For the most part, dog owners do not have to worry about their pets’ hiccups. Just like you, spasms in the diaphragm will result in hiccups in dogs.
There is no scientific reason or explanation for hiccuping in both man and mammals. It is very normal
As a first-time dog owner, it is understandable to be curious about hiccups in your puppy or dog.
However, you can rest assured that canines experience hiccuping as well, and there is nothing to fret over.
A spasm in the diaphragm results in the abrupt closing of the glottis, which causes the ‘hic’ sound. Scientists believe that hiccuping is a way of test-driving the muscles of the respiratory system before birth.
Why Dogs Hiccup
A scientific theory tries to explain hiccups as a leftover from utero-development. In any case, this can explain why your puppy hiccups more frequently than the mother.
As they grow older, you will notice that the hiccuping becomes less frequent or will disappear completely.
Other scientists seem to think that your puppy hiccups are a way of eliminating gas from the stomach or alleviating an upset stomach. Since puppies are prone to hiccups after rushed feeding or drinking, this theory might explain how they get rid of gas from the gastrointestinal system.
Other than that, your puppy can get hiccups from excitement, stress, fatigue, and they get cold. Also, if your dog breaths in an irritant, they may get hiccups.
Typically, excitement will cause reverse hiccups in your puppy or dog. Reverse hiccups are continuous, involuntary, loud breaths through the nose. If your dog has sinuses, they try to clear the mucus through reverse hiccups.
If the dog exhibits persistent hiccups, you should take them to the vet since there may be an underlying illness such as pneumonia, asthma, or pericarditis.
Puppies are prone to hiccups due to several reasons. For starters, they have a higher energy level, which means they experience rapid energy bursts, which may affect their breathing.
With their high levels of excitement, puppies are more likely to have fast-eating and drinking methods, which makes them swallow air.
Furthermore, a puppy will have internal organs that are less mature in comparison to adult dogs, a factor that can lead to higher hiccupping episodes. It is beneficial
Other than being harmless, hiccups are beneficial for your dog. For starters, they help to get rid of gas in the stomach, which can be a source of discomfort in your dog. Other than relieving stomach irritation, they help in fixing the temporary loss of nerve coordination that controls the diaphragm.
Hiccups are rather uncommon in dogs, but they sometimes occur, especially if your dog is eating or drinking too fast. Through this process, they swallow a lot of air, which will result in hiccups. However, the food might be irritating to your dog’s stomach.
Therefore, if your dog experiences hiccups after feeding, consider changing the diet to determine whether it is the cause. Always remember that dietary changes should be done gradually, and always consult the vet before you do it.
Invest in Slow Bowls, which will help your pet to go slow at mealtimes. The plastic raisings inside the bowl make it very tasking for a dog to eat too fast.
Most episodes will last for a few minutes. Most times, they will not exhibit agitation as they would with other symptoms such as coughing and vomiting.
How to Help Your Dog’s Hiccups
Even though most owners consider hiccups to be adorable, they feel a compelling urge to help their pets get over them. The most common remedies involve adding a sweetener to the drinking water.
Such remedies are not medical. They work by distracting your pet, which results in changing and relaxing their breathing pattern.
Also, massaging your dog’s chest will help in relaxing the diaphragm, or you can try to startle the pet gently. Light activities and exercises will change the breathing pattern, as well. Hiccups should not prevent you from playing with your dog or doing anything you normally do.
Is your dog hiccuping too much?
Sometimes, hiccups can prove to be violent, and since they are involuntary, do not feed anything solid to the dog. Anything that requires chewing may be a choking hazard. Furthermore, anything sugar-free is likely to contain xylitol, which is very dangerous for dogs, making it a health hazard.
When to call the vet
In some cases, the hiccups may be an indication of underlying health issues such as pneumonia, respiratory defects, pericarditis, heatstroke, or asthma. If the hiccups persist for several hours, you should make a call to your vet.
Do not try to medicate your dog without a vet’s prescription or consent. Some owners try to give their dogs human medicine to cure hiccups. Please do not do this as it may result in more harm than good. Otherwise, there isn’t much to worry about.
On hot days, avoid overexerting your puppy since it may trigger hiccups. Furthermore, this predisposes them to heatstroke. Dogs with darker coats are more susceptible to heatstroke, which is a life-threatening condition.
The Brachycephalic breeds are also prone to heatstroke due to airways restrictions and shorter muzzles. These breeds include French and English bulldogs and Chinese pugs.
If the hiccups come with gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, or vomiting, call your vet immediately.
Other medical reasons for hiccups include parasitic infections. Common symptoms include lethargy, intolerance to exercise, or any activity and frequent hiccupping episodes.
If your dog is barking too much, then they are likely to experience hiccups. The reason behind this is that excitement increases the breathing rate of your dog.
Will your dog need medication for hiccups?
Hiccups are natural and typically disappear after a few moments. You can try a few remedies to rectify the breathing patterns or alleviate stomach irritations.
However, unless your dog has a medical condition that requires a medicinal remedy, avoid giving your dog medications.
Hiccups are not a disease or disorder, and therefore treatment is unnecessary.