If your pup has a case of the hiccups, don’t worry too much. Dog hiccups are incredibly normal and, in a majority of cases, harmless. The symptoms are caused by involuntary diaphragm contractions triggered by getting excited, eating too quickly, stomach irritants, or stress.
Puppies usually hiccup right after waking up, eating, or when they get too excited. Hiccups are more common for puppies than older dogs. Regular hiccups typically go away after your puppy is about eight months to a year old.
When do puppy hiccups become problematic?
As long as your puppy isn’t hiccupping for more than an hour at a time, there is most likely nothing serious to stress over. Or, at the very least, nothing that would warrant a trip to the vet. However, if they last longer than an hour or become chronic, you may want to bring the puppy in for a check-up with your veterinarian just in case.
Hiccups may occasionally act as warning symptoms for more serious problems. When accompanied by vomiting, it may point to gastrointestinal disease or worms.
If the hiccups come with coughing or short breath, then they might be symptoms of heart diseases or respiratory diseases. These additional symptoms would definitely call for a medical appointment.
Steps to prevent puppy hiccups
Though it’s generally best to do nothing as a response to hiccups, there are steps you can take to treat and prevent them. Treatment includes changing the rhythm of your puppy’s breathing by distracting them with toys, as well as giving them water.
Also, when puppies swallow food too fast, their air intake increases and build up as well, causing hiccups. If your puppy’s hiccups are caused by eating too quickly, you can help prevent this by using an interactive feeder to regulate eating pace. These feeders make getting food more challenging by forcing your dog to wait at intervals or to burrow to reach the prize. They double as fun toys to keep your dog occupied.
For the most part, though, it’s best to stay calm and wait it out. Hiccups are as common for dogs as they are for people.
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