As dog parents, I’m sure you’re not immune to the cuteness overload of a dog hiccup, and yes, the even more adorable puppy hiccup.
However, as responsible parents, it’s important not to be carried away by these magical sounds and be aware when something is normal and when it’s not. Like with us, humans, dog hiccups occur as involuntary diaphragm contractions, lasting a few minutes. Hiccupping is common among puppies, who normally grow out of it about the time they reach six months old.
There aren’t any definitive explanations to how hiccups are caused but vets attest that stress, excitement, developmental issues, or simply gulping air especially when eating are among the usual culprits. One vet observed that her canines go into stress-induced hiccupping when they’re brought in for examination. Generally, hiccupping is normal and innocuous, just as it is to humans.
It’s also safe to say that most, if not all dogs hiccup at least once in their life, and they aren’t bothered by them so there’s usually no need for intervention. If you want to care for your hiccupping dog, however, try doing chest massages, gently startling him/her, or letting your dog perform exercises. No treats at this time as chewing could cause choking.
In rare occasions, hiccups can be indicative of a serious condition. If hiccups occur more often than usual or last for several hours, get your dog checked by your vet, just to be sure.