Puppy hiccups are one of the cutest things in the world! But if you’re a first-time puppy owner, hiccups can be a little worrying, especially if they won’t stop. So why do puppies get hiccups so often? We take a look at the causes of puppy hiccups, how to ease the symptoms of your pupper’s hiccups, and when you should talk to your vet about a puppy with hiccups.
Much like humans, dogs are susceptible to the odd bout of hiccups. When your pup gets them, it’s probably just as disconcerting for them as it is for you. Most of the time, hiccups simply go away on their own. But what if your puppy hiccups don’t stop? And when should you be concerned?
Why do puppies get hiccups – and should you be worried?
Hiccups are quite normal in puppies, and they’re seldom a cause for concern. Your puppy might even have cute little hiccups while it’s sleeping – which is also normal and nothing to worry about.
Let’s take a look at the possible causes of puppy hiccups.
What causes puppy hiccups?
Dogs and puppies get hiccups in much the same way as people do. In fact, all mammals can get the hiccups!
While science isn’t 100% sure what triggers hiccups, they’re rarely a problem and eventually go away on their own. Unless you’re like Charles Osborne, who holds the world record for the longest bout of hiccups – he kept going for 68 years!
Hiccups are caused by spasms in the diaphragm (the powerful muscle under the lungs) which causes the opening between your dog’s vocal cords to close suddenly. This is what causes your pup’s cute little “hic!” noises.
Puppies get pretty excitable and hyperactive, so if they’re moving, drinking, or eating too fast, this can cause them to swallow a lot of air, which can trigger a bout of hiccups.
Pups can also start hiccuping if they’re cold, tired, stressed, or just plain over-excited. It might even be that your puppy has stomach gas that the hiccups are helping to ease.
And if your pup hiccups while they’re asleep? It’s probably because they’re really relaxed and are swallowing more air than normal.
Puppies get hiccups less often as they grow older, once their lungs and diaphragm get stronger.
How can I help relieve puppy hiccups?
We’ve all had siblings or friends who’ve tried to scare the heck out of us when we’re suffering from an extreme bout of hiccups.
But you shouldn’t pop balloons next to your puppy to frighten them out of hiccups, and you can’t get your pup to inhale and exhale into a paper bag – so how can you help ease your pups hiccups?
These home remedies might give your puppy some relief:
- Give your pup some gentle belly rubs
- Take them for a walk
- Distract them with some gentle play
- Try feeding your pup their meals in smaller portions at a time so they don’t guzzle everything in one mouthful
- Use a slow feeding dish
- Offer your puppy some water, but make sure they drink it slowly – not gulp it down!
Another common home remedy is to give your pup a tiny teaspoon of honey or pure maple syrup – which are both safe for dogs. These help to coat your pup’s throat if there’s any irritation. Sweet treats will also distract your dog – which can help slow down their hiccups.
Whatever you do, don’t get anxious and make your pup more stressed about their hiccups – as they’ll most likely only last a few minutes and then go away. Most bouts of hiccups go away under an hour.
Can I prevent puppy hiccups?
If your dog has constant hiccuping problems, the most common cause is that they’re eating or drinking too fast.
Monitor your pup after meals and see if it’s food or water causing these problems. If so, make sure your furry companion can’t gobble their food down too quickly in the future.
When should I see a vet about puppy hiccups?
If you’re really worried about puppy hiccups, or your pup seems to suffer endlessly from the dreaded “hic” – they may have problems related to their diaphragm. This might be a good time to see your vet. The vet can perform a diagnosis which may require muscle relaxants for the diaphragm – or surgery in extreme cases.
Puppies can also get hiccups which start to sound a bit like asthma. If you notice your pup having trouble breathing while they hiccup, or if they start making a wheezing noise, or coughing, you should consult your vet for advice. These are symptoms that can be caused by kennel cough, heart disease, heatstroke, pneumonia, or other respiratory issues – so it’s best to get your pup checked out.
Other symptoms that can appear alongside puppy hiccups are vomiting, constipation, and loss of appetite. Some types of parasites can also cause hiccups, so make sure you get your pup checked up if they’re experiencing these problems.
In summary: Why do puppies get hiccups so often?
If you’re a vigilant puppy owner, it’s totally normal to get anxious when you notice your adorable new pet suffering from uncontrollable hiccups! But most of the time? They’re absolutely nothing to worry about.
So why do puppies get hiccups so often? Just like humans, dogs and pups get random bouts of hiccups caused by muscle spasms that will go away on their own after a little while.
However, if your new pup constantly gets the hiccups, and is also suffering from symptoms like wheezing, coughing, vomiting, or loss of appetite – this can be a sign of deeper problems. It’s always wise to consult your vet for expert advice if you’re really worried about your pet’s hiccups.
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