We all have had hiccups at one point in our lives. You may be wondering what is wrong with your puppy if it starts getting hiccups.
Since they are animals, they share more or less some of our annoyances and health issues.
If your puppy seems to hiccup a lot, do not get worried as this is normal. Understanding the causes and how to minimize or prevent hiccupping can be a great help.
What Causes Hiccups?
Dog hiccups are caused the same way they are caused in human beings. Spasms or rhythmic contractions of the diaphragm are the main cause of hiccups.
In dogs, eating a large meal or excitement is the common cause of hiccups. This is due to swallowing too much air during these times.
Dog hiccups also manifest themselves similar to the way human hiccups do.
Puppies Are More Prone To Hiccups
Adult dogs are less prone to hiccups compared to puppies. In fact, puppies that are less than six months old are more prone to hiccups. The frequency of hiccup episodes usually decreases as your puppy gets older.
With this in mind, it is not uncommon for adult dogs to get frequent hiccups. The case is common for dogs who are nervous or excited easily.
How Long Does It Lasts
After few minutes, puppy hiccups should go away on their own. In some cases, though rare, they may go on for a few hours.
It is advisable to consult with a veterinary if the hiccups go for more than an hour.
In some cases they may be a sign of respiratory or heart problems. Take note hiccups should not be a cause for concern. If they last for more than two hours, you can start getting worried.
What Can You Do About Hiccups?
In most cases, you will not need to do anything about the hiccups. They usually go away after a few minutes. In case they don’t, you should try the following:
- Give your dog a belly massage. This will help calm them down
- Offer the puppy some water
All these activities will help stop the hiccups by easing the spasm of the diaphragm. At the same time, they let you relax your dog.
Physical activity is another sure way of stopping hiccups in your dog. You can distract them from one of their favorite toys. Alternatively, you can throw a ball and let them catch it. When you interact with the dog, you increase their breathing rate. As a result, it may end up stopping the diaphragm’s spasmodic contractions. These contractions are the cause of the hiccups.
What Can You Do About Hiccups?
Of course, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you prevent or minimize hiccups in your dog. For starters, make sure it is in a quiet place, especially when they are eating. You may be wondering the why this is important. Two things known to cause hiccups in puppies is excitement and eating too fast. Both will lead to the swallowing of excessive air, especially when they are combined. In some dogs, drinking water too quickly may be the cause of hiccups. In such cases, the hiccups last for a few minutes before they subside.
In some cases, the diet your dog is on may be the cause for hiccups. For example, high grain diets are known to cause hiccups in a number of dog breeds. If this is the case, try switching to lower grain dog food. The best way to choose a good puppy or dog food is by looking at the ingredients. A named meat meal or meat should be listed before any grains. Examples include lamb or chicken meal.
Dogs are naturally designed to eat protein that comes from meat sources. A high grain content in a diet may be the primary cause of allergy problems and obesity in dogs. This does not mean all grains are bad for man’s best friend. It just means a grain diet should be controlled. If your dog seems to have instant hiccups, a visit to the veterinary is recommended. They have a higher probability of giving you an accurate diagnosis to stop the problem once and for all.