What Causes Hiccups in Puppies? [And How to Get Rid of Them]

Puppies get hiccups for several reasons. This includes eating or drinking quickly, exercising, having excess gas in their system, or being too excited. Hiccups are rarely a cause for concern and may even benefit your pup. Calming your puppy down and providing water will help eliminate the hiccups.

Puppy hiccups are either adorable or annoying. But what causes hiccups in puppies, and what cures them? Are there times when hiccups can be dangerous to puppies?

This article will detail the common reasons why a puppy develops hiccups, how to stop them, and when hiccups are a benefit as well as a concern.

Causes Of Hiccups In Puppies

A hiccup is the result of the diaphragm spasming. The diaphragm is the primary muscle involved in the respiratory process.

Normally this muscle contracts and expands smoothly during the breathing process. However, imbalances such as a large intake of oxygen or excessive gas in the body cause the muscle to spasm. When the diaphragm spasms, the result is a hiccup.

Puppies are not so different from humans in this regard. They get hiccups the same way we do: by sucking in too much air. Below are the common reasons for hiccups in puppies.

Eating And Drinking Too Fast

Just like humans, if a puppy is eating or drinking too fast, he will swallow too much air and begin to hiccup. Mealtimes are exciting for puppies, who have no problem vacuuming their food up without much thought. Consistently inhaling food will cause your puppy to hiccup.

In less common situations, a puppy may hiccup due to a food intolerance. If your puppy develops hiccups frequently after eating, have him checked by a vet for food intolerances.

Exercise And Excitement

When a puppy experiences a quick change in his energy levels, such as playing in the yard after a nap, hiccups are bound to occur.

His body wasn’t ready to take in so much air since he was lounging for so long. A sudden burst in energy means a sudden burst of air in the system, making the diaphragm spasm.

Rebalance Gas Levels

Sometimes hiccups are not a result of anything your puppy did. Instead, they help rebalance gas levels inside your puppy’s body. If your puppy has too much gas in his system, his body may start hiccuping as a way to release it.

This is an entirely normal process and should not cause concern. There are much worse ways in which your puppy can relieve his gas. I’m sure you know what we are talking about!

Growth Spurts

Puppies’ bodies change fast. That includes their insides too. Hiccups that don’t seem to have a cause are probably a result of your puppy growing and changing so fast.

Like humans, puppies have all sorts of weird symptoms when going through adolescence, and hiccups are just one of them.

How To Cure Your Puppies Hiccups

If you’re reading this article, you are probably annoyed or concerned about your puppy’s hiccups.

You may wonder if their hiccups are a serious problem and if there are ways to stop them. In most cases, hiccups are not a cause for concern and they tend to go away within a few minutes.

If you don’t want to wait for the hiccups to stop on their own, there are multiple ways to calm down your puppy’s breathing and stop his hiccups.

Calm Your Puppy Down

The best thing you can do to relieve your puppy of his hiccups is to calm him down. Cuddling him, petting him calmly, or giving him a massage are great ways to tone down your puppy’s energy.

While your puppy is energetic, he is going to continue gulping down large amounts of air. Calming him down will calm down his breathing which will bring the respiratory process back to normal.

Water

Many humans drink water to relieve themselves of hiccups. This trick works for puppies too. However, it only works if your puppy drinks the water slowly. If he drinks quickly, it can make the hiccups worse.

Smaller Portions

This tip isn’t so much a cure as a prevention method. Feeding your puppy smaller portions at mealtime will reduce the probability of developing hiccups. With smaller portions, your puppy won’t have as many opportunities to gulp down lots of air.

Honey Or Syrup

Adding something sweet, like honey or syrup, to your puppy’s water will encourage him to drink slowly. The sweetness should distract him enough to calm down his breathing, which will reduce the spasms in the diaphragm.

Use this method with caution. Use only small amounts of sweeteners to avoid spiking your puppy’s sugar levels. It’s essential only to use sweeteners safe for puppies, such as honey or syrup. Not all sweeteners are safe for puppies, especially anything that contains xylitol, which is toxic to them.

Benefits of Hiccups

Surprisingly, there are a few benefits to your puppy’s hiccups. Hiccups help relieve gas, ease digestive issues, and signify that your puppy is growing into an adult.

For this reason, you may not want to “cure” your puppy’s hiccups. Instead, it might be better to just wait it out.

Relieve Gas

Sometimes the body begins to hiccup as a way of relieving excess gas. Extra gas occurs for many reasons, including digestive issues and inhaling too much air when eating. If that extra air hasn’t triggered gas yet, the body may begin hiccuping to get it out.

Ease Digestive Issues

If your puppy is experiencing a minor digestive issue, he may develop hiccups to bring the body back into balance. As long as your puppy’s digestive problems are minor, then this is nothing to worry about.

If your puppy is hiccuping, showing other symptoms, and seems generally unwell, then you should consult with a vet.

Are Puppy Hiccups Ever a Concern?

In most cases, hiccups are benign, just a symptom of too much air or gas in your puppy. But on rare occasions, hiccups can signal a more threatening health problem.

Dangerous hiccups are usually chronic and accompanied by other more concerning symptoms.

Chronic Hiccups

Hiccups that don’t go away within a few minutes are a concern. If your puppy hiccups frequently or suffers from hiccups for hours at a time, then you should have him checked out by a vet.

Furthermore, if any other symptoms develop, such as wheezing, excessive sneezing, or heavy breathing, then there could be a bigger health problem developing.

Health Problems Caused By Hiccups

In rare cases, hiccups are a sign of other health problems. Hiccups can be a symptom of respiratory defects, pneumonia, asthma, pericarditis, or heat stroke.

In most of these cases, hiccups are a sign of a respiratory problem, so watch your puppy for other respiratory symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, or heavy breathing.

If your puppy has hiccups and shows any symptoms of the above diseases, then you should take your puppy to the vet.

Remember that if you are concerned at all about your puppy’s hiccups, you should talk to a vet. The conditions listed above are rare in puppies, but it never hurts to check.

Hiccups Are Rarely Cause For Concern

Hiccups are caused when your puppy inhales too much air. This imbalance causes his diaphragm to spasm, which results in hiccups.

Hiccups can be cured and prevented by keeping your puppy calm and making him eat or drink slowly. Hiccups are rarely a cause for concern and usually stop within a few minutes.

However, if you are concerned about your puppy’s hiccups or he is showing other symptoms of a bigger health problem, then you should have him checked out at the vet.

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