“My dog gets hiccups a lot – is something wrong?” is not an uncommon question among worried Rottweiler owners! Hiccups occur not only with humans, but other animals too, and dogs are definitely on that list. Most of the time, they’re just a normal occurrence, but they can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying issue.
In today’s article, we’ll be taking a closer look at dog hiccups and what you can do about it!
Can Dogs Get Hiccups?
Hiccups are a very simple mechanism of involuntary diaphragm spasms. They usually occur when your diaphragm has been irritated, and this is no different with dogs.
Dogs can get hiccups, just like humans can, and the most common reason is ingesting air with food and water.
This is also the most common cause of hiccups with humans too – we’re eating too quickly and we ingest some air with our food. This is the reason most of the time, but there are instances when hiccups can be more than just careless eating.
Hiccups are much more common with brachycephalic dogs because their airways don’t work properly. Rottweilers are brachycephalic to a certain degree, but their airways are not as nearly as faulty as the airway of a French Bulldog or a Pug.
Can Dog Hiccups Present A Health Issue?
Even though this is unlikely and doesn’t happen often – hiccups can be a symptom of a more serious illness.
If this happens, it’s not likely that the hiccups will be the only symptom. They’re most often accompanied by respiratory or digestive issues: trouble breathing, coughing, or regurgitating. An especially worrying symptom is a wheezing sound.
If any of these symptoms are happening alongside the hiccups, then you should definitely take your dog for a visit to the vet. These things should be taken very seriously!
Additionally, hiccups usually for a longer time if they’re serious symptoms. It’s unlikely that they’ll last for less than an hour if they’re a symptom of a disease.
Believe it or not, hiccups can also be a symptom of overheating! This is more common during the warmer, summer days, but if you notice that your dog is suffering from hiccups after exercise – you might have overworked your dog. This is a very serious state and you should definitely be more careful with your dog.
This, however, is unlikely to happen with Rottweilers because they’re very enduring and strong! However, make sure that you know your dog’s limits!
Other reasons for the hiccups include stomach gas and spicy food, along with very hot and very cold food. This is why it’s important to feed only the correct food to your dog.
Medicine can be another cause for hiccups! If your vet put your dog on any new meds and now they’re constantly hiccupping, you should certainly inform your vet.
Why Does My Puppy Always Have The Hiccups?
Believe it or not, dogs can actually develop hiccups because they’re too excited! This is, aside from being unbearably cute, more common with younger dogs, especially puppies. Older dogs usually learn how to express their excitement without kickstarting a spasm. However, this isn’t the most common reason for your puppy hiccupping.
If you’re wondering “Why does my puppy keep getting hiccups?”, you’ll be glad to hear that hiccups are nothing to worry about!
Your puppy is still learning how to eat and drink properly, and accidentally breathing in is completely normal.
This is why hiccups are more rare with older dogs – they know how to eat properly!
Excitement plays a big part in this – dogs naturally get excited for food. When the dog is young, it can’t contain its excitement, which is why it rushes to eat as much as possible very quickly. This very easily leads to hiccups.
It’s also often that young dogs develop hiccups when they’re running and exercising. The reason for this is the same – they’re still learning how to control their bodies properly. With time, your puppy will learn how to do everything with no hiccups.
So, is it normal for puppies to have hiccups? Yes, it’s completely normal.
Helping Your Dogs With Hiccups
Since hiccups are no reason to be worried most of the time, you should just leave your dog to it as the hiccups will resolve on its own. However, if you see that your dog is bothered by it, there are a few things you can do to help your dog get some relief.
Don’t try scaring your dog or pulling its tongue! Those are common myths about hiccups cures for humans, but they’re only going to scare your dog!
We recommend calming your dog down by laying it on its back and giving it a tummy and chest massage. Taking your dog for a walk could also prove to be helpful. There are also some home remedies you could try.
Honey, for example, is a common household cure for hiccups. Obviously don’t give your dog more than a spoonful, and a small one at that, of honey. Some owners also recommend maple syrup!
Drinking water is also a possible cure, as it often helps humans.
The best solution, however, is feeding your dog small food portions. If your dog is so excited it can’t contain itself, it’d perhaps be best to feed it several small portions, instead of a single large portion. This way, you’ll ensure that your dog eats slowly and hiccups will occur more rarely.
In conclusion, the most likely reason for your dog’s hiccups is swallowing air with food and water. This is much more common with younger dogs, as they’re still learning how to eat and drink. Hiccups usually aren’t a symptom of anything dangerous, but if they last for over an hour and they’re accompanied by other symptoms like choking, wheezing, vomiting, etc., you should take your dog to the vet.
Other causes for hiccups include the inability to control their excitement, over-exercising, medications, stomach gases, cold and hot food, spicy food. To help your dog with hiccups, take it out for a walk and rub their belly, while water or a spoonful of honey can also help!
Read more about Are Rottweilers Brachycephalic – An In-depth Look.