Can Dogs Have Hiccups? Protecting Your Pup Against Hiccups

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Jan 24, 2024 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Nov 23, 2021
Happy purebred labrador retriever dog outdoor in grass.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.2 Min

Hiccups are a cute and common occurrence in dogs, just as common as they are in humans.

When your adorable dog has hiccups, you'll notice that their inhalations are followed by dramatic abrupt stops, which may cause the torso and abdomen to quiver. When your dog has hiccups, you may or may not be able to hear a sound.

Most puppy owners see hiccups a few times because hiccups are fairly frequent in puppies. Hiccups are more common in children and puppies than in adults. The cause for this is uncertain. However, it can be due to puppies' high levels of enthusiasm and penchant for gobbling up their food.

Get going to read and find out in more detail - can dogs have hiccups? And all about protecting your pup against hiccups. Also, you can definitely check out our other facts articles called can dogs get dandruff? And, can dogs get mosquito bites?

Do dogs get hiccups as people do?

If you're wondering if dogs can get hiccups, the answer is yes; dogs get hiccups. Dogs, like humans, can have hiccups!

This is typical behavior in the life of a dog; dogs' anatomy is remarkably similar to that of humans in some aspects. Thus they can get hiccups just like us. Hiccups in dogs appear to be more common in puppies. As dogs start to age, they experience fewer hiccups.

Dog hiccups are a relatively common symptom that you may encounter. They appear to be more common among puppies. Ideally, dog hiccups should not last more than an hour, so if they continue for an extended amount of time or appear to be affecting your doggy's quality of life, you should contact your vet.

If you see hiccups along with other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, a loss of appetite, or fatigue, it could be a sign of a more serious underlying problem.

What do dog hiccups look and sound like?

Your dog's hiccups will be audible as a short 'hic' sound. It sounds like a human hiccup. In a few minutes, the 'hic' sound may occur multiple times.

Hiccups in dogs are usually accompanied by nothing more than a slight 'hic' sound. Still, if your dog is retching, vomiting, coughing, sneezing, not eating, or having diarrhea, it could be an indication of something more serious.

What causes dog hiccups?

Many theories have been proposed as to why your dog could get hiccups.

The most typical explanation is that a dog's hiccups start by eating too rapidly or swallowing too much air. However, there are a variety of additional grounds for dog hiccups. Hiccups in dogs can be caused by a variety of things, according to the AKC and PetMD.

The causes can be consuming food too quickly, drinking too rapidly, excitement, playing with too much enthusiasm, bloated stomach, stress, stomach ache, and air restriction in the diaphragm of the dog.

The diaphragm is a dome-like row of internal skeletal muscles that connect the torso to the abdomen. It is the main organ involved in breathing. When a dog breathes in, the diaphragm tightens and slides downward, allowing the lungs to expand freely in the chest cavity. The diaphragm relaxes and travels up into the chest cavity when a dog breathes out.

The diaphragm movements are generally smooth and regular, but a hiccup occurs when the muscle unexpectedly spasms. They can last for a few minutes, and sometimes the hiccup episodes can last 10-15 minutes.

Cute Labrador dog lying on the gray floor carpet.

Do hiccups hurt dogs?

Dog hiccups are very sudden spasms of the diaphragm muscle that, in most circumstances, do not cause concern because they last only a few minutes and do not harm your dog.

They can, however, be a sign of an underlying respiratory health-related condition in rare circumstances where they might not get enough air.

You ought to have your dog examined by a veterinary medical doctor if they exhibit other symptoms such as colored discharge, frequent coughing, loss of appetite, fever, or lethargy.

If the hiccups linger longer than a few hours, you should have them checked.

When do puppy hiccups stop?

Puppy hiccups usually stop when they grow older; we don't see hiccupping as frequently in adult dogs.

Although hiccups are usually harmless, if your puppy has them frequently, it's undoubtedly a good idea to have it checked out by your veterinarian as the issue could be serious.

It's normal for pet parents to be concerned if their puppy has hiccups. If hiccup episodes persist less than an hour, however, there's no need to be worried. But, consult your veterinarian if the hiccuping doesn't slow down or become chronic.

Hiccups might occasionally be a sign of something more serious. Symptoms of gastrointestinal distress include hiccups and vomiting of food consumed. Hiccups in a puppy might potentially indicate the presence of worms. Hiccups are sometimes confused with reverse sneezing, which occurs when your dog inhales air through its nose.

How can you help your dog get rid of hiccups?

The majority of hiccups in the dog breeds will subside on their own in a short period of time. Therefore, techniques to stop the dog's hiccups are generally unnecessary.

However, you might try giving your pet a drink of water or taking them for a short walk to see if this helps. Going for a stroll with your dog or drinking water might sometimes break the hiccup cycle.

If your dog's hiccups are caused by them eating too quickly, consider feeding them using a slow feeder dog bowl.

Try to see if scratching and petting your dog's chest and belly can help.

Dog hiccups are generally harmless, but it's always a good idea to check with your veterinary professional for some advice. Especially if they seem to be not eating or drinking, or their vocal cords seem a bit off because of the constant hiccuping.

When should you call a veterinarian?

It's a great idea to consult your veterinarian whenever your dog develops a new or unusual condition.

Because dog hiccups can be mistaken for a cough, choking, or reverse sneezing, we always recommend consulting your veterinarian - especially if your dog exhibits any new symptoms. Pay heed to see if the dog's breathing pattern is getting unusual or too slow or if your dog has some respiratory illness.

It's a good idea to record a video of the symptom your dog is exhibiting so your veterinarian can better understand what's wrong. If in doubt, consult a veterinarian, especially if the hiccups last longer than an hour.

You don't want to feed the dog anything solid that needs a lot of chewing because hiccups are involuntary and can be severe at times, which might lead to choking.

Finding a cure for hiccups is tough, just as it is in humans. There are a variety of home cures for getting rid of hiccups in people (holding your breath, breathing into a paper bag, or gargling). Still, none have been scientifically confirmed to work in dogs (imagine teaching a dog to gargle!). Your puppy's hiccups will eventually go away on their own.

Dog's parents can try rubbing your dog's belly to help relax the muscles. Encourage light activity to assist your dog's respiratory habits adjust.

Did You Know?

Puppies experience a bout of hiccups when eating or drinking too quickly, when they're weary, when they're happy, or when they're too cold.

In dogs, an episode of the hiccup can be caused by general excitement or even stress.

Honey or maple syrup are ideal choices since their sweetness may help your pup cope with stress, heat stroke, spasms, and overexertion or hiccupping.

You should ask your veterinarian for advice if your pet doesn't stop hiccupping or the puppy's not looking forward to playing or seem slow. This may be a sign that its respiratory health is down, and you must take your pet to the vet for a general medical checkup.

Any dog can get hiccups. You might try offering them food or water to drink if their body or actions don't seem normal.

You, as dog parents, must encourage light exercise to help the dog with hiccups.

A spasm in the diaphragm, the muscle beneath the lungs, causes hiccups in your dog, much as it does in people. And although hiccups might look cute (differing from owner to owner), dogs get hiccups if their breathing is constricted. So try to get their breathing normal.

If your dog's breathing issue looks serious to you, and their hiccupping isn't slowing down. The problem might be related to the lungs, and you should consult with the vet.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for can dogs have hiccups, then why not take a look at can dogs to get lice from humans or St. Bernard dog facts

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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