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Why Do Dogs Get Hiccups?

November 22, 2021 by Becca Glee Shepard
why do dogs get hiccups

As a dog parent, you might think it’s cute when your pup gets hiccups. Usually, hiccups in dogs are short-lived and fleeting, and pet guardians think nothing of it. However, in cases that hiccups last more than a few minutes, should you be concerned? This article breaks down the causes of hiccups in dogs, common ways to get rid of hiccups, and when pet parents should be concerned for your dog’s health.

Hiccups occur when the diaphragm experiences uncontrolled spasms. The diaphragm moves up when we are breathing in and down when breathing out. Dogs also experience this process. You should ask yourself, why does my dog get hiccups?

What Causes Dogs To Get Hiccups?

There are a few reasons that can explain why dogs get hiccups and upset their diaphragms. Here are some common reasons that cause dogs to get hiccups.

Age of the Dog

Dogs get hiccups at a tender age. Puppies at 8-12 months experience hiccups more often than older dogs. People believe that dogs start getting hiccups in their mother's wombs. According to scientists, hiccups help puppies to improve the functioning of their lungs. So, that is the reason why dogs get hiccups.

Fatigue, Excitement, and Stress

Another reason dogs can get hiccups is related to fatigue, stress, or excitement. Dogs may develop hiccups when they get over-excited. Little dogs are not able to control their stress, anxiety, and excitement. So, they experience more hiccups than older ones.

Drinking and Eating Too Fast

One of the most common reasons dogs get hiccups is that they eat or drink too fast. When your dog or puppy eats very fast, they will likely swallow and ingest air, which in turn causes hiccups. Take note of whether your dog eats before getting hiccups.

how do dogs get hiccups

How To Prevent Hiccups for Dogs

In almost all cases, hiccups should not be a cause of alarm. There are ways of preventing it so that your dog can be comfortable. You should observe your dog and check whether it gets persistent hiccups when it eats fast. To avoid this, you can give small servings. It is crucial that you also restrict the dog from eating the food too fast. Allowing the dog to eat or drink fast will only escalate the situation. You can also buy your dog a bowl that can regulate its food intake. It can help reduce hiccups caused by eating or drinking fast. Exercising also helps prevent hiccups because it alters the heart rate.

4 Ways of Getting Rid of Hiccups

There are a few methods that dog parents can take to get rid of hiccups. Here are the most common methods:

Method 1: Changing Diet

Grainy food can escalate hiccups for dogs. These include corn, wheat, and barley. If you realize that your dog gets hiccups after feeding on these meals, consider changing a dog’s diet to replace these foods with low grains.

Method 2: Holding Breath

You can help your dog to stabilize its breathing system. You can let it lay on the back and massage its tummy. Doing this promotes rhythmic breathing. Doing this traps more carbon dioxide into the lungs. Excess supply of carbon dioxide causes relaxation of the diaphragm.

Method 3: Massaging Your Dog

Gently massaging your dog’s chest is another way to get rid of hiccups. Massages can help relax your pup’s diaphragm. Spasms in the diaphragm are less likely to occur when the muscle is relaxed.

Method 4: Going for a Walk

Consider going for a quiet and leisurely walk with your pup. Consider a short hike or a walk down a quiet side street, free from distraction. The motion can help return your dog’s breathing patterns to normal. Always be sure to watch your dog to make sure they don’t get into any funny business during your walk!

When Should You Be Concerned?

Our furry friends get hiccups just like humans do. The causes of hiccups vary with age, mood, and eating habits. There are remedies for hiccups that can be useful in alleviating the situation. So, you can track and help your dog to get rid of it.

In a majority of cases, hiccups are a fleeting phenomenon. However, if they last more than 60 minutes, and you have tried the methods listed in this article to get rid of them, consider calling a veterinarian. Take note of any other symptoms to persist, mainly related to breathing - for instance, coughing, sneezing, or unusually heavy breathing.

At Spot Pet Insurance, we offer plans with extensive coverage that help your pets live long and healthy lives.

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