so don’t leave her alone for too long.
As I said earlier, this is a great solution if you want to prevent blood stains from your dog while she’s in heat. The diaper will catch all possible “accidents” while allowing your girl to roam freely, which can help her feel less anxious during heat.
3. Use Absorbent Puppy Training Pads in Her Doggy Bed
When she’s in heat, your dog may want to be left alone and lay on her bed or her favorite spots. You can prevent stains by placing absorbent puppy training pads on her bed (or other areas) with the pads to keep them clean and free of stains.
Although this is a good way to keep your house clean, it’s not perfect. Your dog may move the pads because they don’t want to lay on them, or the pads may move on their own (due to gravity or surrounding conditions) and not catch all the stains.
Therefore, you should use this method along with restricting her to only certain areas of the house for maximum effectiveness. Absorbent puppy training pads are great for people who cannot get their girls to wear a diaper.
For example, these Deep Dear Large Dog Pads from Amazon are absorbent and much bigger than their competitors. You can use just one pad to cover her bed completely since these can cover an adult doggy bed or an equally sized area.
4. Keep Her Active To Minimize Fidgety Behavior and Anxiety
Taking your dog for extra and longer walks, as well as playing with her more, can help with the anxiety of being in heat. When your dog is in heat, her hormones are all over the place, so it’s easy for her to get stressed during this time. Keeping her entertained, comfortable, and well-exercised helps keep your house clean because when she gets back inside after a long and active session, she won’t be as fidgety.
You can also give her interactive toys to help keep her in one place rather than wandering around anxiously. Having her stay in one place will help you a lot in preventing and cleaning up stains.
If you’re not sure what toys to get for your dog, I recommend the Jalousie 5 Pack Dog Toys (available on Amazon.com). Since there are at least five toys to choose from, your dog is bound to like at least one. And hey: If you have more than one dog in the house, you don’t have to worry about your favorite furry friends fighting over the same toy.
As I’ve mentioned, dogs in heat are more prone to behaviors like humping or mounting, which can cause horrible stains on your upholstered furniture. Making sure your girl feels as good as she can be can help mitigate these behaviors.
5. Have Her Surgically Sterilized if She Is Under 6 Months
The number one sure-fire way to 100% prevent messes from your dog being in heat is to have your girl surgically sterilized. This way, she never goes into heat in the first place, and your life will be a lot easier, seeing as you don’t have to clean up too many messes anymore.
Also, sterilization will keep you from worrying about unwanted pregnancies when your dog is in heat. During this time, she will seek out male dogs who will be attracted to her, and this will leave you caring for a pregnant dog and then trying to find a home for an entire litter of puppies.
Many people want to let their girl have a litter of puppies before sterilizing her, but you should not do this. Getting the surgery done before she is six months old is ideal. It’s a much easier surgery at that point in her life — not to mention you don’t have to deal with the hassle of having a new brood of (admittedly cute) doggies that you’ll hesitate to part ways with.
Getting this surgery done before your dog’s first season will be beneficial for her health and for you because you don’t have to deal with a moody, messy girl for two to three weeks at a time every six months.
I’ve listed several methods to help mitigate messes that come from your dog being in heat. Some methods are more effective than others, the most effective being surgical sterilization before her first season to prevent heat from happening at all.
The other methods are pretty effective as well, though. And when you combine one or more of these methods, you can (mostly) prevent blood stains from your dog being in heat.