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Understanding Progesterone Dog Tests: Essential Guide for Breeders and Veterinarians

Reviewed by: Dr. Alicia Martinez, DVM

Accurate and timely progesterone testing is crucial for successful canine breeding. If you're searching for information on "progesterone dog tests," this comprehensive guide will provide you with the insights and practical knowledge needed to optimize breeding outcomes.

Why is Progesterone Dog Tests Important

Progesterone is a hormone produced by the ovaries that plays a critical role in the reproductive cycle of dogs. Monitoring progesterone levels helps determine the optimal breeding time, which significantly increases the chances of successful conception.

The Progesterone Testing Process

1. Timing the Test

Optimal Breeding Window:

  • The key to successful breeding is identifying the period when progesterone levels indicate that ovulation is about to occur.

  • Testing typically begins a few days after the onset of estrus (heat) when the female shows initial signs of fertility.

2. Blood Sample Collection


  • A small blood sample is drawn from the dog, usually from a vein in the foreleg.

  • The sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis, or tested in-house if the veterinary clinic has the necessary equipment.

3. Analyzing Progesterone Levels


  • Progesterone levels are measured in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).

  • Levels below 1 ng/mL indicate the dog is not yet ready for breeding.

  • Levels between 2-5 ng/mL suggest that ovulation is imminent, making it the ideal time for breeding.

  • Levels above 5 ng/mL usually indicate that ovulation has occurred, and breeding should take place immediately.

Real-World Scenario: Successful Breeding with Progesterone Testing

Consider a breeder named Emily who owns a Golden Retriever named Bella. Emily wants to ensure Bella’s breeding is timed perfectly to increase the chances of a successful litter. Here’s how she uses progesterone testing:

  1. Initial Signs of Heat:

  • Emily notices Bella’s vulva swelling and a slight discharge, indicating the start of estrus. She marks the date and prepares for testing.

  1. Commencing Testing:

  • A few days into the heat cycle, Emily takes Bella to her veterinarian for the first progesterone test. The initial reading is 1 ng/mL.

  1. Follow-Up Testing:

  • Emily schedules follow-up tests every two days. On the third test, Bella’s progesterone levels rise to 3 ng/mL, indicating that ovulation is near.

  1. Optimal Breeding Time:

  • With progesterone levels between 3-4 ng/mL, Emily arranges for mating, and Bella successfully conceives, leading to a healthy litter.

Progesterone Testing Techniques

In-House Testing


  • Quick results, often within an hour.

  • Immediate adjustments to breeding plans based on real-time data.

Equipment Needed:

  • Progesterone analyzers, such as the Vet Chroma.

  • Trained personnel to perform and interpret the tests.

Laboratory Testing


  • High accuracy and reliability.

  • Comprehensive analysis with detailed reports.


  • Time-consuming, with results taking a few days.

  • Requires transportation of samples, which can delay decision-making.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Progesterone Testing

Q1: How often should I test my dog’s progesterone levels? A1: Begin testing a few days after the onset of heat and continue every two days until the optimal breeding window is identified.

Q2: Can progesterone testing be done at home? A2: While at-home kits are available, it’s recommended to have tests performed by a veterinarian to ensure accuracy and proper interpretation.

Q3: What are the costs associated with progesterone testing? A3: Costs can vary depending on whether tests are done in-house or through a laboratory. Typically, each test ranges from $50 to $100.

Q4: How reliable is progesterone testing for determining the best breeding time? A4: Progesterone testing is one of the most reliable methods for timing breeding, with high accuracy in predicting ovulation.

Q5: Are there any risks associated with progesterone testing? A5: The procedure is minimally invasive, with the primary risk being minor discomfort during blood sample collection.

Booking an Appointment for Progesterone Testing

At our Menifee, CA office, we offer comprehensive progesterone testing services to ensure your breeding program's success. Our experienced team uses state-of-the-art equipment to provide accurate and timely results. Here’s how you can book an appointment:

  1. Contact Us: Call or email our office to schedule an initial consultation.

  2. Initial Consultation: Discuss your breeding goals and evaluate the best timing for progesterone testing.

  3. Schedule Tests: Based on the initial consultation, we’ll schedule the progesterone tests at the optimal times.


Progesterone testing is an essential tool for breeders aiming to optimize breeding outcomes. By understanding the reproductive cycle and accurately timing breeding, you can significantly increase the chances of successful conception. Whether you choose in-house or laboratory testing, the key is to start testing early and follow through until the optimal breeding window is identified.

For those searching for "progesterone dog test," our Menifee, CA office offers comprehensive services to meet your needs. Book an appointment with us today to ensure the success of your breeding program. Contact us at [Your Contact Information] to schedule your consultation and progesterone tests.

For more information about our services and training programs, visit

Progesterone Dog Tests
Progesterone Dog Tests


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