Can you spay your dog when she is in heat?

Yes, veterinarians can spay dogs in heat.

Our goal is to use our educational materials to help save the lives of dogs and cats. To support our efforts, this page may contain affiliate links. With no additional cost to you, we receive a commission for qualifying purchases.

Cathy is the lead instructor at Pupstanding Academy and a Preventive Vets dog behavior expert. She focuses on fostering strong bonds between people and their pets through open communication, positive reinforcement, and the use of non-coercive training techniques. She has had the chance to work with hundreds of dogs on a variety of training and behavior issues over the course of her more than 13 years of experience. Dog aggression, resource guarding, separation anxiety, and puppy socialization are some of her areas of expertise.

Cathy holds the CPDT-KA and CBCC-KA certifications from the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers. Cathy is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the Pet Professional Guild, and the Dog Writers Association of America. She is also a Fear Free Certified Certified Professional.

She enjoys reading, hiking with her two Cardigan Welsh Corgis, and paddleboarding when she’s not obsessing over dogs.

Can Dogs Get Spayed While in Heat?

The general consensus is that once a dog is in heat, you have to wait until she has finished her cycle before you can spay her. The risks of performing the procedure at this time are higher than usual, despite the fact that it is still very likely.

While many veterinarians will spay a dog while she is in heat, many will advise against it because of the possibility of life-threatening complications.

Can you spay your dog when she is in heat?

If you’re thinking about spaying your dog, watch out for these indicators to see if she might be in heat:

  • Bloody discharge
  • Her vulva will become enlarged
  • She may exhibit excessive licking
  • Her behavior may change and she may become more aggressive
  • Her appetite is likely to change
  • She may have a fever
  • A female dog that hasn’t been spayed will typically go through her heat cycle. It is an indication that she is ready to get pregnant and can begin as early as 6 months of age in some breeds and as late as 2 years in others.

    The duration of a dog’s estrus, also known as being in heat, varies not only from breed to breed but also from dog to dog. An average dog will go through her period for about 18 days. But only about half of these days are likely to be spent with the dog enjoying the company of a male companion.

    The average unspayed dog will become pregnant about twice a year, though the frequency will vary from breed to breed.

    Why is it more expensive to spay my pet when she is in heat?

  • For cats, a heat cycle can last between 7 to 14 days.

  • For dogs, depending on their breed, a heat cycle can last for a few days to 20 days.

  • Can you spay a dog during her heat cycle?

    We asked our team veterinarian Maureen Murithi. Here is what she said:

    So – yes, theoretically it is possible. But every owner should carefully consider whether it is actually necessary to spay the female during her heat due to the increased risk of complications. There are frequently ways to delay something until it is finished.


    How long do you have to wait to spay a dog after heat?

    There is significantly more blood flowing to your dog’s surgical area when she is in heat. It becomes a more serious surgery for your pup. When a dog is in heat, we typically advise waiting 2 to 3 months after her heat cycle is fully over before having her spayed.

    What happens if you spay a dog in heat?

    – If a dog is spayed within the first two months of going into heat, there is a slight chance that a very dramatic false pregnancy will take place. – Spaying a dog while it is in heat may add up to 30 minutes to the procedure and may necessitate the use of a surgical laser, both of which will raise the overall cost of the procedure.