Dog Hiccups and Ways to Stop Them
If you are a first-time dog parent, you have a lot to study about — in case something unfamiliar happens one day. Dog hiccups are one of those body reactions that may seem troubling but are actually not. It’s as normal as human hiccups. Your dog may produce “hic” sounds because of diaphragmatic irritations. When the diaphragm is irritated, it causes small spasms that make light movements in the opening between the vocal cords. It is called the glottis, and when it closes, it produces the hiccup sound.
Hiccups are annoying but not enough to inflict pain on your dog. It may seem like they’re taking a long time to go away, but dogs are probably aware that hiccups are normal. Dogs stay calm and don’t show any sign of anxiety, fear, or aggression when hiccups happen.
It’s also best to be aware of the triggering factors of dog hiccups. The irritations on your dog’s diaphragm might be caused by the following:
- Eating or drinking too quickly
- Stress and overexcitement
- Stomach gas
- Spicy food
- Reaction to general anesthesia
Home treatments are available to alleviate dog hiccups. The first occurrence does not require vet consultation. You can get rid of dog hiccups through various methods such as:
A dairy product is the solution for dog hiccups — mainly when spicy food is the irritant. Provide your dog with milk that contains casein. This milk ingredient is a protein that aids in breaking down capsaicin from spicy foods that may irritate your dog’s diaphragm.
Make Them Feel Relaxed
Dog hiccups might not be painful or a severe health condition, but it still causes discomfort. You can help your dog by calming them down with belly rubs or comforting scratches. Massaging their throat may also work. Calming them down relaxes and slows down their breathing — taking them back to the regular breathing pattern.
Rice, Grains, and Bread
If the reason for dog hiccups is stomach discomfort, rice, grains, and bread are the answer. Those foods will inflate the stomach and induce pressure on the diaphragm — eventually stopping hiccups.
Give your dog a bowl of cold water to relax its irritated diaphragm. The relaxing qualities of cold water can ease abnormal breathing patterns. This method can also cool down your dog’s temperature.
Sweet food can comfort your dog and distract them from stress. Once they relax, their breathing will slow back down to its normal pattern. Give them something sweet in liquid, such as water with a bit of sugar or honey.
Slow Feeder Bowls
Your dog might get too excited about food, making them eat fast. Rapid eating can lead to hiccups — making slow feeder bowls the perfect solution. Aside from preventing hiccups, it helps you limit your dog’s food intake and avoid its becoming overweight.
However normal dog hiccups are, there are some instances that the situation is more than a hic. Be observant when your dog becomes agitated by an overwhelming hiccup. The hiccup situation gets serious, and you need to call your vet immediately when:
- Hiccups last more than a couple of hours
- Lack of appetite
- Not drinking
- Over drooling
- Shows signs of pain
- Difficulty in breathing
- Hiccups become a wheezing sound
If these symptoms persist, your dog might have a different health condition. You must check with your vet to ensure your pet is diagnosed correctly. It’s best to know your dog’s condition, as they might be experiencing these health issues:
- Upset stomach
- Respiratory Issues
- Ingestion of a foreign body
Have your vet check your dog for any more signs of serious health conditions to provide early treatments. The earlier you go to the vet, the easier it is to cure your dog’s sickness. Dog hiccups are normal, but it’s still best to have sufficient knowledge of why it gets worse and how you stop it. As dog parents, it is a responsibility to provide the proper medical help and ease their discomfort.