When you first see your dog hiccuping your first thought will most likely be “look, how cute” and you might want to grab your camera to capture your pups first hiccups. But, are dog hiccups harmless or could it be a sign of something more worrying?
The good news is that in almost all cases a dog hiccuping is completely normal and nothing to be worried about. Puppies, in particular, are more prone to a bout of hiccups and more often than not they’re brought on by overexcitement, gulping down their food too fast, stress, or even certain medications they might be taking. Adult dogs do also get hiccups but not as frequently as smaller pups.
Why Do Dogs Get Hiccups?
Even today, there’s a lot of mystery behind hiccuping in both humans and dogs, but what we do know is that this strange phenomenon results from the diaphragm muscle spasming causing your dog to breathe in. Air is suddenly sucked into the lungs and the resulting sound is a hiccup as the air is blocked by the glottis (part of your dog’s voice box). Some veterinarians believe the harmless spasms can help your puppy to relieve excess stomach gas.
Dogs typically get hiccups from swallowed air, and as I mentioned above, if they gulp down their food or water too fast, too much stress, fatigue and even over excitement can cause a bout of hiccups.
It's worth keeping in mind that most of the time an episode of dog hiccups with last for only a few minutes but in extreme cases, they can last for a few hours.
How To Stop A Dog From Hiccuping?
Understanding how to get rid of hiccups for dogs isn’t as easy as you may think, just like humans there is no simple cure.
In almost all cases there‘s nothing you can do to treat hiccups in dogs and you simply have to let nature take its course, hiccups will generally disappear on their own.
There are many old wives’ tales and folk remedies to stop someone hiccuping, such as drinking a glass of water backwards, being startled or scared or even eating a spoonful of sugar, but in all honesty, we don’t recommend that you try any of these “cures” on your dog - especially startling them and good luck trying to get your pup to drink out of his water bowl backwards!
However, many pet owners swear that rubbing on your dog’s chest can help to relax your pup long enough for the hiccuping to subside - this is probably the only thing you can do, even a simple bowl of water can be the best cure.
Hiccups will generally always go away on their own, and if they persist for more than a few hours, you should call your veterinarian and seek their advice especially if you’re wondering why does my dog always get the hiccups, if they seem to be a regular occurrence there could be an underlying issue.
Can Hiccups In My Dog Be Dangerous?
And that brings us onto can hiccups in my dog be dangerous? The quick answer is NO.
There, you can give a sigh of relief. Dog hiccups will almost always disappear on their own without the need for any intervention.
However, I don’t want to worry you, but, in rare cases a hiccuping dog could be the sign of something more serious. In humans, for example, hiccups that last for longer than 3 to 4 weeks can be a sign of abdominal diseases, pregnancy, esophageal diseases, and bowel disease.
If your dog has hiccups for more than a few weeks you should definitely take your pup to the vets for a full check.
Also, if you notice that your dog is hiccuping and then regurgitating their food regularly, do not ignore these symptoms. Once every so often shouldn’t be a cause for alarm but if it happens regularly get your dog checked out.
Hiccups In Dogs: Bottom Line
Your puppy hiccuping is harmless, and maybe it’s even helpful for relieving excess stomach gas or an irritation. The hiccups will come and go for a while and should not last more than an hour. As your puppy gets older, they will outgrow them and when they eventually reach adulthood, you will hardly even notice those hiccups!
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