Dog Hiccups: What You Should Know

dog hiccups in kittery, me

When your dog starts hiccupping, it might surprise you. This blog is here to explain everything about dog hiccups. Why do they happen? Are they normal? When should you worry? We’ll cover all these questions and more. If you’re curious or concerned about your dog’s hiccups, the team at Piscataqua Animal Hospital in Kittery, ME, is here to help. You can always call us at (207) 439-2661 for more info or to schedule a visit.

Understanding Dog Hiccups

Hiccups in dogs are a lot like hiccups in people. They happen when the diaphragm, a muscle under the lungs, gets irritated and starts to spasm. This causes your dog to suck in air quickly, and the “hic” sound is made when the air hits the closed vocal cords. Hiccups are usually harmless and can happen to dogs of any age, though puppies tend to get them more often.

Why Dogs Get Hiccups

Several reasons can trigger hiccups in dogs. Excitement, eating or drinking too fast, and irritation of the stomach or throat are common triggers. Sometimes, hiccups can also be a way for your dog’s body to get rid of excess air in the stomach. It’s interesting to note that puppies may experience hiccups more frequently as their bodies are still developing, including their ability to regulate breathing and digestion.

The Normalcy of Hiccups

For the most part, hiccups are a normal part of life for dogs, just as they are for humans. They can happen without any clear reason and usually go away on their own after a few minutes. It’s rare for hiccups to be a sign of anything serious. However, if your dog’s hiccups last for hours, or if they’re accompanied by coughing, difficulty breathing, or other unusual symptoms, it’s a good idea to give us a call.

When to Call the Vet

While hiccups are typically not a cause for concern, there are times when they could be a sign of a more serious issue. If your dog’s hiccups persist for a long time, or if they seem to be causing your pet distress, it’s best to get in touch with Piscataqua Animal Hospital. Persistent or frequent hiccups could indicate respiratory issues, digestive problems, or even nervous system disorders.

Monitoring Your Dog’s Health

Keeping an eye on your dog’s overall health can help you spot when something out of the ordinary, like prolonged hiccups, might be a symptom of something more. Pay attention to your dog’s eating habits, energy levels, and breathing patterns. Changes in these areas, along with prolonged hiccups, are good reasons to call us for advice or to make an appointment.

Tips for Managing Hiccups

While we don’t recommend at-home treatments for hiccups due to the risk of misdiagnosis or worsening underlying conditions, there are general wellness practices that can reduce the frequency of hiccups. Ensuring your dog eats slowly, stays hydrated, and has a calm environment can help minimize hiccup triggers. If hiccups are a frequent occurrence, discussing them during your dog’s next check-up can provide personalized advice and reassurance.

Encouraging Slow Eating

For dogs that eat too quickly, consider using a slow-feeder bowl. These are designed to make your dog work a little harder for their food, slowing down their eating pace. This can help reduce the amount of air swallowed during meals, potentially decreasing the frequency of hiccups.

The Importance of Regular Check-Ups

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for maintaining your dog’s health. These visits allow us to catch any early signs of issues that could be causing recurrent hiccups or other symptoms. Plus, we love getting to know your pets and providing tailored advice to keep them happy and healthy.

Call Us Today

Hiccups in dogs are usually nothing to worry about. They’re often just a quirky part of being a dog! However, if you notice anything unusual about your dog’s hiccups or their health in general, we’re here to help. Piscataqua Animal Hospital values the health and happiness of your pets as much as you do. For any concerns, questions, or to book an appointment, don’t hesitate to call us at (207) 439-2661. We’re here to support you and your pet every step of the way.