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3 Great Solutions for When Your Dog Has Hiccups

“Can dogs get hiccups?”

And, “What do I do when my dog has hiccups?” – probably something you’ll eventually look up on the internet as a dog owner, if you haven’t done already.

Read on for the answer…

Dog hiccups are one of those common, harmless occurrences that have new owners in a needless tizzy.

Like the hiccups everyone gets sometime or the other, doggy hiccups are quite normal too – unless they persist for more than a few minutes. In that case, best have your pup checked up by the vet.

They’re a bit like reverse sneezing – another things dogs sometimes do that looks sometimes causes more alarm than it warrants.

While reverse sneezing is your dog’s way of clearing some irritation in its sinus or throat, hiccups are something to do with the diaphragm.

The Truth About Dog Hiccups

So, why do dogs get hiccups?

Well, that’s something no one has been able to answer satisfactorily. Not for dogs, or us people either, really!

But what veterinarians and other scientists do have, are educated guesses and theories.

Hiccups happen when the diaphragm, a muscle below the lungs that assists breathing, experiences irritation that make it spasm involuntarily.

The spasms causes the dog to inhale when the epiglottis, the opening to the trachea – or windpipe – is closing. This irregular breathing is what causes the hiccups.

It’s believed that this irritation of the diaphragm is caused by things like:

  • Eating or drinking too quickly, leading to choking and hiccoughing
  • Strenuous activity like intense play, running and jumping that affects breathing
  • Overeating, or eating something unsuitable – like spicy or grain-rich food.
  • Being too cold (hypothermia) is also said to cause hiccups sometimes
  • Puppies up to one year of age can get hiccups a bit more frequently as they get accustomed to their growing body
  • Sometimes certain medication may cause hiccups if they affect the diaphragm – check with your vet

These are believed to be the reasons behind normal hiccups. But if your dog experiences hiccups with abnormal frequency or durations – like everyday, or for hours at a time – it may be something to worry about.

Possible Health Problems to Check

Foreign objects stuck somewhere in the throat, or cardiovascular and respiratory diseases could be behind abnormal hiccups, too.

Administering medication to your pup on your own, especially that meant for humans, is definitely a bad idea.

In any case, if the hiccups seems particularly worrisome, getting your vet’s opinion can do no harm, can it.

Also, make sure your dog is on schedule with his or her vaccinations, especially with regard to respiratory illnesses.

As with humans, there are no guaranteed ways to get rid of dog hiccups, unfortunately.

Normally hiccups tend to go away withing a few minutes even if you let your dog be.

But if you want to help out your little friend, there are some methods that have proven generally helpful.

1. Eating, or Drinking Water to Reset the Dog’s Breathing

This one’s the most popular method to deal with hiccups among humans, too.

Although it’s best to hold one’s breath while drinking water, you can’t manage that with dogs.

Just make sure your dog eats or drinks up a good amount of water calmly, and not too fast.

2. Calming Irregular Breathing During Dog Hiccups through Activities

In a lot of cases, calming your dog’s breathing through a steady, rhythmic exercise has shown to be an effective way to stop hiccups quickly.

Something that gets your dog to lie on his or her back – a game, or a tummy rub for instance – also helps with hiccoughing.

3. Dealing with Bad Feeding Habits

Make sure your dog isn’t overeating or eating something that’s not recommended.

If your dog’s hiccups usually occur due to his or her eating food too fast, try feeding small portions at a time.

To stop your pup gobbling or lapping up too fast, you can try some of the special feeding bowls available nowadays that prevent this.

We hope you found one or more of these tips of help in sorting out your dog’s hiccups. Do share any other methods you may have found useful in the comments section below, for other owners’ benefit!

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