It is completely normal for puppies to have hiccups. Puppies tend to eat and drink water too quickly, causing them to ingest too much air. The excess air will come out as hiccups. The hiccups should only last for a few minutes before breathing returns to normal.
Congratulations! You have welcomed a new member into your family. A puppy will bring you so much joy and meaning in life that your life will never be the same. Caring for a four-legged buddy will help you become a responsible, organized, and devoted pet parent.
This little puppy will go up and down your hallway, chewing on everything it sees in its proximity, licking you non-stop (by the way, wet kisses are just the best, we promise!), and wanting to play, bursting with excitement.
There are times, however, when “too much fun is no fun at all.” This is usually the reason your pup gets hiccups after playing too hard.
Are puppy hiccups the same as human hiccups? Can they hurt your fur baby? Let’s dive deeper into the subject and answer some questions a newbie pet parent might have about puppy hiccups.
Puppy Hiccups: What Are They Exactly?
Puppy hiccups are almost identical to human hiccups. These are steady noises that come from the chest or throat region. Typically One “hic” per 3 seconds (sometimes the interval is shorter).
If a puppy eats, drinks, or breathes too quickly, the diaphragm will contract, causing the sounds. This occurs in most mammals, including dogs.
Why Do Puppies Develop Hiccups?
Eating Too Fast
It’s almost a guarantee that your pet would get hiccups if it gulps its food as soon as it hits the floor.
Drinking Too Fast
Drinking too fast can also cause hiccups in puppies. When puppies are playing, they get thirsty quickly. But since playing is so much fun, it wants to return to play as soon as possible, so it will quickly drink water.
If the puppy is too physically active, you’ll hear it panting hard, swallowing excess air. Next thing you know, you hear consecutive “hic-hic.”
Should I Be Concerned About Puppy Hiccups?
Puppy hiccups are completely normal and simply mean that the little fella swallowed too much air. The hiccups usually go away on their own in about 5 minutes.
You are never alarmed when you get them, right? You know it’s best to just relax, take a couple of deep breaths and hold them for a few seconds, and, viola, hiccups become history!
Same for your pup. Obviously you can’t tell them to hold their breath, but you can help them calm down by rubbing their shoulders or belly until their breathing cycle comes back to normal.
Can Hiccups Hurt My Puppy?
If the reason for hiccups is one of the three in the above-described section “Why Do Puppies Develop Them?” then no, there’s no need to worry. They will be gone in no time. It might just be a little irritating and annoying for the pup, but they pose no health concerns.
However, if they are constant, prolonged (last longer than an hour at a time), and are accompanied by any other symptoms (digestive issues, gagging, coughing, restlessness, or constant heavy panting)-it might be a good idea to check in with your local vet immediately.
How Can I Help My Pup to Stop Hiccuping?
The best thing you can do is help your puppy calm down. Rub its tummy or back. If that doesn’t work, take the dog on a slow and steady walk (no active running/fetch playing, please). The dog’s breathing cycle should become normal after a few minutes.
You can also give the puppy a couple sips of water (don’t allow it to gulp, though). Simply pour a small amount in your palm and offer it to your pup. Pretty soon, you will be “reimbursed” with a handful of wet kisses and a lot of affection!
When to Be Concerned About Hiccups
As was briefly mentioned in the “Can Hiccups Hurt My Fur Baby?” section, you should be concerned if you see the hiccups are accompanied by heavy panting, gagging, shortness of breath, or excessive coughing, it’s time to go to the vet.
All these symptoms can mean an asthma attack, various heart or lung problems, or even a mini-stroke.
Heat strokes are common in the dark-haired breeds (Rottweilers, Bulldogs, German Shepards, etc.). They usually happen when it’s over 85 degrees outside and the sun’s activity is intense, making the heat unbearable for a pup.
You should only walk with your “brunette buddy” when the sun is at its weakest: at dawn and dusk, and limit your walking time to about 10-15 minutes at a time.
Provide plenty of hydration and stay near the natural shade if possible. Keeping your puppy cool will also be easier if you cut their hair short to help with body ventilation. April would be a good month to pay your groomer a visit when the temperature escalates.
How to Prevent Puppy Hiccups
You can’t always prevent a puppy from getting hiccups. That’s part of growing up! However, there are a few things you can do to reduce the frequency of hiccups.
Don’t Let The Pup Swallow Water or Food Too Fast
If the puppy eats or drinks too quickly, gently push the bowl away and let it calm down in a “sit” position.
Your puppy will learn that whenever they eat too quickly, you will take away the bowl. Train the puppy to eat at a normal pace and reward with his favorite piece of steak or a slice of cheese, whatever suits its taste buds.
It’s also a very good idea to follow a feeding schedule when your dog is still in the puppy stage. Feed it every day at the same time so it doesn’t starve and uncontrollably guzzle everything.
Alternate Between Physical Activity and Rest Time
During the puppy stage, when your dog’s mind and body are still developing, you shouldn’t let them be too hyperactive all the time. It must take regular breaks.
The nervous system and respiratory system should regain the lost energy. During this recovery period, no heavy panting should occur.
The average puppy needs 15-18 hours of sleep per 24-hour period, so scheduled nap times are an excellent solution for overactive pups. Just like toddlers, puppies don’t enjoy napping. Sometimes they have to be gently “forced” to do so. Take its favorite toy or a treat into the crate. You’ll get a more cooperative pal in the long run.
Annual Vet Visits
To ensure your dog’s tail is always wagging happily and you can enjoy quality time together, you must nip any potential health hazards in the bud. Keeping consistent with the veterinarian’s recommendations is crucial to ensure your pup’s well-being.
Puppy Hiccups are Normal
Puppy hiccups are a completely normal occurrence, absolutely nothing to worry about, and typically go away in no time. While they may be irritating for the puppy, you can follow the steps in this article to get rid of them as soon as possible.
If you notice any of the above alarming signs accompanying its hiccups, then it’s best to schedule an appointment.
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