Disclaimer ~ This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting the veterinarian is the safest way to diagnose and treat any/all health conditions.
For a pet owner (let that be any kind of pets, not just dogs), it is highly important to take proper care of their beloved pets. So whenever they are under the weather, it is natural to feel sad and concerned. Now I don't wish to scare you or anything because frankly, we need to get to the answers of whether puppy hiccups are normal/common or not. The answer to that is - yes, hiccups are quite normal.
In fact, all animals including humans and puppies can develop hiccups. Similar to human hiccups, for animals, hiccups are harmless. Occasional hiccups should not be a matter of concern because of its normality. Your puppy is growing rapidly and so are his/her insides as there are many development stages, which could be one of the reasons for the hiccups.
What Causes the Hiccups?
What causes the hiccups? Hiccups may occur due to spasm or involuntary contraction in the diaphragm. What happens is that the intake of oxygen is restricted or blocked all of a sudden due to the glottis being closed. The hiccup can be caused when there is an interruption in the rhythm of the breathing process.
Another reason for hiccups is the occurrence after eating food or drinking water too quickly, nervousness, sudden fright, or at times, minor gastrointestinal problem. Basically, it is self-treated after some time. However, extended episodes of hiccups can be signal of some severe illness and may call for a visit to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Stop the Hiccups
In this following section, we will be giving you some easy steps that can be tried at home if the hiccups occur. However, if you notice that these hiccups are coming about too often, too soon, then don't waste any time in visiting the veterinarian. And now, we will go over the steps on how to get rid of the hiccups if time doesn't take care of it. The basic idea to cure puppy hiccup is to get the breathing process synchronized and resting to the diaphragm.
Step 1: Talk your puppy for an energetic walk, run, or play with him/her (keep the puppy jumping and moving). This will change the breathing pattern and relax the diaphragm. While running or playing, make quick starts and stops, which will in turn relax the diaphragm, as your puppy is starving for oxygen.
Step 2: Give your puppy his/her favorite treat and something to drink (milk or water). The process of eating a meal or snack and drinking water may temporarily change the breathing pattern and can also get rid of hiccups.
Step 3: Try to startle your puppy. Shock techniques or sudden startle have worked for many people in curing their hiccups, perhaps it may do so for your puppy as well. The element of surprise can lead to getting rid of the hiccups. Although, try not to scare them too often as this behavior tends to make them not trust you. Once is more than enough to understand if the method will work for the hiccups or not.
Step 4: Another reason for your puppy to suffer from hiccups could be stress. Yes, even animals have stress, which is why the hiccups keep coming back. Help your puppy relax and do whatever that it takes to get him/her to relax. If your puppy enjoys a bath, give him/her a relaxing slow bath. Or perhaps he/she likes you sitting close by and pet him/her. Do anything and everything that's possible to make him/her feel at ease.
In the beginning of the article, we briefly mentioned the different development stages of a puppy. So if you wish to get more information on the same, read the article on development stages of a puppy. If this is your first puppy, there may be chances that you could be freaking out due to the hiccups. There's no need to worry too much, as you just learned how normal they are for humans and for animals. These were some of the remedies or suggestions. If the hiccups last longer than half an hour or sound like coughing and gagging, contact a veterinarian immediately.