How to Get Rid of Dog Hiccups
Your dog can get hiccups just like you. A spasm in the canine’s diaphragm causes the animal to hiccup. The spasm makes the opening located between the vocal cords, known as the glottis, open and close quickly which makes the characteristic ‘hic’ sound that is associated with hiccups in humans and animals.
Puppies commonly get hiccups after rapid drinking and eating, when overly tired, cold, or excited.
Researchers do not know exactly why mammals hiccup. Clearly, hiccups occur early because medical professionals have recorded fetal hiccups in almost all species in the womb.
Young dogs suffer from hiccups far more often than adult dogs. As the pup grows, he will hiccup less frequently.
How to Help Your Dog Get Rid of Hiccups
When your dog hiccups, you might feel sorry for the animal and want to help them get rid of the condition.
Here are three ways that you can help your dog if he is suffering from hiccups.
- Calm the Dog: You’ll want to calm the dog to overcome the animal’s irregular breathing patterns. You want the dog to breathe steadily and rhythmically. Try to get the pooch to lay on his back and work at giving him a tummy rub to soothe the diaphragm. As the dog starts to relax, the hiccups will normally start to go away.
- Drink Water: Drinking water can help your pup stop hiccupping. Just make sure that the dog is calm when you provide the chilly water. Also, avoid letting the dog drink too much.
- Slow Down: Your dog might be eating too fast which is a common cause of hiccups. Give the pooch smaller portions to help the dog eat slower and not overconsume an abundance of food.
Should You Worry if Your Dog Doesn’t Stop Hiccupping?
What if Fido continues to hiccup and does not stop? You are probably starting to panic and worry if the dog has been hiccupping for over an hour or more. If your dog is hiccupping excessively then you’ll want to listen closely for any sounds of wheezing or irregular breathing. If you notice anything odd about the hiccupping, then you should take your pet to the veterinarian for a checkup.
How to Prevent Dog Hiccups
There is no foolproof way to prevent hiccups. However, you can take some steps to decrease your dog’s hiccups.
Many dogs get hiccups from eating and drinking too fast so try feeding less food at meals. Instead, give your dog small, frequent meals. Invest in a specially designed slow feeder bowl that has raised areas, pockets, and ridges to slow down your dog’s intake of food. The bowl is also a fun and challenging way to stimulate your pet and make them work for their dinner.
You can also feed using a snuffle mat which is a mat that encourages your dog's natural foraging instincts when looking for each bite of food.
Remember, all dogs hiccup -- young and old alike-- and in most situations, it is not a worrisome condition.