Jerk! Jerk! You saw your puppy jerking for a second or two. You get alarmed. And you realize, your puppy has hiccups. And you ask, “Is it normal for puppies to get hiccups all the time?” “Should I be alarmed?”
The simple answers are yes and no. Yes, it is normal for them to have hiccups. And no, you should not be alarmed. Just as all of us have the hiccups once in a while, our puppy can have it too!
There is really nothing to worry about as the hiccups generally end after a minute or two. But even if it is normal and nothing to be alarmed of, these hiccups may be a bother for your pets. Hence, it is best to understand the causes of these hiccups to help stop your puppies from hiccuping.
What Causes Hiccups In Your Puppy?
Hiccups are most common in puppies than in dogs. Hiccups are caused by uncontrollable spasms of the muscles between the chest and the abdomen. Most of the time, muscular spasms or contractions are caused by eating or drinking faster than normal, causing our puppies to inhale too much air.
Being too excited or too stressed often causes hiccups too! When our puppies are too excited or stressed, they tend to breathe rapidly, which causes them to inhale more air than their body can process. Hence, the hiccups.
How Long Do Puppy Hiccups Last?
Most puppies experience hiccups in the first four months of life. Although, in some cases, some puppies up to six months of age still experience these hiccups every now and then. But after that, the hiccups usually never recur anymore.
In some cases, when your puppy experiences too frequent bouts of hiccups that seem to hurt him, it is best to visit the vet for a proper diagnosis. This might not be a bout of hiccups after all. It could be a symptom of some other ailment.
How To Get Rid Of Hiccups?
As with us humans, drinking water drives away the hiccups. Give your puppy some water, but make sure that he drinks slow.
Treat your dog to some food. But give him just a small portion so he doesn’t gobble all the food down, which might trigger his bouts of hiccups. Getting your puppy to eat may calm his breathing and helps in getting rid of the hiccups.
There are various ways to encourage your dog to eat and drink slowly. You could always just give him small portions at a time, wait for him to finish the food up, and refill his bowl. Or you could use slow feeder dog bowls. These dog bowls prevent over-eating, bloating, choking, and more. For sure, it would help prevent the hiccups too!
You may try sitting your pet on your lap and massaging his chest. It will curb his excitement and relieve him of stress. It will also help him relax and breathe regularly. Even the act of stroking your dog continuously calms him and tapers down his excitement or stress. So if you have no idea how to give your dog a massage, gentle stroking would do.
Do some light exercises with your puppy to relax him. You could go walking with him. Just make sure he doesn’t get too excited and breathe in lots of air again.
When To Call Your Vet
If the hiccups, however, still persists after an hour or two, it is advised that you bring your puppy to the vet.
Also, when your puppy is way past the age of six months but still getting frequent bouts of hiccups too often, a visit to the vet may be worth it to really be assured that our pet is okay.
It is only your vet who can decide whether your puppy’s hiccups are still normal or your puppy has other conditions we know nothing about.