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At What Age Do Dogs Have Menopause



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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As with human females, dogs also experience menopause, a biological phase signaling the end of their reproductive years.

Menopause marks a significant change in a dog’s life, both physically and emotionally, and requires careful attention and management from pet owners.

In this article, we’ll explore the age at which dogs experience menopause, the different stages of the reproductive cycle, and how menopause affects a dog’s fertility and overall health.

We’ll also provide strategies and tips for managing a dog’s health during this phase and supporting them emotionally.

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs experience menopause, a biological phase marking the end of their reproductive years
  • The reproductive cycle of a dog has different stages that relate to the onset of menopause
  • Signs and symptoms of dog menopause include changes in behavior, physical appearance, and reproductive cycles
  • The age range for dog menopause varies depending on breed and individual factors
  • Menopause affects a dog’s fertility and potential risks associated with breeding older female dogs

At What Age Do Dogs Have Menopause

At What Age Do Dogs Have Menopause

Female dogs experience menopause around 6 to 7 years of age but it is not the same as humans because their heat cycles continue throughout their life.

Female dogs, regardless of age, continue to have heat cycles throughout their lives unless they are spayed.

However, their fertility begins to decrease starting around 6 to 7 years of age. While the frequency of these cycles may diminish as the dog ages, they do not cease entirely.

Understanding the Canine Reproductive Cycle

The canine reproductive cycle is a complex process that involves a series of hormonal changes and physical transformations in the female dog’s body. This cycle can be divided into four stages: proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus.

During proestrus, the female dog begins to produce estrogen and her vulva swells. This stage can last between 7 and 10 days, and it is characterized by a bloody discharge. As the dog enters estrus, the discharge becomes lighter and the vulva becomes softer.

This is the ideal time for breeding, as the female dog is fertile and receptive to male dogs. Estrus lasts between 5 and 9 days, although it can be shorter or longer depending on the individual dog.

After estrus, the female dog enters diestrus, which is a period during which the uterus prepares for pregnancy. If the dog is not pregnant, diestrus lasts between 60 and 90 days. During this time, the dog’s hormone levels change and she may experience behavioral changes, such as aggression or irritability.

Finally, the female dog enters anestrus, which is a resting phase during which her body prepares for the next reproductive cycle. This stage can last between 2 and 4 months.

Understanding the canine reproductive cycle is essential to understanding the onset of menopause in female dogs. As a dog ages, her reproductive cycles become less regular, until eventually, she reaches menopause.

Signs and Symptoms of Dog Menopause

Dogs, like humans, experience menopause at a certain age. Menopause is marked by several changes in behavior and physical appearance. Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms that indicate a dog is going through menopause:

  • Changes in the frequency and duration of heat cycles
  • Reduced energy and increased lethargy
  • Weight gain and loss of muscle tone
  • Decreased interest in physical activity
  • Incontinence and urinary tract infections
  • Changes in mood and behavior, including irritability and anxiety

It’s important to note that symptoms can vary greatly among individual dogs. Some dogs may experience multiple symptoms, while others may only experience a few.

It can also be difficult to distinguish menopause from other health issues, so it’s important to consult with a veterinarian if you suspect that your dog is going through menopause.

It’s important to note that symptoms can vary greatly among individual dogs.

Effects of Menopause on Canine Fertility

As dogs age and enter menopause, their fertility decreases. Once a female dog has gone through menopause, she is no longer able to reproduce. This is because menopause marks the end of the reproductive cycle, which is when the ovaries stop producing eggs.

During the menopausal phase, the hormonal changes in a dog’s body can also affect the quality of any remaining eggs. This means that if a dog does become pregnant during the menopausal phase, there is a higher risk of complications and health issues for both the mother and her offspring.

It’s important to note that breeding older female dogs can also pose risks. As female dogs age, their bodies may be less able to handle the stress of pregnancy and delivery. Additionally, older female dogs may be more prone to certain health issues that can affect their ability to carry a litter to term.

There are also ethical considerations to keep in mind when breeding an older dog:

  • The health and well-being of the mother should always be the top priority. Breeding an older dog may put her at risk for serious health issues, including pregnancy complications and reduced quality of life.
  • The health of the offspring should also be considered. Breeding an older dog can increase the likelihood of genetic abnormalities and health issues in the puppies.
  • There are many dogs in shelters and rescues in need of homes, and there is a risk of contributing to pet overpopulation by breeding dogs, especially if the puppies are not able to find homes.

Overall, it’s important to carefully consider the risks and ethical concerns surrounding breeding older female dogs. As a dog owner, you can work with your veterinarian to make the best decision for your dog’s health and well-being.

Physical and Hormonal Changes During Menopause

As a dog goes through menopause, various physical and hormonal changes occur in their body. One of the most significant changes is the decrease in estrogen production, which can lead to a range of symptoms and health issues.

Common physical changes during menopause in dogs include weight gain, decreased muscle mass, and a decrease in overall energy levels. Additionally, some dogs may experience changes in their coat and skin, such as dryness, thinning, or dullness.

Hormonal changes during menopause can also lead to behavioral changes in dogs. Some dogs may become more irritable or aggressive, while others may become more anxious or lethargic. Additionally, changes in the reproductive system can result in irregular or absent heat cycles, as well as an increased risk of uterine infections or tumors.

It’s important for dog owners to be aware of these changes and to provide their dogs with the necessary support and care during this phase of life. Regular veterinary check-ups, a healthy diet, and regular exercise can all help promote overall health and well-being in menopausal dogs.

Managing Menopause in Dogs

Managing a dog’s health during the menopausal phase is essential for ensuring a happy and healthy life. Here are some strategies and tips to help you support your dog through the changes.


A nutritious and well-balanced diet is crucial for maintaining a dog’s health during menopause. Consider switching to a diet that is specifically designed for senior dogs, as it contains all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals needed to support your dog’s aging body.


Regular exercise is important for maintaining your dog’s physical and mental health. However, it’s important to adjust the intensity and duration of exercise to suit your dog’s changing needs. Low-impact activities such as walking and swimming can be a great way to keep your dog active without putting too much strain on their joints.

Veterinary Care:

Regular visits to the vet are crucial for catching and addressing any health issues that may arise during menopause. Your vet may recommend additional health screenings or treatments to help manage the effects of menopause on your dog’s body.


Your vet may also recommend supplements to help support your dog’s aging body. These may include joint supplements to help with mobility, as well as supplements to support overall health and well-being.

Behavioral Changes:

During menopause, your dog may experience changes in behavior such as increased anxiety or irritability. Providing a nurturing and calm environment can help alleviate these symptoms. Additionally, incorporating mental stimulation activities such as puzzle toys and training sessions can help keep your dog’s mind active and engaged.

Recognizing and Addressing Health Issues

As with any major life change, dogs going through menopause may experience health issues. It is important for pet owners to be aware of the potential health risks and to take action if any symptoms arise.

One common health issue in menopausal dogs is weight gain, which can lead to other health problems such as diabetes and joint issues. To combat this, it is important to provide regular exercise and a balanced diet tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

Another potential health concern during menopause is an increased risk for urinary tract infections and bladder issues. Keeping your dog’s environment clean and providing regular access to water can help prevent these issues.

It is also important to monitor your dog for any signs of reproductive issues such as uterine infections or tumors. These can be serious health concerns and may require medical intervention.

Regular veterinary check-ups and open communication with your veterinarian can help ensure that any potential health issues are caught early and properly addressed.

Supporting Your Dog Through Menopause

Just like human women, dogs can experience a range of physical and emotional changes during menopause. As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to understand how to provide comfort and support to your furry friend during this phase of life.

One important aspect of supporting a menopausal dog is recognizing and understanding changes in behavior. It’s common for dogs to become more irritable or anxious during this time, so it’s important to be patient and provide a calming environment.

You may also notice changes in your dog’s sleep patterns or energy levels, so be sure to provide plenty of rest and relaxation opportunities.

Another key factor in supporting a menopausal dog is nutritional care. As dogs age and go through menopause, their dietary needs may change. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian to ensure your dog is getting the appropriate nutrients and is on the right diet for their individual needs.

Exercise is also important for the health and well-being of menopausal dogs. While it’s important to be mindful of any physical limitations your dog may have, providing daily exercise and play opportunities can help keep them active and engaged.

If you notice any concerning changes in your dog’s health or behavior during menopause, it’s important to address them promptly with your veterinarian. Regular check-ups and preventative care can also help ensure your dog stays healthy and happy throughout their later years.


Q: At what age do dogs have menopause?

A: Dogs typically experience menopause between the ages of 6 and 10 years old.

Q: What is the canine reproductive cycle?

A: The canine reproductive cycle consists of four stages: proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus. These stages relate to the onset of menopause.

Q: What are the signs and symptoms of dog menopause?

A: Common signs and symptoms of dog menopause include changes in behavior, such as irritability and restlessness, changes in physical appearance, such as weight gain and coat changes, and changes in reproductive cycles, such as irregular or absent heat cycles.

Q: What is the age range for dog menopause?

A: Dog menopause typically occurs between the ages of 6 and 10 years old, but it can vary depending on breed and individual factors.

Q: How does menopause affect a dog’s fertility?

A: Menopause marks the end of a dog’s reproductive ability, leading to a decrease in fertility. Breeding older female dogs can pose potential risks.

Q: What are the physical and hormonal changes during menopause?

A: During menopause, a dog may experience changes such as weight gain, decreased energy levels, and hormonal fluctuations that can impact overall health and well-being.

Q: How can I manage my dog’s health during menopause?

A: Effectively managing a dog’s health during menopause involves providing a balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper veterinary care to address any specific needs or concerns.

Q: What are the common health issues in menopausal dogs?

A: Menopausal dogs may be susceptible to health issues such as urinary incontinence, weight gain, and an increased risk of certain diseases. Recognizing and addressing these issues is important for a dog’s well-being.

Q: How can I support my dog through menopause?

A: Supporting a dog through menopause involves understanding behavioral changes, providing a comfortable and nurturing environment, and offering emotional support to help them transition through this phase.


Understanding the menopausal phase in dogs is crucial for their physical and emotional well-being. During this phase, dogs experience significant changes that can impact their overall health and reproductive capabilities.

By recognizing the signs and symptoms of menopause, pet owners can take proactive steps to ensure their dog’s health and comfort.

Managing a dog’s diet, exercise, and veterinary care during menopause is essential for their continued health. Additionally, providing emotional support and a nurturing environment can help ease the transition into this phase.

By supporting and caring for their dogs during menopause, pet owners can ensure a happy and healthy life for their furry companions.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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