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Category: Parenting
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female dog was scheduled for spaying, went into heat today.

Customer Question

female dog was scheduled for spaying, went into heat today. How do I explain this to young children?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  SObulldog replied 8 years ago.
Hello, this maybe a situation that you do not have to go into specific details with them but rather tell them that this is an ouchy that will need to be fixed by the vet. I would just tell them that girl dogs have this problem and that the vet will be able to fix the problem when she goes in for the surgery. I would not worry about going into such details like trying to explain the reproductive system and so froth as if they are young they will not understand it any ways. Making it as simple as possible seems to be of great help to young children and they tend to have less questions in the long run that will keep you explaining things over and over again. Good luck with the kids and if you need anything else be sure to let me know.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
This will work fine with the 5 and 3 year old boys, but Alexa, age 8, wants to know the the details of everything!! She has to know the whys and wheretos and whatfores of everything! She also went through a phase when her great-grandmother died last year of being terrified of death, so anytime she or the boys get sick or hurt, she panicks a bit. Going into detail with her seems to help rather than make situation worse. So my sister was most worried about her being afraid that it was an "ouchy". That is the reason for the question. My sister feels obviously she is too young for the "birds and the bees" talk, but doesn't want her to think Shayna is sick or hurt. Any suggestions?
Expert:  SObulldog replied 8 years ago.
You could try and tell her that this is something that female dogs do when they are ready to have babies and that it shows that she is growing up. I would not worry about telling her that she is going to be fixed then so that she does not have babies as this may open up another can of worms but rather stick to the idea that she is no longer a puppy and this is a sign that she is growing up and not a puppy any more. This may help but at the same time there is a fine line to try and not cross since you don't want to go into the birds and bees discussion just yet. Or this may be the perfect opportunity to go into that conversation at this point. Girls are getting ready sooner than they used to be and this may be the best thing to talk about in order to get her ready for the big day herself.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Sorry, feedback didn't help. Alexa (8 year old) way too inquisitive to except that answer. Ended up calling family friend who is a psychologist.