Have you ever wondered, why do dogs get hiccups? As it can happen to human beings, dogs can experience them, too. It could be funny and adorable when you see it happen and the fact is, hiccups are quite common and mostly harmless among dogs.
So, how do dogs get hiccups? Hiccups occur when the diaphragm contracts involuntarily, for reasons such as stress, excitement, or eating and drinking too fast. These spasms occur for some time and eventually pass after a while. In some cases, you may feel a little worried and would like to know what you can do to help. To help your dog with hiccups, you may first try to determine the cause. Hiccups may come from:
1. Anxiety, fear, or stress.
Why do puppies get hiccups? Stress and fatigue are common causes of hiccups in dogs. Your dog or puppy might have been introduced in an unfamiliar place or situation which spike a breathing irregularity due to stress. Here are some useful tips on spotting dog anxiety symptoms and how to calm him down.
Why does my puppy get hiccups? Being overly excited is another one of the most common reasons. Excitement can cause your dog to eat or drink faster than he should, affecting the diaphragm muscle. It may also result in what is referred to as “reverse hiccups,” which is determined by loud, involuntary breaths through the nose.
Dogs love exercise but they’re also prone to overexertion, particularly on hot, humid days. Dark-coated and brachycephalic dogs (dog breeds with flat faces and short muzzles) are the most prone to hiccups caused by overexertion.
4. Specific health conditions.
If you’re asking, why does my puppy get hiccups a lot—and by a lot, like it’s almost on a regular basis, you might consider the possibility of a more serious underlying condition. If hiccups or “reverse hiccups” persist over a prolonged period, take your puppy to the vet. Your dog may have health conditions such as asthma, pneumonia, or a respiratory problem.
Why Do Puppies Get Hiccups a Lot?
Why does my puppy get hiccups so often? Hiccups can actually happen more often in puppies than with adult dogs. Puppies have higher energy levels and tend to get more excited about playing, eating, or drinking that can easily bring about a bout of hiccups. Their internal organs and systems are also still in the development stages, which experts say contribute to higher occurrences of hiccups. Constantly running around or moving may cause rapid breathing in puppies, triggering hiccups.
Why Do Dogs Get Hiccups When Sleeping?
Why do puppies have hiccups while sleeping? Dogs and puppies alike may experience hiccups even during sleep. These uncontrollable spasms of the diaphragm can be caused by stress or fatigue. Animals may also experience excitement while they dream and affect their breathing. Dogs dream during the REM stage of sleep, wherein they may actually move physically and breathe heavily, causing a sudden irritation of the diaphragm muscle.
What to Do When Your Dog Hiccups?
Now that you know why do puppies get hiccups a lot, there are some things you can do to help him get rid of it. A hiccupping spell would typically last only a few minutes, but if you start to get worried, here are some things you can try:
1. Help your dog relax.
When a person gets a hiccup, a common notion is that catching them by surprise would help the hiccups go away. You can certainly try this with your pet but make sure not to frighten him. The better thing to do is try to get your dog to relax from a state of hyper excitement. If you notice your dog with the hiccups, give him gentle rubs and talk to him in soothing tones to get him to calm down and breathe more regularly.
Causes of stress such fireworks can cause hiccups in dogs. Here are some things you can do if your dog is anxious from fireworks or loud sounds.
2. Offer him water.
A drink of water might also be just what your dog needs to make the hiccups subside. Make sure he drinks slowly and in small quantities to give his airway a chance to clear up.
3. Give him a sweet treat.
Something sweet to distract your dog from a bout of hiccups might just do the trick. A taste of honey, maple syrup, Karo syrup, or any sweet liquid could help your dog relax his breathing by soothing his throat and air passages and relieving any irritation. A pinch of sugar diluted in water is also worth trying.
4. Give your dog a chest massage.
Why does my puppy get hiccups so often? If it’s something that happens all the time, you should just about be an expert in giving chest massages. Have your dog roll over and rub his chest and belly area gently for a few minutes. This could be helpful in soothing the irritated diaphragm or improve its position.
5. Distract him with play.
Do puppies get hiccups a lot? Some of them sure do! But just because your dog got the hiccups doesn’t mean there’s a serious problem. Some light exercise can help your dog’s breathing back to normal, as long as you make sure to prevent any exhausting activity that can further compromise his breathing.
6. Take him for a walk.
If your puppy or dog can’t stop hiccupping, go out for a walk to help improve his breathing and heart rate. Exposure to different outdoors sights, smells, and sounds serve as an effective distraction, and his hiccups would be gone before either of you knows it!
7. Make necessary feeding adjustments.
If you do have puppies that get hiccups a lot, some adjustments to your dog feeding schedule may be in order. If your dog tends to eat too fast, try reducing the amount of food you put on his bowl as you increase feeding times. You may also want to watch your dog’s diet. High-grain food may cause hiccups in canines, so it might be time to switch to a low-grain diet.
You’re now aware why do puppies get hiccups and what are some of the things you can do to help your pet get rid of them. Generally speaking, hiccups are normal and nothing to be alarmed about. However, if the hiccups occur more often, or are accompanied by obvious symptoms of a respiratory or gastrointestinal problem, there might be a more serious problem. It’s best to consult your vet immediately.