Although it may surprise us, yes, hiccups in dogs are a very common phenomenon. If you pay attention, you will realize that dogs share many “tics” and behaviors with us: hiccup, of course, and they also yawn, sneeze, tremble, move in dreams, etc., and often, all this happens to them by the same reasons as humans.
This is the case with hiccups, which are compulsive, rapid, and involuntary contractions of the diaphragm at more or less regular intervals. The lungs are forced to expel air in small amounts and abruptly, which generates the familiar and characteristic sound that gives the hiccup its name: hip, hip! It is very common in all mammals, including humans and, of course, dogs.
In general, we shouldn’t worry when our furry friend hypes. As in the case of people, the hiccups will usually last only a few minutes and will have no consequences beyond the fun of the situation. However, it is inevitable that we ask ourselves the question: why do dogs get hiccups? The causes can be very diverse, so it is better that we go through them one by one.
Why Do Dogs Get Hiccups?
As we said, hiccups in dogs can have different causes. Most of them are trivial or easy to solve; in fact, the most common is that the hiccups resolve on their own. However, in some cases, hiccups can be a symptom of a more serious problem, so it is worth reviewing all the possible causes to understand why our dog has hiccups. Let’s go there!
- Eating or drinking water too quickly
In both humans and dogs, this is the most common cause of hiccups: by eating or drinking too fast, the dog ingests not only food or liquid, but also excess air that is released during digestion, either as hiccups or in the form of flatulence.
Many dogs eat with more anxiety than they should, but it is a problem that can be solved with patience and training. We must teach our dog to control himself when there is food in front of him, and it may also be a good idea to divide the food into several doses with smaller amounts. In this way, his level of anxiety about food will decrease, since the dog will end up learning that not by being more nervous and eating faster, he will receive his next ration sooner.
- Digestive problems
Hiccups in dogs can also be caused by digestive problems of various kinds: food allergies, ingestion of toxic foods, excessively heavy digestions, etc. In many of these cases, the hiccups will be accompanied by other symptoms.
If our dog hiccups very frequently and even more so if he also vomits food or bile, we should take him to the vet, nobody better than him to identify the problem and put a treatment.
There are two types of dogs that are more prone to hiccups from digestive problems: puppies and hunting dogs. In the case of puppies, it is usually a temporary problem that appears especially when the feed is changed (their gut is more delicate and is growing). Hunting dogs, on the other hand, have a certain tendency to develop digestive problems of which hiccups can be a symptom, but this does not mean, of course, that it happens to everyone.
- Cold, anxiety, stress, nervousness, or fear
All of these are situations that can cause hiccups in a dog. That the dog hypes when he feels cold may be curious, but it is so: especially in the case of puppies and small breed dogs, the cold usually causes frequent episodes of hiccups. To make sure that the cold is the cause, we must look for the appearance of other symptoms, such as tremors.
Anxiety, stress, nerves, and fear also cause hiccups in dogs, in addition to the flatulence mentioned above. If our dog is very excited or afraid, the first thing to do is try to understand why: are we making him nervous with too rough games? Has he heard a sound that has frightened him? There can be many reasons. When we solve a situation that causes discomfort to our dog, the hiccups will eventually subside.
How to Remove the Hiccups From Dogs?
In most cases, as we have already said, hiccups are totally harmless and will go away on their own. However, if we see that our dog is especially uncomfortable when hiccupping –of course, he does not understand what is happening to him– we can try some of the remedies that we mention at this point. When the hiccups are not due to a more serious problem, the same thing happens to dogs as people: they don’t stop hiccupping because they are too focused on it. Almost all solutions will, therefore, pass by distracting the animal.
- It is not about scaring them as we do with people, as that will not only work, but it can also confuse him or even cause him to react aggressively. We mean to distract him with games, a ball, etc in short, something that makes his breathing change.
- Give him some food or drink. The result will be the same as in the previous point: the dog’s breathing will change and the hiccups will surely disappear.
- Take him out for a walk. A third variant of the same solution: make the dog do some activity, and thus get distracted and breathe differently. If you love to walk, hit the streets!
- Bathe him. Whether your dog loves baths or he hates them, the fact is that taking him to the bathtub will be a major distraction that could end the involuntary hiccup reflex.
- If the hiccups are due to cold, this solution is obvious: as soon as we warm the dog and his body temperature begins to rise, the hiccups will disappear.
You must pay attention that your dog’s hiccups disappear after a few minutes otherwise if it lasts for more than an hour, they may be a disease symptom.
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