You probably don’t remember that strange stage of puppy hood when your puppy starts jerking strangely . Yup I am talking about the hiccups.
Why do puppies get the hiccups so much and should we worry about it? Just like babies, puppies get the hiccups a lot. At times, they are almost appeared painful and can be hard to watch. Your puppy can be in that dead sleep, wake up and instantly they have the hiccups.
For new puppy parents, it can be a bit scary the first time it happens. But it is totally normal for your puppy to get the hiccups regularly.
Now that we know that it isn’t anything to worry about, wouldn’t it be nice to understand why they get them.
You may find it interesting to know that many animals get the hiccups. They even start as early as in the womb. There is a saying that hiccups are just a sign of growing up. Seems to sound about right.
Babies in the womb are constantly growing and their watery surroundings makes the hiccups great exercise for their lungs.
Just think about yourself when you get the hiccups. Your diaphragm goes up and down when you get them. This actually separates the throat from the thorax which moves those muscles. Therefore this movement is a way to strengthen those muscles.
For puppies, when they breathe their diaphragm pulls down to get the air into their lungs. As we know with puppies, they have a tendency to eat and drink fast. This can cause them to inhale too much air at one time and cause the hiccups. A puppy that is nervous, excited and even tired can often get the hiccups.
Don’t be alarmed if your puppy gets them often, puppies tend to gulp air with their mouth open a lot. Some experts even believe that the spasms or hiccups actually helps them alleviate stomach gas and irritations that they might be having.
Even though it doesn’t harm our puppies to get the hiccups, it would still be nice to help them when they do. Trying things like distracting your puppy once the hiccups arrive, can sometimes shorten the time they have them for.
An excited puppy that is playing hard starts panting and breathing faster. This rapid breathing can trigger the hiccups. Simply by getting them to calm down and be less excited, can help make them go away faster.
Most dog parents can tell when their puppy is getting tired. A tired puppy can be susceptible to getting the hiccups. Ensuring they get plenty of rest or napping can help with this issue.
Puppies that are more excitable and have a higher energy will of course get the hiccups more often than a calm puppy. This very excited behaviour is one of the reason that puppies gets the hiccups more often than adult dogs do.
Helpful home remedies
Helping dogs get rid of the hiccups can use many of the same home remedies that humans try. Some of the most common remedies are:
- spoonful of honey
- Karo syrup
- maple syrup
- small sips of water
- massaging your dogs chest
- going on a quiet walk
When it comes to going for a quiet walk that motion helps gets your dog back in to a regular breathing pattern.
At home something that might help your dog avoid getting the hiccups all together is to slow down their eating. Gulping their food without chewing it can certainly lead to them getting the hiccups. Sometimes putting a ball inside their dish will actually force them to maneuver around the ball which causes them to eat much slower.
On the market today, there are some great bowls that are made specifically to help with this issue. They make your puppy work to get the food out of specially designed dish which is much harder to do. This then causes your puppy to eat much slower which is always a good idea.
Throughout this post, I have said that for the most part, your puppy getting the hiccups is a normal thing. Of course though there are exceptions to everything. The hiccups in a some cases can be a symptom of a more serious issue.
If your dog has hiccups that go on and on, combined with breathing issues, coughing or sneezing issues this could be something more serious. Pneumonia, asthma and pericarditis are all conditions that you would need to rule out if your dog is suffering with any of these symptoms.
A dog that has exercise intolerance with heavy breathing and constant hiccups would also be a series of things to watch for. Even something as simple as your dog being in the heat for too long can lead to them getting hiccups from heat stroke. Heat stroke is not something that you want to fool around with. This can be life threatening.
When it comes to the health of your dog or puppy consulting a Veterinarian is always a good idea if you are concerned about something out of the ordinary.
My dog Fergus is still very much a puppy at only 4 months old. Yes of course he gets the hiccups often. When Fergus wakes up in the morning and comes for cuddles, he always gets them.
Other times that he tends to get the hiccups are when he gets excited playing with other dogs. It is the change in his breathing, that triggers it for him. He has that excited panting type breathing, that causes him to not have regular breathing. I just grab him to hold him still and slow him down a bit. Once his breathing slows back to normal, the hiccups go away quickly.
Puppies are constantly growing and changing so quickly. Normally puppies just eventually grow out of getting the hiccups so often, so we just have to wait it out a bit.
I hope I have helped you feel a little less stressed today by answering the question of why do puppies get the hiccups. There are many things that we encounter raising a puppy. For first time puppy parents it can be extremely overwhelming, so this post is for you.
These are the reason that I cover many of these small less thought of topics. For people that have never had a dog before everything can seem like its something to worry about. This topic 90% of the time isn’t one of them.
In a recap, one of the really easy ways that we can help our dogs stop from getting the hiccups while eating, is to go to a slow feeder food bowl. As I mentioned above, if your puppy gulps down his food, he is almost guaranteed to get the hiccups. This truly is the easiest solution to help controlling this issue with our puppies. It is very important that we teach our dogs to eat slow.
ENJOY YOUR PUPPY, THEY GROW UP SO FAST