Does your dog currently have a recurring case of hiccups that won’t seem to go away? Rest assured that hiccups are a lot more common than you might think!
From puppyhood all the way through to adult life, it is typically normal for dogs to get hiccups – but are there any ways that you can get rid of them?
As we’re sure that you’ll agree, hiccups are one of the most frustrating things that you can get, no matter whether you’re a human or four-legged pooch!
For this reason, in this guide today, we are going to be talking to you about why dogs get hiccups, as well as sharing with you some helpful instructions on how you will be able to get rid of hiccups in a flash. Read on!
Why is My Dog Hiccupping?
Regardless of how old your dog is, it’s important to keep in mind that hiccupping, for the most part, is a totally natural phenomenon to happen – in both us humans and animals!
Similar to the way that we do, dogs have a super-thin muscle that is situated directly in between their abdomen and the lungs, and the main reason that it is there is to ensure that the two different areas of the body are separated from each other.
As you might already be well aware, this is known as the diaphragm!
When we breathe in, our diaphragm will naturally begin to contract as air travels through our airways and into the lungs, then, when we breathe out, the diaphragm will begin to slowly relax as the air is expelled out of the lungs as it leaves the body.
This same exact process happens in dogs when they breathe in and out and is the fundamental reason as to why they might experience hiccups from time to time, just like we do.
Wondering how a hiccup might even occur in the first place, though?
Well, given the fact that the diaphragm consists of such a thin muscle, a hiccup occurs whenever that thin muscle is triggered to involuntarily begin spasming, and this is what causes both us humans and dogs to begin hiccupping.
Even though it is important to note that hiccups can be caused by a variety of different factors (both external and internal) to help give you a better understanding of what can cause hiccups, here are some of the most common things that can trigger the diaphragm to begin involuntary spasming:
- Accidentally swallowing too much air while drinking, eating, and engaging in physical activity.
- Sudden and overwhelming emotional stress – such as being left at home alone while you leave to run errands or go to work.
- Being exposed to something that causes a feeling of intense excitement… such as a brand new squeaky toy!
- Being exposed to a variety of different external factors, including irritants such as dust.
- Overly heavy breathing, which will be panting in dogs.
Interestingly enough, puppies are at a higher risk of experiencing hiccups on a more frequent basis than dogs at other stages in life simply due to the simple fact that puppies often tend to have a lot of energy!
Due to this, it means that besides having bounds of energy that makes them want to run around and explore, it also means that they are more easily excitable than an adult dog, as well as tending to gobble up their food much quicker.
All of these things can trigger a pup to get the hiccups – so if you happen to have an excitable puppy in your life, then their hiccups are probably nothing to worry about. Still, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be frustrating – which brings us to our next point!
How To Get Rid of Hiccups in Dogs?
The great thing about hiccups is that they are typically painless and will usually end up going away on their own after a period of around 5 minutes.
Thanks to this, it means that if you are noticing that your dog is getting hiccups, there shouldn’t be any reason for you to worry or be concerned as you can rest assured that the hiccups will go away by themselves after a short period of time.
Sure, even though there are a variety of ways that us humans can try and get rid of our hiccups (such as being purposely scared or holding our breath) there’s no scientific evidence to state that these home remedies are effective in calming a triggered diaphragm, which is we do not recommend that you try any on your dog.
Instead, we recommend that you wait it out and allow your dog’s body to calm it’s diaphragm down by itself, and if you really want to try and speed things up, you could try and encourage your dog to drink some water, as some studies have shown that water can help to soothe hiccups.
As a final parting note, it is also important to keep in mind that, if you feel that your dog is experiencing hiccups far too often (or if they aren’t seeming to stop at all by themselves) then it is a good idea to head down to your veterinarian, who will be able to provide you with their professional opinion on what the issue might be, as well as provide you and your dog with some solutions on how to remedy the hiccups.
In the same way, if you are noticing that your dog is becoming visibly distressed while hiccupping, or they seems to be in pain, then you should immediately take your dog down to the vets, who will be able to provide your dog with a medical evaluation to help get to the bottom of what might be the problem.
Thanks for reading!