Hiccups can be annoying and irritating, and sometimes worrying. We all know they are very common in humans, but what about dogs?
Hiccups are generated by the contractions of the diaphragm (the muscle placed under the lungs). When a dog breaths in, the diaphragm contracts; and when a dog breaths out, the diaphragm relaxes. But if this movement occurs 24/7, why don’t we have hiccups all the time? That is because the action is usually so smooth we can’t tell it is happening. It’s only when our diaphragm twitches out of rhythm that we get the hiccups.
Everything about Hiccups
- Usually, this spam lasts approximately 30 minutes or 1 hours, but there are recorded cases that lasted more than two weeks!
- Hiccups are much more common in puppies and don’t occur so often in senior dogs.
- As it happens frequently to puppies and babies, hiccups are commonly known for ‘make you grow’ (It’s nothing more than a popular saying, and, naturallt, there is no sicentific evidence to back it up).
Why do dogs get hiccups?
Hiccups start when the diaphragm gets irritated and spams. However, there are certain things that can cause your dog’s diaphragm to twitch inappropriately.
- Eating too fast
- Excitement, anxiety, or stress
- Eating very hot or cold drinks
- Drinking sodas or carbonated beverages (please never give sodas to your pup!)
How can I make my dog’s hiccups better?
Hiccups can be very upsetting, and on some occasions even painful. Although it is not a serious condition, and it usually doesn’t last long, watching our dogs suffer can be nerve-wracking. Here are some tips to make it better fast.
Ice-cold water: Try to give him small quantities for him to sip (otherwise the cure will be worse than the disease!)
Feed him a teaspoon of sugar: It is believed that sugar affects the vagus nerve, which connects the brain with the stomach and makes the diaphragm stop twitching.
Snuggle him and rub his belly: Free and harmless, this is the ultimate trick for every little discomfort your dog may have. Besides, hiccups can be caused by stress or anxiety, so snuggling him can only make it better (for both of you 😊)
If your dogs’ hiccups last for days and start to interfere with sleeping, eating, or any other daily activity, you should see the vet to rule out any other condition.