In most cases, dog hiccups are adorable and a source of great entertainment. In some cases, however, when a dog gets hiccups, it can be a sign that something more serious is going on. Read on to find out more about dog hiccups, how to cure them, and when to take your dog to a vet!
Can Dogs Get Hiccups and What ARE Dog Hiccups?
First of all, yes, dogs can get hiccups. Dog hiccups are very similar to human hiccups. It’s actually quite common for a furry friend to get bouts of hiccups from time to time. We know they’re not always serious (we don’t run to the doctor every time we get hiccups), but why do we (and our dogs) get them?
Dog hiccups occur when the diaphragm contracts. The diaphragm is the muscle in between the chest cavity and abdomen. This muscle rises and falls as the dog’s lungs deflate and inflate. When the diaphragm starts functioning abnormally, enter the hiccups!
There’s a part of your dog’s “voice” box called the glottis. When the glottis closes, it stops air intake resulting in hiccups. A dog’s anatomy is designed to be a well-oiled machine. Hiccups, although not always serious, are just a sign that there’s a glitch in the system and something isn’t quite right.
The Cause of Hiccups in Dogs: Cute or Concerning?
There are quite a few things that can cause hiccups in dogs. Most of them are not at all serious. Dogs often get hiccups when they’re too excited or when they eat or drink too much too quickly. However, on rare occasions, hiccups can be a sign something more serious is going on.
Small Puppies with Small Tummies: Puppy Hiccups Explained
Puppies get so excited about food time! Their excitement is infectious and just too cute. They gobble up what’s in their bowl with great vigor. With all this joy of eating glorious food very quickly, puppies tend to swallow a lot of air along with their food. Air in their little bellies can cause those adorable puppy hiccups.
Chronic Hiccups Might Be Symptoms of Something Serious!
In a few cases, dog hiccups can be a symptom of a more serious health condition. Nobody knows your dog better than you, so if you even vaguely suspect that their hiccups are not normal, take them to a vet! Rather safe than sorry!
Here are a few potential (more serious) causes of hiccups in dogs. Remember, have your doggo checked by a veterinarian if you think something’s wrong.
Parasites: In certain cases, hiccups can be an indication of a serious parasite problem. If your dog has hiccups for prolonged periods and gets diarrhea or starts vomiting, you need to take them to the vet. Worms such as heartworms or roundworms can cause havoc in a dog’s respiratory tract. The larvae of roundworms settle in and make themselves at home in your dog or puppy’s entire respiratory system.
Gastric Problems: The symptoms of gastric issues being the cause or your dog’s hiccups are very similar to that of a parasite problem. Vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in your dog’s stool are big red flags! The list of gastrointestinal problems dog’s can develop is a long one. Most conditions can be treated, but you’ll need a diagnosis before you can cure it.
Respiratory Issues: Discharge from the nose, sneezing, wheezing or coughing on top of hiccups are never a good sign. Dogs are susceptible to respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis or heat stroke often result in such symptoms. These conditions can be life-threatening, so be sure to take your dog to your veterinarian stat!
My Dog Has Hiccups! How to Stop Hiccups for Fido
Prevention is better than a cure. If your dog is prone to getting hiccups, figure out why. Some dogs who are very energetic and eager to gobble up their food or water need help to slow down. Slow dog feeders can go a long way in making dinner time stretch a little longer. Another good idea is to give them smaller portions throughout the day rather than 2 bog meals which they are bound to basically inhale!
Another thing to consider is the water bowl your dog has access to. Some bowls have different levels or heights, that help the water go down slower and easier. Less air intake often helps to prevent hiccups in dogs!
If your dog already has those nasty hiccups, there are a few things you can try to stop them:
Feed them something sweet. A little honey might help soothe and relax those airways. Another method is to encourage them to drink some water. Slowly of course and only in small quantities.
Last but not least is to give them a fright. We know that a good old fright stops hiccups in their tracks in humans, so why not dogs too? Don’t frighten your dog to the point that they are in distress or scared you may hurt them, but a little sudden clap, bang or jump will do the trick!
The Occasional Dog Hiccups Cause Serious LOLs!
Don’t be a paranoid helicopter pet parent. Pedantic doesn’t help you, your dog or your wallet. In most cases, doggy hiccups are unfortunate but also not serious and very entertaining. Unless your dog is displaying other symptoms, you are most probably dealing with a normal bout of hiccups that will disappear as fast as it started.
Our furry friends give us so many opportunities to laugh at their silly behavior. This is the same as when dogs start making cute little noises that they have no control over.