Can You Buy Ovulation Test For Dogs?

Dog ovulation tests allow owners to detect when a female dog is ovulating so they can determine the optimal time for breeding. These tests work by detecting hormones associated with ovulation in the dog’s urine or vaginal secretions. Some reasons why someone may want to use dog ovulation tests include:

Planning a litter – Tests pinpoint the 2-3 day fertile window so owners can coordinate breeding at the right time.

Breeding problems – Tests help identify issues like silent heats or irregular cycles that make it hard to get the timing right.

AI breeding – For artificial insemination, identifying ovulation helps ensure semen is introduced at the right moment.

Population control – Knowing when a dog ovulates allows owners to isolate them during this time if preventing pregnancy.

Health monitoring – Dramatic hormone fluctuations around ovulation can indicate ovarian issues.

Dog ovulation home tests provide a convenient, non-invasive way for owners to get insight into their dog’s reproductive cycle and optimize breeding success.

When Do Dogs Ovulate?

Dogs go into heat or estrus around twice a year, although cycles vary from dog to dog. The estrus cycle has four stages: proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus (Cornell Vet School).

During proestrus, estrogen levels rise and dogs will start attracting males. However, dogs do not ovulate during this stage. The proestrus stage lasts around 9 days on average.

The estrus stage is when the dog is receptive to males and can get pregnant. Ovulation happens during this stage, generally about 2 days after the peak discharge of vaginal fluid. Estrus lasts around 9 days as well, but can vary from 4 to 20 days (VCA Hospitals).

Ovulation is the release of mature eggs from the ovaries. It occurs midway through the estrus stage, which is when the dog is fertile. This is the optimal time for breeding.

Signs of Ovulation

There are several signs that indicate when a female dog is ovulating. These changes typically occur around 9-14 days into the heat cycle and last for around 5-10 days. The most notable signs include:

Changes in appearance:

– Vulval swelling – The dog’s vulva will become swollen and enlarged. This is caused by increased blood flow to the area (AKC).

– Tail flagging – The dog may hold her tail to the side, exposing the vulva. This behavior invites mating (Christown Animal Hospital).

Changes in behavior:

– Receptive to mating – The female will stand still and allow the male to mount and mate. She may actively solicit mating.

– Restlessness – Some females exhibit nesting behavior, pacing, whimpering, and apprehension during peak ovulation (WagWalking).

Vaginal discharge changes:

– Bloody discharge – The discharge will take on a dark red or bloody appearance as estrogen levels drop and progesterone rises (AKC).

– Watery discharge – As ovulation occurs, the discharge becomes lighter in color and watery. The presence of watery discharge signals the female is at peak fertility (Christown Animal Hospital).

Using Ovulation Tests

There are a few different types of ovulation tests available for dogs:

Blood tests: A progesterone blood test is considered the most accurate way to detect ovulation. A vet will draw blood from the dog and send it to a lab to measure progesterone levels, which rise just before ovulation. This can pinpoint ovulation within a 1-2 day window.

Urine tests: These work similarly to human ovulation predictor kits. The dog’s urine is applied to a test strip that detects a rise in luteinizing hormone, which happens 1-2 days before ovulation. Brands like DRAMIŃSKI DOD2 and Repro-Vet Canine Ovulation Test Kit offer these.

Vaginal swab tests: Swabs of vaginal cells are viewed under a microscope to track cell changes indicative of impending ovulation. Brands like DRAMIŃSKI DOD2 offer combination urine/vaginal swab tests.

Timing is important with ovulation tests. Testing typically begins 5-7 days into the heat cycle and continues every 1-2 days to identify the LH surge. Following the manufacturer’s directions is essential for accuracy.

Accuracy of Tests

The accuracy of canine ovulation tests can vary depending on the type of test used and proper administration. According to Amazon, most commercially available tests claim to be over 99% accurate when used correctly.

Ovulation tests detect the surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) levels that occurs just before ovulation. This LH surge triggers ovulation within 24-48 hours. By detecting the LH surge, ovulation tests identify the optimal days for breeding even before the eggs are released.

For best accuracy, testing should begin 3-5 days before the expected ovulation and continue daily until ovulation is detected. Factors like proper sample collection timing and following test instructions can impact accuracy. Tests may be less accurate in dogs with health conditions affecting ovulation.

Overall, most veterinarians and breeders consider quality canine ovulation tests to be a reliable method for detecting the fertile period in dogs when used properly.

When to Start Testing

Determining the optimal testing window is crucial for accurately detecting ovulation. The recommended testing window depends on the length of your dog’s heat cycle:

  • For dogs with 10-12 day cycles, begin testing around day 6.
  • For 14-16 day cycles, start testing around day 8.
  • For cycles lasting 21 days or longer, testing can begin around day 10.

It’s best to consult with your veterinarian to determine the typical duration of your dog’s heat cycles. This will allow you to identify the ideal testing window and maximize your chances of detecting the LH surge that precedes ovulation.

How to Use Ovulation Tests

Using an ovulation test for dogs is similar to how ovulation tests for humans work. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to use a dog ovulation test properly:

1. Choose the time of day to test. The optimal testing time is usually in the late afternoon or early evening. Try to test around the same time each day for consistency.

2. Collect a urine sample from your dog. Gently wipe her vulva with a tissue to remove any debris or blood. You only need a few drops of urine for the test strip.

3. Unwrap the test strip and place it in the urine stream or collect urine in a clean bowl and dip the strip. Read the instructions for your specific brand as immersion time can vary.

4. Wait for the allotted time per the test instructions then check for test line color changes. One line means negative, two lines is positive for an LH surge.

5. Record your test results each day. Tracking results over multiple days will help identify the LH surge and prime breeding time.

6. Once ovulation is confirmed stop testing. Ovulation typically occurs 1-2 days after a positive test for the LH hormone.

Refer to the instructions provided with your specific ovulation test brand for full directions. Proper collection and timing is important for accurate results.


Interpreting Test Results

Dog ovulation tests detect the surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) that precedes ovulation, similar to ovulation tests for women. The test line will typically start out faint, then become equally as dark or darker than the control line as LH surges 1-2 days before ovulation. This signals that ovulation is approaching.

The results can be interpreted as follows:

  • No line visible – Negative result, LH has not surged
  • Faint line – LH is beginning to increase but has not peaked
  • Line equally as dark as control line – LH surge detected, ovulation anticipated within 24-48 hours

It’s important to note that the LH surge and corresponding positive result happens right before ovulation. By the time ovulation occurs and the eggs can be fertilized, the LH levels will have already dropped back down. This means the best two days to breed are the two days leading up to the positive result.

Once the LH surge is detected, breeding should occur immediately and can be repeated for the next 1-2 days for the highest chance of pregnancy. Continue testing to see when the LH surge ends and test line fades, signaling ovulation occurred 1-2 days prior.


The price range for dog ovulation tests can vary depending on the brand, quantity, and type of test. Some factors that influence cost include:

Test strips vs electronic monitors – Test strips tend to be more affordable, usually ranging from $15-$50 for a pack of 10-20 strips. Electronic monitors that analyze urine samples digitally typically range from $100-$300.

Brand – Brands known for high accuracy like Witness tend to be more expensive. Generic brands are more budget-friendly.

Quantity – Buying in bulk brings down the per-unit cost. A single test strip may cost $5-10 each, whereas bundles of 20-50 strips can lower the per-unit price to $2-5.

Overall, most dog owners can expect to spend $20-$150 to purchase ovulation test kits for their dog depending on their needs. Cost should not be the only factor – accuracy and ease of use are also important for successfully identifying ovulation.


Whether or not you should buy ovulation tests for your dog depends on several factors like your breeding goals, your budget, and how accurate you need the timing to be. These tests can certainly provide a helpful guide for identifying the optimal days to breed, but they are not 100% precise. In some cases, natural observation of a female dog’s behavior may be sufficient.

Overall, purchasing canine ovulation test kits can be a worthwhile investment for breeders who want a better indication of their dog’s most fertile window. Just be sure to start testing early enough, follow the kit directions closely, and use the results as helpful insight rather than an absolute guarantee. Ovulation can sometimes be missed even with frequent testing. However, using these tests is generally a reliable way to increase your chances of successful breeding if the timing is right.

The best recommendation is to consider your own needs and constraints. For maximum accuracy, use ovulation tests starting 5 days before the expected heat cycle, test daily, and breed according to your veterinarian’s guidance based on the results. This can greatly optimize the likelihood of pregnancy. However, observation of physical signs may be sufficient otherwise. Consult your vet to determine the right ovulation testing approach for your dog.

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