5 Ways to Calm a Bitch in Heat

Anyone who owns a female dog knows how anxious a bitch in heat can be. Obviously, her changing behavior has nothing to do with poor training skills or a lack of love from you: it’s due to hormonal changes.

Each female will handle it uniquely, and younger females tend to have more visible and unexpected reactions as they experience these changes for the first time.

If your bitch is acting differently and out of character, here are five tips to calm her so she can have a better time during her heat.

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1. Provide Much More Exercise

A bitch in heat, especially during her first seasons, is a little temperamental about everything she is going through. Her body is morphing and her mind is worried, anxious, and stressed out.

The best way to soothe all these unwelcome and distressing emotions and feelings is to make your bitch sleep more and more often. After all, when one sleeps, one doesn’t think.

If you are lazy yourself, shorten the walks but do more of them, or invest in a dog treadmill if you have spare money to spend. If you are the active type, go ahead and jog along with your dog. Sprinting, fetching, swimming—all these activities will tire your bitch and allow her to rest and feel better throughout her heat.

2. Use Interactive Dog Toys and Games

Several studies have shown that mental stimulation provokes as much fatigue in a dog as regular physical stimulation. Plus, mental stimulation can be provided with and without your presence. Let me explain.

Indeed, interactive dog toys (also called dog puzzle toys and smart toys) challenge your pooch's mental skills. They prevent boredom and other related negative behaviors while offering treats as a prize for solving them.

There are probably hundreds of different smart toys, from a regular ball with treats inside and a small hole that distributes them slowly, all the way to full-on puzzles. Prices range from $5 to $100, so it’s up to you, your budget and your dog’s temperament. Just go on Amazon and browse around!

Obviously, don’t start with a too-difficult puzzle. Begin with a simple ball and keep on gradually increasing the difficulty.

3. Offer Tasty Antler Chews

Anxiety in dogs can provoke some mild or serious destructive behaviors: gnawing, chewing, scratching, biting, etc. For very well-behaved dogs, these bad behaviors may be less visible and take different forms such as running around, overeating, barking, and mood swings.

The best way to soothe chewers is to let them chew—but on the right things! Not on your shoes, furniture, nor your sofa, but instead, let them chew a tasty, healthy, organic Antler stag bar or Himalayan chew.

These are naturally long lasting, and, because they are manufactured free of chemicals, they will retain all their nutritive values and lovely flavors.

Most dogs love them, so just pick the right size and go ahead! (Your bitch might beg for more once her heat is over, just a friendly warning—ha!)

4. Create a Sense of Calmness

Instead of being anxious and annoying yourself, as a dog owner you must reassure your bitch by giving her a lot more attention and love than usual. Speak to her calmly and ask your children, if you have any, not to engage in behaviors that can be agitating to her for the time being.

In order to create an atmosphere of calmness at home, you should probably avoid loud music and TV. Also, do your best to make her crate or bedding a lot comfier than usual. Try adding a new plush toy, for example.

There’s no need to turn your home into a cemetery, but be thoughtful of what she is going through.

Again, if you see your bitch sleeping more than usual, that is good. Let her rest as much as she needs. Make sure she still eats what she has to and if she doesn’t, use some food toppers or make her meals more exciting than usual.

5. Give a Dog Relaxant

Tablets, sprays, drops, treats, powder, and I may have even forgotten a few! Calming aids for dogs are easily available online or at your local pet store. They can often help when everything else seems to fail — however, they shouldn’t be your go-to solution. Don’t be lazy, and be sure to devote more time and attention to your bitch.

Don’t overdo calming aids because you want to avoid a vet visit after a calming aid overdose.

Some are herbal, others are organic, and many have different claims about what they are efficient against. Overall, it is a good solution for hyper-active, hyper-stressed or hyper-anxious females in season.

Ultimately, hormonal changes in the ovulating bitch generate mood swings, anxiety, and a mind in distress. The symptoms get stronger and even more obvious with young and inexperienced bitches that are in their first couple of heats.

Giving them something else to focus on is the way to go! Let them focus on you (training and cuddles), on toys (chew bars and smart puzzles), or let their mind rest by providing them with more intense exercise, more often.

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