Tips On How You Can Get Rid Of Dog Hiccups
Hiccups in dogs is not as uncommon as you would think. Dogs experience hiccups just like humans, which sometimes alarms pet owners. The good news is that dogs getting hiccups is a normal phenomenon and there is actually nothing to worry about. This is because dog hiccups typically disappear on their own after a moment or two, depending on the cause.
In this article, we’ll answer the question on why do dogs and puppies get hiccups and tell you how to get rid of puppy hiccups.
- Tips On How You Can Get Rid Of Dog Hiccups
What Causes Hiccups In Dogs?
Hiccups in dogs, like in humans, occur as involuntary contractions occur in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle that separates the chest cavity and the abdomen. This muscle is the one involved when a pup breathes in air.
When it contracts, it moves downward to give more room in the chest cavity as the lungs expand. When puppies breathe out, the diaphragm muscles relax and move upwards.
You may be able to see the diaphragm spasm, but the sound is much more difficult to hear. Diaphragm spasms can be triggered by rapid breathing, excitement, stress , or irritants. Eating food too fast can also cause hiccups. The spasm forces the animal's “voice” box known as the glottis (a dog's vocal cords) to close affecting its breath.
When this occurs, air intake stops is usually the cause of hiccups.
So can dogs hiccup? Yes, but cute puppies are more vulnerable to get the hiccups than adult dogs. This is because of their high levels of energy, excitement, and susceptibility to stress. Additionally, puppies are more likely to eat and drink very fast, thereby affecting their breathing.
There is also a phenomenon known as reverse sneezing, which sometimes occurs when a puppy powerfully sucks in air through his nose. Dogs do this as a way of clearing their sinuses. Reverse sneezing should not be confused with diaphragm hiccups though they may appear the same.
In rare cases, involuntary dog hiccups, like in humans, can be a sign that there’s something more serious going on in the dog's lungs. No one knows your pet better than you, so if you think that his hiccups are abnormal, be calm and visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. Better safe than sorry when your dogs get hiccups!
How To Get Rid Of Dog Hiccups?
If you have seen your puppy experience a bout of hiccups, particularly if you're a first-time pet owner, then you are likely to get worried and start asking “can dogs get hiccups?” Or “is something bad happening to my dog?” In these cases, it is important to keep calm to be helpful to your dog.
So how do you get rid of hiccups in dogs? More often than not, there is actually nothing that you're supposed to do. Dog hiccups usually disappear on their own. However, if your dog has hiccups for several hours, contact your vet.
There are many old wives’ theories and folklore remedies. Some claim that they help others by startling them. Others claim that feeding the puppy a small amount of sugar can help.
When your dog gets hiccups, many suggest drinking water or rubbing the dog's chest area can cure it. However, there are some dos and don'ts to remember when trying to get rid of your dog's hiccups especially if you find them troublesome.
What Not To Do
When they get the hiccups, coaxing your dog to drink water or rubbing their chest won’t hurt them, but many other methods can. Giving your pooch a little bit of sugar to eat is not recommended because it can lead to an upset stomach and other health issues.
For people, startling someone can help stop a hiccup. However, experts warn against doing the same, especially while feeding dogs, that get hiccups. It can lead to mistrust and behavioral problems, and startling a puppy on a hard, slippery surface can result in an injury and be more harmful to a puppy's health.
You should also avoid or limit strenuous play and exercise after eating since gastrointestinal upset can also lead to frequent bouts of hiccups and are not helpful to your dog.
What To Do
Although an occasional bout of hiccups in dogs is a normal thing, it is quite hard to convince many dog parents that there's nothing wrong with their pets.
So, here are some of the home remedies you can try to help your dog:
- Calm your hiccuping dog: For intense hiccups, it's advisable to try and relax the dog with hiccups to regularize their breathing pattern. Move your pet to a quiet place where you can groom or pat him gently. Dogs generally enjoy a gentle massage, so you should consider learning some canine massage techniques beforehand.
- Encourage the puppy to drink water: Drinking fresh water can help a dog, just like in us humans. Provide your dog with fresh water when he gets hiccups as this can help play a role in removing their hiccups.
- Slow down his food: Hiccups sometimes starts during feeding, when a puppy starts eating his food too fast. However, avoid distracting your dog while he's eating or drinking. You may want to invest in an interactive or slow dog feeder to slow the dinner time and encourage your dog to eat slowly. When a dog gobbles down his food, he swallows a lot of extra air, which causes or leads to hiccups.
For a bad instance of puppy hiccups, you can try exercise along with home remedies like giving the puppy a spoonful of honey, maple syrup, karo syrup, or anything sweet in liquid form. You can also give your dog sweet treats as a distraction for when it has hiccups.
Your veterinarian should also be able to suggest a special, low-grain diet that relieves dogs hiccups. High grain foods are causes occasional hiccups to occur.
It's vital to emphasize here that hiccupping is a totally normal thing provided it doesn't last several minutes. In most cases, these strategies are effective at stopping hiccups.
When To Take Your Dog To The Vet For Hiccups?
You don’t have to worry if your dog’s hiccup episodes don’t last more than an hour. But if the puppy hiccups do not show any sign of disappearing and continue for an unusually long time, then there could be a serious issue.
Also, find out if your dog’s hiccups are characterized by wheezing or are causing him trouble breathing. In such cases, you should definitely take him to your veterinarian who can help identify the cause.
Intractable hiccups may often be a warning sign of a more serious cause. Vomiting accompanied by hiccups can be a symptom of gastrointestinal disorder. Intestinal worms can also cause hiccups in puppies.
Even though it is normal that dogs get hiccups, certain occurrences could indicate that there is something wrong with your dog or it's respiratory system. Possible conditions include hypothermia, heat stroke, pneumonia, and bronchitis. If your dog has hiccups that are accompanied by the following signs and symptoms, seek veterinary assistance immediately by calling your local vet.
- Stomach problems: Hiccups accompanied by constipation, diarrhea, and lack of appetite could be a sign of a serious gastrointestinal problem. Another red flag is blood in his stool.
- Sudden changes in dog's breathing pattern: If your dog's hiccupping is changing your pet's breathing patterns, it could signal respiratory problems. Sneezes, coughing and heavy breathing are the other warning signs.
- Parasites: If your puppy has hiccups and looks extremely tired, chances are he has a parasitic problem. Other possible signs are your pet having diarrhea, vomiting, and hard stools.
If you think something is wrong with your dog's hiccuping, schedule an appointment with a veterinarian. At the same time, you might also want to check for other issues such as his eating or drinking habits. Or learn more about other symptoms such as blood in the dog's urine and other cause for concern.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does My Dog Have Hiccups All the Time?
Dogs can experience a bout hiccups all the time because it’s a normal phenomenon that can happen. Although it might be a frightening sight for many dog parents to see their pet's hiccup uncontrollably all the time, hiccups are a very normal and common event, so there's really nothing to be concerned about.
As long as your pooch doesn’t show any signs of pain or discomfort during those bouts of hiccups, then there's nothing to be afraid of. Don’t get frightened even if your dogs get hiccups a lot since it is a normal occurrence. If your pup doesn't stop hiccuping for several hours, contact your vet doctor immediately to see if there's an underlying cause so you can help your dog.
How Common Are Dog Hiccups?
Dog hiccups occur commonly, but they are more common in your cute puppies than full grown dogs. Most dogs of all breeds get bouts of hiccups at least once when they are young.
Puppies are more vulnerable since they have high energy levels and tend to get excited more. They are also more likely to eat and drink too quickly on top of their excitement. Their internal body systems and organs are less developed, which may lead to an increased likelihood of hiccups.
How do I know if my dog has the hiccups or is choking?
You can tell if your dog has the hiccups or is choking by observing the signs. Just like us humans, you might hear a characteristic “hic” accompanied by diaphragm spasms. At times, you will only see the diaphragm spasms happen without any sounds.
When hiccups occur, they are often confused with retching and seizures. They have a similar sound, but the other two conditions are more serious and require immediate medical attention. If your pup has a hiccup and you notice other symptoms like lethargy or loss of appetite, talk to your vet.
On the other hand, a choking dog will probably start pawing at the face immediately. Additionally, you might notice other related signs occur, including:
A choking dog is a severe condition, so you should call your vet right away. Do not delay for the health and safety of your pet.
Pet parents often ask, “can dogs have hiccups?” Or “why do puppies get hiccups?” Now you know that dog hiccups are usually normal and harmless. They often happen when a dog gets too excited. In most cases, it resolves on its own. If not, now you know some ways to get rid of hiccups in dogs.
The bottom line is dog hiccups are not going to harm your pet and are completely natural and very common in dogs. So don’t panic since this is a natural phenomenon.
However, persistent hiccups could be signify a serious problem and it's important to get your cute puppy checked out if you're concerned about their health.