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My Dog Hiccups After Eating! What should I do?

Pupper, are you OK?!

Dog hiccups happen mainly to puppers. They are a rite of passage for puppers, and are one of the cute things that puppers do. Just look at this adorable little pupper hiccupping! That being said, they can be cause of concern for doggo parents everywhere, especially if they last longer than expected.

In spite of the concern, they’re typically nothing to worry about. As with us hoomans, doggos and puppers often get hiccups after eating. Read on to learn about what else might be causing your dog hiccups, and some solutions.

What causes dog hiccups?

Typically the same thing that causes hiccups in hoomans:

  • eating too quickly
  • drinking water too quickly

In either case, this happens for the same reason: air enters the body along with all that food/liquid, causing involuntary contraction of the diaphragm.

However, the following are also causes of doggo hiccups:

  • excitement
  • stress
  • inhalation of an irritant (really rare)

These are also caused by air entering the esophagus, causing spasm of the diaphragm. The former is why puppers mainly get hiccups period. They’re more often than not, so heckin excite! This incredible high excitement and energy cause the pupper to be more likely to eat/drink too fast.

Stress can interrupt the normal breathing pattern of the pupper, potentially inducing an episode of the hiccups.

How do I treat doggy hiccups?

As discussed prior, doggo hiccups are caused by too much air entering the doggo’s body too quickly (this causes it in hoomans, too). It’s the reason why the folk remedy of “drink 10 sips of water while holding your breath” works. (It’s my go-to whenever I face the hiccups.) But don’t try to make a dog do it. The poor pupper won’t understand what you’re trying to do to him/her.

Try these methods instead:

  • Adding something sweet to the doggo’s water. This could take the form of the following:
      • honey
      • karo syrup
      • sugar
        The sweetness helps change the doggo’s breathing pattern in two ways:

        • distracts the doggo (“What’s this?!”)
        • coats the throat, soothing any irritation

    NOTE: Avoid giving your pup solid foods as they will end up making the hiccuping worse, and cause choking. Also avoid things that are sugar-free as those often contain xylitol, a chemical that is harmful to doggos.

  • Massaging the dog’s chest. This will help relax their diaphragm, thus relieving the hiccup.
  • Take the pupper out for a gentle walk. The exercise can help reset the pup’s breathing.

Preventing Hiccups

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is true no matter the topic. With this one, doggo hiccups, the prevention is quite simple: slow their intake of food and water. This can be quite easy to do, as there are some special dishes that can do that for you.

When Hiccups Become A Major Concern

In the vast majority of cases, hiccups are nothing to worry about, and could even make for moments of cuteness from your pup. They could even be memeworthy moments! However, when they last for over an hour, you should be worried. Why?

Because when they last for >= 60 minutes, they usually come with other issues, and are thus a sign of something major. These other issues include the following:

  • coughing
  • reverse sneezing
  • heavy breathing not associated with any strenuous exercise

There could be any of the following going on with this ultra-prolonged type of hiccup episode:

  • asthma
  • pneumonia
  • heat stroke (on hot days)
  • gastrointestinal problems (e.g. constipation)
  • parasites

Go straight to the vet if any of this happens!

Doggo Hiccups : A Cute Analogy to Human Hiccups

Ninety nine percent of the time, hiccups are no big deal, can add a dimension of cuteness to your already sweet pup, and are generally caused by, and resolved by, the same things that cause and resolve hiccups in humans.

Mike Warren

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