My Puppy Has Hiccups: What Should I do?
It cannot be denied that a puppy with hiccups is just one of those adorable things that a puppy does that melts your heart. Although, if you are a new puppy parent, a puppy with hiccups can be worrying if you don’t know anything about them or why they occur.
We’re here to reassure you that there’s nothing to worry about since hiccups in puppies is a natural occurrence and it is quite common in dogs when they are young. It is actually much more common for puppies to get hiccups than adult dogs. But why do they happen?
What are Hiccups in Puppies?
Hiccups occur when the diaphragm is irritated or strained which causes the diaphragm to contract randomly, which is what we call hiccups. There are lots of reasons why your puppy may experience hiccups, one being that they have eaten or drunk too fast which causes them to swallow air.
Other causes include when they are tired, excited, or even when they are too cold. Generally, because puppies have higher energy levels, they are more prone to hiccups because of the fast movements they make in everything they do.
The good news is that hiccups in puppies are harmless, but it can be uncomfortable and a little bit of a nuisance for your puppy which is why we have outlined some tips on how to help your puppy with hiccups.
Helping your Puppy with Hiccups
1. Calm Breathing
Slowing down your puppy’s breathing pattern, to a more steady and rhythmic pattern will help to get rid of hiccups. Calm your puppy down by laying them down on their back and rub their belly to relax them. Even a little cuddle from their parents will encourage them to slow down their breathing.
2. Drink Water
Offering your puppy some water can help a puppy with hiccups, just make sure that your puppy drinks it calmly and slowly because if they gulp the water, it can make the hiccups reoccur. Do not force them to drink water if they don’t want to.
3. Encourage Slow Eating
Since fast eating is one of the main reasons why hiccups in puppies occur, encouraging slow eating will help to prevent it in the first place. Giving your puppy smaller portions or using a slow feeder will help dramatically.
4. Gentle Walk
Calming down your puppy will help to get rid of hiccups. A calm, gentle walk so they can sniff around will help to make your puppy calm and change up their breathing.
5. DO NOT Scare Your Puppy
While we have all been taught that scaring your friend or family member will help to get rid of their hiccups, this doesn’t mean it will help for puppies. It won't resolve their hiccups but rather frighten them. It can be confusing because they may think they are doing something wrong.
When to Worry About a Puppy with Hiccups
Most often than not, hiccups in puppies are completely normal and safe, but if your puppy has had the hiccups for a prolonged period of time or has hiccups with diarrhea or vomiting - take them to the vet immediately.
Any additional symptoms with hiccups or if they experience the hiccups for more than a couple of hours, it could be an indication of an underlying health issue.
In the majority of cases however, hiccups are an adorable occurrence that are no cause for concern. Just keep in mind any other symptoms your puppy is experiencing.
A new puppy owner? Finding your puppy struggling with teething pain? Read our previous puppy blog on our Top Tips and Toys for Teething Puppies.