Watching a dog get hiccups is quite adorable. Don’t even get us started on puppy hiccups, as they are the cutest thing in the world!
But should you be concerned?
Rest assured, just like for humans, hiccups are pretty common and usually harmless for canines.
The sound of puppy hiccups can be endearing, but as a new pup owner, you need to make sure that your bundle of joy is okay. It is your responsibility to do so. Besides, just seeing its little body jump to the beat of every hic can be worrying for new pet parents.
The good news is that we have prepared the ultimate post that will teach you how to get rid of puppy hiccups in no time. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started.
Are Puppy Hiccups/ Dog Hiccups Normal?
Before we take a look at what you can do to help get rid of puppy hiccups, you must be wondering if it is even normal for your pup to get hiccups. Generally, every mammal has hiccups. We get them, and so does your furry buddy.
A hiccup is described as a sharp little intake of breath due to repetitive contractions of the diaphragm muscle. When the diaphragm is irritated by something such as drinking or eating quickly, it starts to contract involuntarily. This contraction results in the vocal cords closing and creating a hic sound.
Keep in mind that most puppies will experience hiccups at some point during their development. Generally, these episodes would last just a few minutes. As your pup grows older, it would be less likely to experience hiccups.
Even though you should not stress about your pup getting hiccups, it is always best to be in the know. Get an idea about what might be causing the hiccups and how you can stop them.
What Causes Puppy Hiccups/ Dog Hiccups?
Hiccups are perfectly normal. However, constant hiccups can be worrying. Therefore, understanding the causes of puppies getting hiccups is crucial as it helps reveal the underlying problem.
The diaphragm is our primary respiratory muscle. When puppies inhale, it contracts and moves downward. This leaves more room in the chest cavity for their lungs to expand. As the puppies exhale, it relaxes and moves up into their chest cavity.
The diaphragm normally experiences smooth, regular movements. Only when the muscle starts to spasm suddenly do dogs get hiccups. We also get hiccups because of involuntary diaphragmatic tics. It is quite common to experience hiccups when we swallow too much air and eat or drink too fast.
Identifying the main cause of the hiccups is not easy. As a puppy owner, you need to keep an eye on your furry bundle to ensure that it does not do or inject anything that causes harm.
Commonly, drinking or eating too fast and barking too much may cause your puppy to experience hiccups. This is why you should always prevent your pup from barking a lot, as it affects its breathing.
Hiccup episodes would also occur when your pup is very stressed or excited. It might also inhale an irritant which might be to blame. Even rapid breathing and energetic play cause hiccups. Sometimes, you might even get confused and consider a reverse sneeze to be a hiccup.
How Long Do Puppies Get Hiccups For?
Typically, puppies can get hiccups that last a few minutes. Sometimes, the hiccup episodes can also last up to 15 minutes. As for hiccups in dogs, they should not last more than an hour. Otherwise, you would need to see a veterinarian immediately.
How Common Are Hiccups In Puppies?
As you might have gotten an idea by now, puppies are more likely to experience hiccups than adult dogs. The majority of dogs have hiccups at least once as puppies. Puppies are more prone to hiccups because they have higher excitement and energy levels.
Puppies are also more likely to drink or eat too fast. They experience rapid bursts of energy which affects their breathing. Besides, their internal organs are less mature in comparison to adult dogs. It only contributes to an increase in the possibility of experiencing hiccups.
Can Hiccups Hurt Puppies?
Although you may find hiccups annoying (or cute, depending on your perspective), they are not harmful to your puppy. You will only find hiccups to be more surprising than painful. It is not necessary that something bad is happening to your puppy because of the hiccups.
How To Get Rid Of Puppy Hiccups?
Most hiccups last just a few minutes. Hence, they do not require you to do anything. Puppies do not even get as agitated by hiccups as they would if they experience other conditions such as coughing or vomiting.
After you are done finding the hiccups adorable, you will want to do something to help provide relief to your puppy. The good news is that most cures for puppies with hiccups are similar to those that we already use when we get hiccups.
The following may help your puppy overcome hiccups.
- Offer Something Sweet: One of the best ways to get rid of hiccups in puppies is by offering them something sweet. You could simply add sugar, honey, or syrup to their water to provide relief. The sweetness of the water should distract your pup and help it relax. Honey and maple are also good options that you can try out.
- Offer Water: You can get rid of hiccups in your puppy by giving it some water. Just like water helps us overcome hiccups, it also helps the puppies.
- Avoid Sugar-Free Food: An important tip that you should consider if your puppy gets hiccups is not offering savory food, as salt can worsen hiccups.
- Avoid Solids: Some hiccups can get violent. You should avoid giving anything solid to your puppy as it would require a lot of chewing and end up choking your puppy.
- Massage Its Chest: If your puppy starts to hiccup, you should also consider massaging its chest. It will allow its diaphragm to relax and provide relief.
- Encourage Light Exercise: To change the breathing patterns of your puppy, you should encourage it to do some light exercise. Take your pup out for a walk in the park or play Frisbee with it. Any type of outdoor activity should help stimulate your dog and change breathing to cure the hiccups.
- Feed Low-Gain Food: Another great tip that you should always remember is to feed low-grain food to your pup since high-grain foods cause hiccups. Watch your puppy’s eating habits to determine which food items might be causing the hiccups.
There are certain cases where puppies may get chronic hiccups. There is a possibility that the hiccups might actually be a sign of something more serious. An underlying health condition might be to blame for the constant hiccups.
The fact is that nobody knows your puppy better than you. Therefore, you should inspect the situation to determine if there is something unusual about the hiccups. If you suspect something is wrong, take your puppy to the vet immediately.
The following are some causes of chronic hiccups in puppies:
1. Parasites (Puppy Hiccups Because Of Worms)
A serious parasite problem can be the most likely cause of chronic puppy hiccups. If your puppy continues to experience hiccups for a prolonged period and starts vomiting or gets diarrhea, you must visit a vet.
Roundworms or heartworms can cause havoc to the respiratory tract of your dog. Their larvae settle inside the entire respiratory system of the dog and cause inflammation which results in constant hiccups.
If your dog is having difficulty breathing normally, i.e., it is panting or wheezing, and if it is sneezing while expressing a discharge from its nose along with the hiccups, it’s most probably worms. You should take your dog to the vet immediately for deworming.
2. Gastric Problems
Gastric issues trouble puppies just as much as humans. They lead to similar symptoms as a parasite problem. It can be tough to determine the actual cause of the hiccups. Hence, you must see an expert. Blood in your pup’s stool, diarrhea, and vomiting are major red flags.
It takes some time for gastrointestinal problems to develop. However, most conditions are perfectly treatable. But a timely diagnosis is a must for treatment.
3. Respiratory Issues
Coughing on top of hiccups, wheezing, sneezing, and a runny nose are not good signs. Puppies are highly susceptible to respiratory conditions like heat stroke, bronchitis, and pneumonia. You need to be on the alert to ensure that your puppy is fine.
Since respiratory conditions are life-threatening, you should not take them lightly. If your puppy experiences any of the conditions, you must visit a veterinarian immediately.
Now You Know How to Treat Hiccups in Puppies
Once you have finished reading our post, you will know how to treat hiccups in puppies. Continuous hiccups require your urgent attention. You cannot just sit back and relax while your puppy hiccups like no tomorrow.
We believe that the insights we have shared will allow you to better care for your pup and help it overcome puppies. However, it is important that you regularly get your puppy checked by a vet to avoid any serious issues.