Dog Silent Heat Symptoms: What Dog Parents Should Be Aware Of

Getting dog silent heat symptoms will give dog owners a heads-up to help their pets when needed.

I also give you some tips to diagnose, provide some initial care tricks at home, and share when you must take your pet to the doctor.

Let’s get the ball rolling!

What Are Dog Silent Heat Symptoms? 

dog silent heat symptoms

Changes in appetite, a swollen vulva, increased urination, behavioral changes, vaginal discharge, bleeding, and loss of interest in mating are basic symptoms of silent heat in dogs

Gaining knowledge of each sign will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how you can support your pet.

Appetite Change

Appetite change is the first dog silent heat sign. 

During the quiet time of the dog heat cycle, their desire for food may change. Some pooches may want to eat more than usual.

They might happily gobble up their food and be very interested in mealtime. 

On the other hand, some dogs may not feel like eating that much. They might seem less excited about their meals, eat smaller amounts, or even become picky about what they eat. 

Therefore, as dog parents, you should pay attention to whether there are any strange habits in how your pet eats and make sure they are getting enough good food during this time.

Swollen Vulva 

One of the visible signs of the silent heat cycle is a swollen vulva. The outer part of a female dog’s reproductive organ may appear larger and more puffy than usual.

 It can range from a subtle swelling to a more pronounced enlargement. This swelling originates from the hormonal changes in the dog’s body during the heat cycle. 

As an owner, you should spend time observing any changes in the vulva’s appearance to help identify the silent heat phase.

Increased Urination

The silent heat in dogs also manifests through the increased frequency of urinating: they may need to pee more often than usual.

This happens because the hormones in their body make their bladder feel full. So, you might see your dog wanting to go outside to pee more times a day. 

Behavioral Changes 

When silent heat in dog happens, your pets will act differently than normal. Some physical signs that you can notice are they might feel restless, move around more, or seem worried. 

As for my dog, he looked more awake and alert during this time. He didn’t show clingy behavior as usual and tended to be more possessive.

Hence, when you notice these behaviors, ensure your dog feels safe and calm then.

Vaginal Discharge

When your dog is in heat, it may have a vaginal discharge, which is a normal part of the reproductive cycle. 

The discharge can be very different in color and consistency. In early stages, the discharge is typically clear and may become slightly bloody or pinkish as the cycle progresses. 

It’s important to note that the discharge should not be excessive or accompanied by foul odor or discomfort.

If you observe any abnormal or concerning discharge, it’s recommended to consult with a veterinarian.


Unlike the noticeable bleeding observed during regular heat cycles, bleeding in silent heat is usually minimal or absent.

However, some dogs may experience slight spotting during this phase. The bleeding can be very light and barely noticeable. 

Also, you will sometimes see your dog in heat but no blood.

Lose Interest In Mating 

During abnormal heat cycles like silent heat, female dogs are not receptive to mating and may display a loss of interest in male dogs. 

I notice that my pets even actively avoid or reject advances from male partners, showing disinterest or even aggression.

This is because they are not fertile during this phase of their heat cycle. 

Causes Of Silent Heat

silent heat in dog
  • Genetics: A dog in heat but not bleeding can be inherited from its family. Sometimes, if the dog’s mom or dad had silent heat, it may also have it. 
  • Natural causes: Silent heat is a normal part of a dog’s reproductive cycle.
  • Ovarian hypoplasia: When a female dog’s ovaries are underdeveloped or not functioning properly, it can result in irregular or absent heat cycles. Dogs with ovarian hypoplasia may not show the typical signs of heat.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Fluctuations in hormone levels can disrupt the normal heat cycle in female dogs, leading to silent heat.
  • Stress or illness: Factors such as stress or underlying health conditions (hyperadrenocorticism, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and hypoadrenocorticism or cancer) can impact a dog’s reproductive system and contribute to irregular heat cycles.
  • Age-related factors: Young puppies or older dogs may experience silent heat due to developmental or age-related changes in their reproductive system.

How To Diagnose Silent Heat In Dog? 

Dog silent heat is a natural part of a female dog’s reproductive health cycle. So, how do you know if your dog is having a silent heat? Here is the way:

Check Vaginal Discharge

One way to diagnose silent heat in dogs is by checking for unusual vaginal discharge. During silent heat, canines may have a clear or slightly bloody discharge. 

I usually check this by gently inspecting the area around my pooch’s reproductive opening. 

Besides, don’t forget that dogs only experience heat cycles once they reach sexual maturity, which usually occurs between six months of age and one year of age for most breeds. 

Smaller dog breeds are sexually mature earlier, while larger breeds take longer.

Check The Vulva Area

Another way to diagnose is by examining the vulva area. In silent heat, the vulva may appear swollen or larger than usual. 

By carefully observing the size and appearance of the vulva, you can gather information about the dog’s heat cycle.

Consult With Your Veterinarian

If you suspect that your dog may be experiencing silent heat or if you’re unsure about the signs, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian. 

They are trained to diagnose and provide guidance on reproductive health in dogs.

Your vet can thoroughly examine and provide accurate information and advice tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

Silent Heat In Dogs: What To Do & When To See The Vet?  

symptoms of silent heat in dogs

What To Do

Once you notice that your dog is experiencing silent heat, you can do a few things to help them. 

  1. Provide a calm and comfortable environment for your dog. 

Make sure your pet has a quiet space where it can relax. Also, you can choose some movies that dogs like to watch to keep them at peace.

  1. Keep the female in silent heat away from the intact male dog to prevent unwanted pregnancy or mating.
  2. Ensure dogs in heat can access fresh water and a balanced diet to support their overall health. 
  3. Regular exercise and mental stimulation are also beneficial for their well-being.
  4. Wash them properly to maintain their hygiene and safety.

When To See The Vet

While silent heat can be a normal part of a dog’s reproductive cycle, there are situations when it’s necessary to see a veterinarian. 

If your pet shows any signs of illness or discomfort, such as excessive vaginal discharge or severe swelling, or if they are in pain, you have to seek veterinary care. 

Similarly, when your dog’s behavior changes drastically or you have concerns about their health, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian. 

They can provide a proper diagnosis, offer guidance, and address any health issues your dog may be suffering.


Can A Dog Go In Heat Without Bleeding?

Yes. Dogs can go into heat without noticeable bleeding. In some cases, there may be very little or no visible bleeding during their heat cycle.

Silent Heat vs. Missing Meat: What Is The Difference Between These Medical Conditions?

Silent heat refers to a phase of the heat cycle where dogs show no obvious signs, including bleeding. 

On the other hand, missing heat could indicate a medical condition or irregularity in the dog’s reproductive system.

Silent HeatMissing Heat
Signs of HeatNo visible signs of heat appear (no bleeding or behavioral changes)No signs of heat (absence of expected signs)
Normal VariationIt’s a normal variation in a dog’s reproductive cycleIt may indicate a medical condition or irregularity
Pregnancy PossibilityCan still become pregnant if matedNo pregnancy possibility during missing heat
Medical AttentionUsually not necessary unless accompanied by other symptomsMay require medical attention to address underlying conditions

Can A Dogs First Heat Be Silent?

Yes, a dog’s first heat can be silent. Some dogs may not show typical signs of heat, such as bleeding or changes in behavior, during their first heat cycle.

Is It Possible To Miss Your Dogs Heat Cycle?

Yes, it is possible to miss your dog’s heat cycle, especially if they experience silent heat. 

Silent heat can be challenging to detect since there may be no obvious signs like bleeding or behavioral changes. 

Regular monitoring and awareness of your dog’s reproductive cycle are important to identify any missed heat cycles. 

Consulting with a veterinarian can help ensure your dog’s reproductive health and address any concerns or questions you may have.


In fact, dog silent heat symptoms are difficult to find out, even with the most experienced owners.

I find it hard sometimes too. But with more time spent with your pet, you can discover more notable signs. 

Take note to provide a balanced diet, observe any changes in behavior, ensure regular bathing, and maintain a calm environment. And you guys will overcome the challenging time.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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