Puppy hiccups are fairly cute and adorable when you see them. However this can also be concerning to any puppy owner they are bad for a puppy.
So, are puppy hiccups bad? Do they harm your puppy in some way?
Let’s learn whether puppy hiccups are bad or not, if you should worry about them and when they might be a cause of concern.
Are Puppy Hiccups Bad?
Puppy hiccups are not bad and are not harmful to your puppy because hiccups are only reflex actions due to the irritation of the diaphragm muscle which is quite normal. The only bad thing about them is that they might be a symptom of an underlying life threatening health condition.
Puppies have hiccups because of various reasons which include eating and drinking too fast, rapid breathing due to vigorous play, inhalation of irritants in the air, stress, overexcitement as well as an underlying illness.
The diaphragm is a muscle that is important in breathing. It contracts and relaxes during the breathing cycle of a puppy.
The above factors cause irritation of the diaphragm’s phrenic nerves, causing it to have involuntary spasms.
These spasms or contractions cause the voice box of a puppy to close temporarily which leads to production of the familiar hiccup sound.
The spasms usually go away after a few minutes even without any intervention.
How Long Do Puppy Hiccups Last?
Puppy hiccups, just like human hiccups, end in a few minutes, and last approximately 10-15 minutes.
When Should I Worry About My Puppy Hiccups?: Red Flag Symptoms
If puppy hiccups are prolonged for more than one hour, keep coming back and accompanied by other symptoms, this is a cause for concern.
When they do not resolve by themselves and tend to linger on, this indicates a health condition might be the cause.
The health conditions include respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, asthma or bronchitis, gastrointestinal diseases, parasites, heatstroke, heart failure, brain injury, neurological conditions or cancer.
These health conditions require immediate medical attention because they can be life threatening to a puppy.
Consult your veterinarian when you observe any of the below symptoms with puppy hiccups:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Hard swallowing
- Excessive drooling
- Blue or pale gums
Also know when to differentiate when a puppy is having hiccups or other symptoms so that you might act immediately.
Medical conditions such as seizures or retching appear to be similar to hiccups. But they’re not. They are also symptoms that should be taken seriously and need immediate medical attention.
So if you’re not sure if your puppy is having hiccups, consult your veterinarian.
Further reading: What does it mean when your puppy hiccups? This resource also shows you what puppy hiccups look like.
My Puppy Gets Hiccups Everyday, Should I Worry?
It is quite normal and common for a puppy to get hiccups every day and this should not be a cause for concern. Puppy hiccups are frequent and decrease after 6 months of age.
However, if your puppy gets hiccups everyday, and they last for more than an hour or present with other symptoms of illness, contact your veterinarian because this is a sign something else is wrong.
Read more: When to worry about puppy hiccups
So, How Do I Stop Puppy Hiccups?
Puppy hiccups usually only last for a few minutes without any assistance or intervention. However you may also want to comfort your puppy when they have hiccups and the good news is there are remedies that you can use to relieve your puppy.
This includes calming down your puppy after a play session that triggered hiccups because of the rapid breathing. Help them relax by taking a break to allow regular breathing to occur.
In humans, drinking water helps to relieve hiccups, therefore give your puppy drinking water. You can also add a sweetener such as syrup to the water which will distract your puppy, which will help them to calm down and stop the hiccups.
If you often notice puppy hiccups after eating, prevent your puppy from eating or drinking too quickly by using slow feeding bowls.
Light exercise such as a brisk walk also relaxes and calms down your puppy.
Also check their diet to see if their diet is the underlying cause of their hiccups. Some puppies have hiccups frequently because of a high grain diet which causes stomach irritation and gas formation which triggers hiccups.
Therefore provide the appropriate diet to stop puppy hiccups.
Related: Why does my Great Dane get hiccups?
Puppy hiccups should not cause any concern however be on the lookout to see if they are prolonged, are very frequent or other signs of illness show up. This is because this might be a sign that something else might be wrong.
During a hiccup episode you can also use different strategies to calm your puppy so that the hiccups go away. It’s not necessary because the hiccups should go away by themselves but you can offer comfort to your puppy.
Pay attention to your puppy when they have hiccups and consult your veterinarian for an evaluation of your puppy when you notice anything unusual.