Puppy hiccups are cute. However, it can be worrisome for any puppy owner when hiccups occur frequently.
Puppies do experience hiccups more frequently than adult dogs, but when do puppy hiccups stop?
In this article, you will learn when puppy hiccups stop, reasons why hiccups are frequent in puppies, whether you should be worried, and tips on getting rid of puppy hiccups.
When Do Puppy Hiccups Stop?
Puppy hiccups stop when they are 4 to 6 months of age however they continue to experience occasional hiccups but less frequently throughout their lifetime as adult dogs. Puppy hiccups are common and frequent when they are young lasting for a few minutes.
Why Are Puppy Hiccups Frequent?
Puppy hiccups are frequent because puppies are more prone to the development of hiccups due to factors that easily trigger irritation of their diaphragm and its nerves such as energetic play, tendency to eat or drink fast, overexcitement, stress, and their organs that are still immature.
These factors make them more susceptible to hiccups.
Hiccups are involuntary spasms or contractions of the diaphragm muscle in the chest area when its nerves are irritated by a stimulant.
The irregular movement of the diaphragm causes the glottis which is an opening near the vocal cords to close temporarily which causes the hiccup sound.
Read More: What does it mean when your puppy hiccups?
Should You Be Worried if The Hiccups Last Long?
In most cases you should not be worried about puppy hiccups because they usually quickly resolve by themselves within a few minutes, however, when the hiccups last long by lingering on for more than 1 hour, you should be worried.
In rare cases, hiccups can prolong if there is an underlying medical condition. Certain illnesses can trigger the production of hiccups making them last long and frequent.
Therefore it is important to monitor your puppy when they have hiccups to identify how long they last and also if there are other signs of illness.
Signs of illness to look out for include lethargy, vomiting, being in pain, wheezing, choking, or difficulty in breathing.
These symptoms indicate that the hiccups could be a sign of something more serious and your puppy needs medical attention.
How to get rid of puppy hiccups
Puppy hiccups usually resolve on their own, approximately in 10 -15 minutes. However, if you desire to do something about it, there are simple remedies that you can do to help your puppy and stop the hiccups.
Chest massage: Gentle massaging of your puppy’s chest area encourages the diaphragm to relax and stop its triggered irregular contractions. This stops the diaphragm spasms and the hiccups.
Take a walk: Take your puppy for a walk. A short non-intensive walk helps a puppy’s breathing pattern to return to its regular pattern, which stops the hiccups.
Provide water: Provide your puppy water to drink during a hiccup episode. You can also add sweeteners such as syrup to the water.
The sweet taste distracts a puppy and helps them relax which also returns the diaphragm to its normal movement, and stops the hiccups
Diet Change: High grain diets tend to cause hiccups in puppies and adult dogs than low grain diets. Identify if your puppy’s hiccups are a result of their diet with the help of your veterinarian and change their diet if this is the case.
Slow down feeding: Puppies get over-excited in every activity including eating. This leads to fast eating and drinking which leads to swallowing of air and the development of hiccups.
Therefore slow down their feeding by using a slow feeding bowl. This will drastically reduce the occurrence of hiccups.
Related: Why does my Great Dane get hiccups?
Puppy hiccups are normal and quite frequent compared to adult dogs. They are not dangerous or harmful to a puppy, however, if accompanied by other symptoms, it can mean there is an underlying health condition causing them.
In this case, a complete health checkup by a veterinarian is necessary to determine the cause and appropriate treatment provided.
Just like in humans, puppy hiccup frequency decreases as they get older. As a puppy owner, you will witness these more often.
By following the remedies provided above to relieve your puppy’s hiccups, you can help them get through hiccup episodes.