Many dog parents have one common complaint that resonates too well with me. My dog keeps hiccuping and swallowing, and that has never been a cause of concern for me. I have my reasons and experiences for saying this. Still, each dog is different, and it is OK for each dog parent to show concern over any sight of discomfort experienced by their furry friend.
I would do the same thing, but I’ve realized that hiccuping is the most natural thing a dog can experience with time. In fact, in many cultures, it is regarded as so harmless and casual that it’s interpreted as a sign that someone beloved is missing the person who hiccups.
Who knows? Perhaps, the same is the case with your dog! That’s what happens when you have a cute doggo who is adored by everyone.
On a serious note, just because my experience with the dog’s hiccuping and swallowing has been good yet, it doesn’t mean that there cannot be a possibility of things going off guard. Trust your dog’s parent’s gut feeling and take immediate and necessary action in case you feel that your dog might actually need professional help.
Dog Keeps Hiccuping And Swallowing: Common Causes
To help you understand your dog’s position while they struggle with hiccuping and swallowing, I have curated some information for you. While there can be many reasons why a dog might start hiccuping and swallowing air, I have stated some common causes here:
#1. Eating Too Fast
You must have noticed that when we tend to eat faster, our mouth gets dried up real quick. This is because our saliva production decreases. Saliva keeps our mouth moist that allows us to chew our food properly; it also helps in the digestion of the food.
Similarly, for whatever reason, if your dog has been eating too fast and has been troubled with hiccups for a considerable amount of time, then it is time for you to work on your dog’s eating habits. You can set up a food puzzle to slow down your dog’s eating speed.
When dogs eat too quickly, they can swallow a lot of air which can cause them to hiccup.
#2. Drinking Water Too Quickly
As with eating too quickly, drinking water too quickly can be another possible reason for dogs to experience hiccups. In fact, it could be more troublesome in case the water gets stuck in your dog’s food pipe.
A dedicated water fountain with a free-flowing water stream can really make a difference in the way your dog’s relationship is with drinking water. It can also ease the process of drinking water for your dog, limiting the occurrence of your dog swallowing the air.
It is highly important for your dogs to remain properly hydrated, especially in the summertime.
#3. Eating or Drinking Things They Shouldn’t
As a dog parent, you have to be extremely particular about the food and drinks you feed your dog. There are lots of food items that can potentially harm your dog. For instance, although you may love chocolates, remember that chocolates are immensely problematic for your dog. So, your dog may trust you and eat chocolates if you offer them; they may have to bear the brunt of the same.
Remember to look out for those items which can prove problematic for your dog. They may start bothering your dog, who shall begin to hiccup and to deal with the same.
Another possible reason why your dog is hiccuping is because of anxiety. This is frequently the case with small puppies who are easily startled by a change in environment.
Be mindful of ensuring the safety and well-being of your dog, especially pups, if you are taking them over to a friend’s house party or something. At times, we forget about our little pets and get so engrossed in parties, not realizing that it might be causing them distress. Distress and anxiety are some of the common causes of why your dog might be experiencing hiccups.
In case such a thing has happened, try to relax first, as you might end up adding to the anxiety of your pets before pacifying them and ensuring that they are in a safe place.
Have you ever noticed how your dog never fails to get too excited every time you come back home after being away from them? Sometimes, they won’t stop trying to hop onto you for minutes at a stretch.
This excitement could be for various reasons, but sometimes when dogs get a little too excited, they might start to hiccup and swallow air as a way to release the energy.
There is nothing to worry about, just allow your dog to relax for a bit. Once the hiccups subside, get your dog to drink some water slowly.
Taking good care of your pet dog’s health is important as they often suffer from serious health conditions, which, if not dealt with promptly, may prove fatal. One of such ailments is Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Primarily, this occurs when stomach acid runs back into the tube that connects one’s mouth and stomach. This health condition is a common occurrence among dogs as well. They experience gas, and that leads to excruciating pain. Dogs are in no position to deal with such situations, and they often start swallowing lots of air to relieve themselves of the ensuing discomfort. This swallowing of air can cause them to experience frequent hiccups.
The image that we often have in our minds about our dogs is that of a happy and satiated pet, always excited to see its owners. Although you may think dogs are never stressed out, you shall be surprised to know that dogs can stress as well; and are highly unfortunate, but in many cases, they get overly stressed.
Stress can not only cause hiccups to them; they can start swallowing air as well. They resort to this mechanism to calm themselves down.
#8. A Respiratory Infection
You must remember to take some extra care of your dogs if you have been witnessing something weird with them. They are vulnerable to a lot of diseases. One of such diseases is respiratory infection. You must try to save your dog against respiratory infection, which can make your dog suffer from relentless hiccups, and they shall begin gulping down air to clear their airway and feel better.
#9. Foreign Body Obstruction
Any kind of obstruction may cause problems for anyone’s body. Obstructions are often caused by foreign particles. This problem is prevalent in dogs as well.
Any foreign particles inside your dog’s throat can cause repeated hiccups in them. It is extremely uncomfortable for your dog, and your pet dog shall start gulping down air to calm themselves down. Most of the time, dogs try to dislodge the foreign object by coughing or swallowing air.
5 Facts You Should Know About Your Dog’s Hiccuping
The diaphragm contracts and moves lower when your dog breathes in, allowing the lungs to expand in the chest cavity. It goes in relaxation mode and moves slightly over the chest cavity when your dog exhales. This smooth internal process is disturbed when the diaphragm spasms, leading to dog hiccups.
Here are 5 facts that’ll you need to know should know about your dog’s hiccuping and swallowing:
- Hiccups in dogs are not dangerous and are usually resolved on their own.
- It can usually last from a few seconds to 10-15 minutes.
- Some methods of stopping a dog’s hiccups include providing a cold drink of water, gently rubbing the dog’s throat or chest, or pressing on the dog’s stomach.
- The smooth respiratory internal process is disturbed when the diaphragm spasms, leading your dog to hiccup until things get okay.
- In rare cases, hiccups in dogs can be a sign of a more serious health condition, such as a blockage in the airway or a problem with the digestive system.
How Can I Provide Comfort When My Dog Keeps Hiccuping And Swallowing?
Don’t stress over the situation too much. You need to evaluate the degree to which your dog is hiccuping. Start by patting the tummy and rubbing the belly of your dog gently and slowly. Try offering some water and observe if your dog is interested in drinking water. If your dog shows interest, allow them to drink water at their pace. In case your dog is reluctant, do not force them into drinking water. Instead, take them for a short walk, preferably a less crowded-indoor space. Too many people in the vicinity may terrify your dog, worsening their condition.
Sometimes your pet could be experiencing hiccups without any real cause of concern. Other times, it may be a cause of concern that can only be validated by your trusted vet on examination of your pet. In either case, it is important to remain calm and hopeful, as, in distress, your dog needs you the most and could really get worked up to find you restless.
Home remedies are a terrific method to get some quick relief but only temporarily. They should be used chiefly for adopting precautionary measures rather than hoping for a permanent cure. It’s critical to maintain track of the situation if the problem persists or your dog has trouble breathing. If your dog’s hiccups are followed by other symptoms such as vomiting, tiredness, or a change in eating habits, visit a veterinarian immediately.
Forrest is a lover of dogs, the wild outdoors, deep mysterious conversations… and coffee. He is the owner of several websites, including Canine Weekly. He resides in Austin, Texas.