A dog in heat is a magnet to male canines. So unless you want your dog to get pregnant and be swarmed by male dogs in the park, you should mask its scent properly.
Knowing how to mask the scent of a dog in heat is pretty easy through bathing, spraying products, and avoiding some common habits.
This will keep you and your female dog safe from overzealous canines that want to mate.
How to hide your dog’s scent while in heat
Hiding your female dog’s scent while in heat is a tricky task. Since canines have a strong sense of smell, males can easily sniff a female in heat from miles away.
This is the reason why male dogs would often try to escape their homes. We’ve experienced this once with Sherlock before we get him fixed.
There was a female in heat on the other street, and he’s keen to go after the pooch.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important to mask the scent of your female doggo. Here’s how you can do it:
1. Consider chlorophyll for dogs
One of the most common solutions pet owners seek is chlorophyll supplements. This is a liquid formula that you’ll add to your female dog’s drinking water.
It’s said to reduce the in-heat odors of a female canine. It will also mask the heat cycle scents on a canine’s urine. Read more here on how to heat a dog house without electricity.
But before you purchase these supplements, make sure that you consult with the vet first. Plant-based products are often safe for canines, but you should never take chances.
Take note that a chlorophyll supplement will give your dog’s poop an odd color. Some will also have an upset stomach, especially if they can’t tolerate too many plant ingredients.
2. Try diluted essential oils
If your dog doesn’t do well on chlorophyll supplements, you can opt for diluted essential oils. You can apply this on your dog’s body topically to mask the smell of its heat cycle.
Take note that you should always dilute the essential oils and that not all essential oils are safe for canines. Please read more here on how to dilute tea tree oil for dogs.
The idea here is like putting perfume on your dog. Through this, male dogs will find it hard to sniff if your canine is in heat. Some dogs may even dislike the odor and stay away from your pet.
A menthol spray is an excellent option here, but make sure that it’s dog-friendly. Also, since mint oils are fairly potent, you should dilute them in carrier oils like coconut oil.
Aside from masking your female dog’s scent, many essential oils also nourish the canine’s skin. It’s an added perk as long as you use it right.
3. Frequent baths will help
Female dogs in heat will often have a bloody discharge, which is similar to monthly periods on female humans.
This can get messy and sticky, so giving the canine frequent yet quick baths is important.
By bathing the dog, you can also remove the strong odor that could invite a male canine. You can also look for dog shampoos with essential oils that will mask the scent even more.
If you can’t give your dog full baths, see that you wash its privates twice a day. Dog shampoo will work here to remove the discharge from the dog’s coat.
Make sure that you rinse it well and dry it properly to prevent irritations.
4. Put a dog diaper on your pet
If you’re worried that a male dog might find your doggo, you should put a doggie diaper on the latter. You can buy this or make one at home using old clothes.
The doggie pants will cover your pet’s privates to prevent mating. It will also absorb the discharge so it won’t make a mess in your home. Please read here how to make a dog diaper.
Aside from that, you should also clean your house. This is to remove the smell that could re-attach to your dog in heat.
You can use enzyme cleaners on hard surfaces and a fabric spray on beddings, upholstery, and the likes.
5. Cover your dog’s tracks
One way to mask your dog’s scent from male canines is by covering its tracks. If you’re going to a dog park, I suggest carrying your female dog in heat toward the car.
This way, male dogs in the park won’t track you down to your vehicle.
Also, by driving your canine away, there’s no way for male dogs to track you home. It’s like hiding from a serial killer, and it will save you from the hassle.
6. Keep your female dog indoors
The best way to mask your in-heat dog’s scent is by keeping it indoors. Limit outdoor walks and try to avoid dog parks until the cycle ends.
Still, you shouldn’t be too complacent if you have unfixed male dogs at home. It’s best to get those canines neutered while observing the methods I discussed here to mask your canine’s odor.
7. Leave your dog’s toys at home
Lastly, don’t take your female dog’s toys when going outdoors. This will defeat the purpose of masking your dog’s scent because the odor attached to the toys will be dead giveaways to male canines.
Once the male dogs get hooked on the scent, they will come close and sniff further. In the end, your female dog’s disguise will be unmasked, and you’ll have to end the trip abruptly.
If you need to carry some dog toys with you, wash them well with added apple cider on the last rinse.
Soaking it in enzyme cleaner will also work wonders in removing the smell of your female dog.
How long does a female dog heat cycle last?
A female dog will undergo the estrus or heat cycle. This usually lasts for around 1 to 2 weeks, though it can be longer or shorter, depending on each dog.
It’s important to detect once your dog enters the estrus cycle so you can start masking its smell. Some signs of a dog in heat are bloody vaginal discharge and swollen vulva.
Also, a dog in heat will urinate more, so it’s important to keep them in doggie diapers. You wouldn’t want their in-heat smell to get into your household items.
This will make it harder for you to mask the scent.
Again, male dogs can sniff canines in heat from far away. This is why it’s also important to clean your property to remove your female dog’s odor.
How do you take care of a female dog in heat?
During the heat cycle, your female doggo might become stressed and clingier than usual. It’s important to keep them in a cozy area and let them cuddle with you.
Aside from that, make sure that the female doggo is eating and drinking well. You should never get angry over a bloody discharge since it’s a normal part of the estrus cycle.
Remember that female dogs in heat will often urinate, so you should schedule more potty breaks throughout the day. You should also provide chew toys that will help the doggo relax and feel safe.
Unless you want to take care of a litter, you should keep your female dog away from male canines. You can also consult the vet about when the best time is for the doggo to be spayed.
How do male dogs react to females in heat?
The moment a male dog gets hooked to the scent of a female canine in heat, they will be persistent in finding it. Some will obsess over tracking down the female to copulate.
Many pet owners I’ve talked to noticed that their male dogs are more eager to escape whenever a female dog is in heat within their area.
In some cases, male dogs will stop eating unless they’ve tracked down the female in heat. This is the reason why you should mask your dog’s scent as much as possible.
Owners of male dogs can also use calming aids to tone down the canine’s obsession over the scent.
Do dogs smell fishy when in heat?
Yes, a female dog in heat can have a fishy smell coming off their privates. It could be your dog’s discharge or urine.
It’s normal most of the time, but you can always consult the veterinarian if the smell is too strong. Please read more here about why does my dog smell fishy.
However, it’s not just the heat cycle that could make a female dog smell fishy. A scared dog can have a fishy smell, too.
Those with unexpressed anal sacs will also emit the same pungent smell.
Do neutered dogs react to females in heat?
Yes, even neutered dogs will still try to mate with a female in heat. However, this is more common to dogs that are neutered past their sexual maturity.
Still, neutered dogs will have a reduced sexual drive and are unlikely to obsess over a female in heat.
My dog Sherlock sometimes tries to mount dogs in heat even if he’s neutered. But, so far, it’s not something to be worried about since neutered dogs can’t get other canines pregnant.
They no longer have their testicles where the sperm comes from.
Even if the male dogs around are neutered, you should still mask your female dog’s scent. This will stop the male dogs from seeking the female and even causing a dogfight.
Knowing how to mask the scent of a dog in heat will save you from a lot of trouble. It will also reduce your dog’s stress over male canines that are trying to mate with her.
With a few tricks and some household items, you can hide your pet’s odor successfully. You can also utilize some products to trick male canines away.
When in doubt, the vet is always at your disposal.
Dave Bryan is an experienced editor with a passion for animals and writing. With a degree in journalism and years of experience in the publishing industry, he has honed his skills in crafting engaging content that informs and entertains readers. As an editor at Petcosset, Dave brings his expertise to ensure that the content produced is accurate, informative, and compelling. He has a keen eye for detail and is committed to maintaining high editorial standards. Dave is also a dedicated pet owner and loves spending time with his furry companions.