If you own a female dog and she has not been spayed, you will have to put up with the times she comes into season which can be seriously challenging on many levels. In truth if you are not going to breed from your dog, it's far better to have her spayed for many reasons, one of which is that it reduces the chances of her developing cancer!
However, if you have not had her spayed you may be wondering if it is safe to take her out for a walk when she is in season and there are other dogs around. If you have a garden, this does not really pose a problem because you can let her out into it so she can do her business. If you live in an apartment, it's a whole different ball game because no matter what, your dog will need to be taken out for a walk whether she is in season or not for the simple reason she will need to do her business and more than just once a day!
With this said, you must keep your dog on the lead if you take her out for a walk, no matter where you take her. Whether it's along the road, in a park or out in the country, when she is in season she will have to stay on her lead at all times. The reason being that other dogs in the vicinity will know she is on heat and will automatically head her way.
The other reason is that she is very likely to run off with her “deaf ears” on because her hormones will be all over the place and the commands you taught her may simply go out of the window, no matter how well trained she happens to be.
As previously mentioned taking a dog that's in season out for a walk can be a little challenging. This means planning your route well in advance and thinking about what other dogs you are likely encounter along the way.
You also need to think about the “trail” your dog will leave behind her which will be full of pheromones due to the fact she's in season. This will naturally attract every male unneutered dog in the neighbourhood. You may also find your dog wants to pee a lot more because this is her way of letting the dog world know that she's in heat.
All male dogs will pick up on this scent and if they are allowed to, they will follow it right to your front door which hopefully they would not be allowed to do, but you never know! The best way to prevent this from happening is to put your dog in the car and take them to a park that's not too close to where you live. In short, you effectively break the trail you dog leaves behind her when she's in season and out on a walk.
It's best to avoid very busy parks where lots of owners regularly take their dogs so they can run off their leads. You may have your dog on a lead, but if other dogs are off theirs, it could be a recipe for disaster. All the loose dogs will be attracted by her scent, including other females and neutered dogs because they all love a new and “exciting” smells which they will all want to investigate!
If you cannot avoid taking your dog to a park where there are lots of other dogs, you can always use a specific deodorant spray that's formulated to disguise the fact a bitch is in season. You need to bear in mind that these products only work to a certain extent and that your dog's scent will still be left behind when she takes a pee. Dogs in the distance might not realise she is, but any dogs that get too close will certainly know she is!
The best solution is to have your dog spayed because like this she would be a much happier and more settled character all round. She will not have to go through all those hormonal changes that can really make her a different dog to be around and one that forgets all those important commands you spent so long teaching her! Having a female dog spayed also reduces the risk of her developing some really nasty forms of cancer which can often prove fatal shortening her lifespan quite dramatically.