Let’s face it: everything that puppies do is adorable. From the way that they yawn when they need to take a little nap to those adorable puppy hiccups that strike at the most random of moments, there is nothing they can’t do that won’t make us fall in love with them.
However, while things like puppy hiccups and sneezes may be adorable to us, we have to remember that these bodily functions can be uncomfortable for our dogs. It is up to us to know what to do to alleviate whatever issues they may have.
Does your puppy find itself dealing with hiccups on a regular basis? If so, let’s walk through some tips that will help you figure out what to do about puppy hiccups when they strike!
What Are They?
While we are on the topic, this is a perfect time to learn more about how hiccups develop and why your puppy is experiencing them.
Basic activities such as eating too fast, drinking too fast, or other situations such as being too cold, too tired, or too excited can all contribute to puppy hiccups. Hiccups, simply put, are just muscle spasms in the diaphragm. Is there any reason to be concerned? Not usually! If your dog is experiencing occasional bouts of the hiccups, this is completely normal for all puppies.
It is very rare that hiccups are a cause for concern, and we will discuss this further as we near the end of the article.
If My Puppy Is Having Hiccups, What Do I Do?
For puppy parents who find themselves dealing with the hiccups, the question about what to do rarely comes up. If you do find yourself concerned or want to help your pup experience some relief if you believe that their hiccups are making them uncomfortable, there are a few things that you can do to help them.
If your puppy is having hiccups, you can:
- Surprise your dog! Although this is not always an effective solution, this is one method that is recommended for humans with hiccups that may work for your pup as well.
- Give them a belly rub. Petting them can calm down their breathing, which serves to relieve them of their hiccups.
- Take them out for a walk or some playtime. Much like the tip above, this can change their breathing patterns and distract them from their hiccups, giving them time to shake them off.
- Just like food or water is recommended for people hiccups, puppy hiccups can be stopped by giving your dog some water or food. However, it’s important to make sure that they don’t eat or drink too fast and that you keep a watchful eye on them so they don’t choke!
- Try giving them something sweet. There are some people who recommend putting sweet substances like honey or maple syrup into a dog’s water to calm their breathing and distract them. If you do try this method, please make sure to avoid sugar (xylitol) as this can be dangerous to your puppy’s health.
Puppy hiccups are easy to treat, and you can use the tips above to get rid of them when they make an appearance.
When Should I Be Concerned?
When it comes to the occasional bout of hiccups here and there, you can rest assured that your puppy is fine. That said, there are some instances where puppy hiccups may point to something more serious.
If your puppy has non-stop hiccups, this could be a sign of:
- Heart Problems– If your dog is having heart problems, which makes breathing and exercising far more difficult than it should be, this could result in puppy hiccups. If you see that your puppy gets tired in the middle of exercise that is relatively moderate (and displays other breathing issues along with hiccups), this could point to a heart problem.
- Too Much Exercise– Puppies love to play! Pushing your puppy too hard, however, can tire them out and leave them vulnerable to issues like heat stroke. If they are overworked and begin having trouble breathing and start hiccuping, make sure to give them rest and cool them down.
- Tummy Troubles– Hiccups experienced along with problems like diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, decreased appetite, and other similar problems may be a sign of gastrointestinal issues. Keep an eye on your dog’s bathroom and eating habits if constant hiccups become an issue.
- Respiratory Illnesses– If your dog is having trouble breathing, regular hiccups won’t be the only noticeable symptoms. They may also sneeze, wheeze, breathe heavily, or cough. These symptoms could point to illnesses such as asthma or pneumonia. Keep your little puppy healthy and pay attention to overlapping breathing problems.
While the solutions in the previous section will help you to get rid of regular puppy hiccups, the problems listed above require the help of a veterinarian to treat. If there are any symptoms that are out of the norm that come with your puppy’s hiccups, take them to the vet immediately!
Puppy Hiccups, While Cute, Are Also Normal!
If your puppy is having the hiccups, the good news is that this is completely normal, and unless they are dealing with the issues above, there is nothing to worry about. The next time your puppy goes through an adorable bout of the hiccups, employ the tips in this guide to calm their breathing down and help your dog get rid of them!