From puppyhood to adulthood, dogs get hiccups quite often, just like us. While they may seem adorable and cute, continuous and frequent hiccups require urgent attention. It is unthinkable, especially for a new pet parent, to just sit back and enjoy while your dog hiccups like no tomorrow. So, you might think about how to get rid of these hiccups!
The good news is that there are many simple ways and home remedies that can ease dog and puppy hiccups. Here we have mentioned all of these remedies that can help you with your hiccupping buddy. Let’s get started!
What Causes Puppy or Dog Hiccups
The cause of hiccups in dogs is much similar to that of humans. Hiccups are a result of contractions or spasms in the diaphragm. During contraction, the diaphragm muscles move downward, creating a vacuum within the lungs. Occasionally, the diaphragm muscles begin repeated convulsions and contractions, similar to a muscle spasm.
This results in short, unexpected bursts of breathing when lungs get air in and out of them repeatedly. It causes dog hiccups. The exact cause of hiccups is still unknown. But you can avoid certain activities and habits that may cause puppy hiccups. These may include:
- Eating Or Drinking Too Fast
- Rapid Breathing
- Intense Barking
How To Get Rid of Dog Hiccups?
It is hard to convince pet parents that hiccups in dogs and puppies are just as normal as they are in humans. So, try the following home remedies to avoid seeing your pup’s little body jump to the beat of every hic.
Things To Do:
Offer Sweet Things
Sweet foods like sugar, honey, or sweet syrup are the best way to get rid of puppy hiccups. Avoid giving sugar or honey in raw form and try mixing them in water. The sweet water distracts your puppy in a pleasant way that eases his hiccups by lowering stress levels.
Offer Cold Water
Just like humans, water is the best remedy to ease hiccups in dogs. Dogs have a long oesophagus so when they drink cold water, it passes between their lungs and diaphragm. The diaphragm muscles contract temporarily due to the cold temperatures. When the body heat relaxes the diaphragm muscles again, it resumes its normal function, easing the hiccups.
No Savory Foods
Savory foods with high salt content make the puppy hiccups worse. Therefore avoid giving your dog sugar-free foods if he suffers from hiccups.
Avoid Anything Solid
When your dog surfaces from hiccups, do not give him anything solid to eat. Hiccups often get violent and if there is anything in his mouth that requires chewing, it may induce choking.
Massage Or Rub the Chest
To get rid of dog hiccups fast, lay your dog down and massage his chest. Rubbing the chest or abdomen causes the diaphragm muscles to relax. Dogs love when you pat or massage them. A relaxed and happy dog is less likely to develop hiccups.
For intense puppy hiccups, try to encourage him to do some exercise. It regularizes the breathing patterns of your pup. Outdoor activities like walking or light playing greatly helps in getting rid of dog hiccups.
Feed Low Grain Food
High-grain foods often cause dog hiccups. It is better to feed the dogs low-grain foods if they are more prone to hiccups. Avoid feeding the dog foods that are causing the hiccup quite often.
Calm Your Dog
When hiccups get intense due to stress, try to relax the dog. Take him to the quiet place and rub him gently. It pleases the dogs which reduce their stress levels and regularizes their breathing patterns.
Encourage Slow Feeding
Hiccups often occur when dogs or puppies eat or drink too fast. First of all, try not to distract your dog while he is eating. Dogs often eat their food fast in the presence of another dog and get hiccups. You can invest in a puzzle eater or slow feeder to avoid this issue.
Add Pleasant Distractions
Adding sweetness to the water is a positive distraction that helps your dog relax. Honey mixed in water is also known to soothe the dog’s throat and slow down his breathing pace. Make sure the sugar products do not contain Xylitol which is extremely harmful to canines
Things Not to Do:
From drinking slightly cold water to rubbing the pup’s chest, the above-mentioned remedies do not hurt the dogs. Some other methods to ease dog hiccups might hurt him.
Raw sugar is not recommended for dogs as it upsets their stomach and causes other health issues.
Sudden shock or startling sometimes ease hiccups in humans. This method is absolutely not recommended for dogs. They may develop trust issues and behavioral problems. A surprise or shock can also lead to physical injury in dogs.
Avoid Strenuous Exercise
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 should you do if the hiccups do not go away?
If the hiccups do not go away on their own, try using the home remedies that work best. If they last even after using these remedies, you should take your dog to the vet immediately.
Frequent hiccupping or the one that lasts for extended periods could be a sign of a more serious underlying issue. Another reason to visit a vet for puppy hiccups is the appearance of potentially serious symptoms. These may include trouble breathing, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing, lethargy, constipation, and blood in the stool. In this case, your dog is suffering from chronic hiccups!
Underlying serious dog health problems are the prime cause of chronic hiccups in adult dogs and puppies. Three main factors contribute to such health issues in dogs;
- Intestinal Worms (Parasites)
- Gastric Issues
- Respiratory Diseases
How To Prevent Hiccups
Dog hiccups are involuntary and their causes are random or unknown. There is no way to prevent them altogether. However, you can slow them down or reduce their frequency if you see that a particular factor is causing puppy hiccups. Such as avoiding the factors that make your pup stressed, tired, or too enthusiastic. Avoid strenuous exercise and bulk food. Use slow feeders, puzzle toys, and snuffle mats. It helps your dog to eat slowly and in portions.
Are dog hiccups normal?
Yes! Hiccups with no signs and symptoms of other potential diseases are absolutely normal in puppies and dogs.
Why Do Puppies Get Hiccups more often than adult dogs?
Puppies get hiccups quite often because they ingest more air in their lungs. It is due to higher levels of exertion and excitement in young pups. Moreover, their diaphragm muscles are weaker than adult dogs and have immature bodies. It makes them more prone to hiccups.
How long do puppy hiccups last?
Puppy hiccups last from a few minutes to 15 minutes. Adult dog hiccups can usually last up to one hour but not more than that. If they do last more than their usual time limit, seek veterinary advice immediately.
Do hiccups hurt pups?
No! Hiccups do not hurt puppies. They may look surprised but it does not mean they are hurt.
Now you know how to treat your puppy and dog hiccups. With our insight, be a better pet parent and help your pup overcome hiccups easily. However, get your puppy checked by the vet regularly to prevent serious health issues.