Why Do Dogs Get Hiccups?
No one can predict when hiccups are likely to occur and just like humans, dogs have occasional hiccups which are sudden involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle. This condition is natural with most mammals, however, they can be disturbing as it makes the sufferer unsettled and unable to concentrate on normal activities. When hiccups attack, just like humans, dogs have no control over it; however, conscious steps can be taken to minimize the unsettling effects. Continue reading to understand more about why dogs get hiccups and how to overcome them.
They Need More Water
Adequate fluid intake is essential for the health of our dogs and helps a great deal in stopping dog hiccups because water has many functions: it is indispensable for the solution of feed ingredients in the digestive tract. It is also responsible for transporting the nutrients from the intestine via the bloodstream to the tissues and is vital for cell metabolism and renal excretion of urinary substances. And last but not least, water regulates body temperature.
It might be helpful to give your pooch enough water to drink to assist its system dissolve and break down consumed food no matter the nature. Just ensure you give your pet drinks water slowly and steadily throughout the day. You would notice the irritable and disturbing condition suddenly goes away.
They Have Indigestion
Some dog owners are of the opinion that hiccups in dogs occur sometimes as a result of indigestion. This is because the digestive tract of the dog makes up about 3 – 7% of its body measurements. Compared to other animals, the gastrointestinal tract in dogs is rather small. However, it is very susceptible to malfunctioning, which is why gastrointestinal problems are among the most common reasons why a dog is presented in a veterinary practice.
Such intestinal issues can cause a bout of hiccups which can be irritable and exasperating to your doggy. Your pooch will not know what is causing the discomfort and spasms around their diaphragm area. Hence ensuring that it is relaxed is a wise thing to do. Try to get them to relax on their back and offer a gentle and slow stomach massage so that the hiccups can gradually disappear. Let the strokes be steady up and down movements and watch your animal relax and dose away.
They Are Allergic to Certain Foods
It is vital to ensure that your pooch is eating all the correct foods as the wrong diet can lead to stomach issues that might also cause the emergence of hiccups. If you suspect that your pooch is allergic to certain foods, it is a good idea to monitor their food intake.
What a dog is allergic to is very individual and it may take some time to find the allergenic component. Regardless of allergy or other diseases, some dogs are particularly sensitive to high levels of fat in food. This especially affects older dogs, but it is in principle a matter of individual sensitivity.
For more details on food allergies in dogs, you may wish to discuss with other dog owners on the best solution available for your troubled dog or see a vet for assistance.
They Mistakingly Swallow Air
Yawning too much or eating too fast can lead to dogs mistakingly swallowing air. Assisting your dog hold its breath for a while can make its hiccups go away. Although dogs are intelligent creatures, your pooch might not be able to initiate a process of holding its own breath all by itself. However, you can assist by covering its nose at intervals to occasionally obstruct the flow of air through its lungs until its spasms subside. This may prove effective. However, care must be taken it may misconstrue this kind gesture as an attempt to hurt it and may scratch or bite.
If all fails, scaring your pooch can make their hiccups go away. Although there is no general consensus with regards to the efficacy of this measure in ameliorating this condition. However, frightening your animal safely is something that might be worth trying just to save them the discomfort of hiccups. It is true that scaring dogs will definitely make them breathe a lot faster and by so doing dissolve the bouts of hiccups running through their stomach and chest. While this action may be efficacious in checking their condition, it is advisable you do this with some caution and moderation so as not to put your pet under so much pressure as to force it to react impulsively by attacking the person scaring it, in self -defense.
They Need Fresh Air
When your dog inhales unwanted gas particularly in an enclosed space, this can trigger off hiccups. If you are using cooking gas within your home, ensure you open your windows to let in fresh air so as to avoid the smell of gas being too concentrated and irritating them. You will find that the hiccups might soon disappear as soon as you expose them to a breath of fresh air in an open well-ventilated space.
They Eat Too Fast
Hiccups have been known to occur in dogs shortly after they had hastily eaten their meal. Usually, dogs should consume their food slowly; however, if you have multiple dogs or several domestic animals and you keep them in the same space, then expect them to hastily eat their meal for fear that some their rivals might deprive them of the delicious meal in front. If you keep your domestic pets in this manner, expect several bouts of hiccups among your pets. Animals do not only defend territory but they also guard their food with jealousy. So it would be wise to feed your pets separately to avoid fights and bouts of hiccups during and after meals.
All the above are the main reasons why dog’s get hiccups. If the hiccups refuse to go away for several hours, it may be advisable to discuss the condition with other dog owners who might have had a similar experience with their pets or visit a vet as this may be an indication of a much more serious ailment.