Hiccups In Dogs: Here's What You Need To Do For Your Pup

Ayan Banerjee
Feb 29, 2024 By Ayan Banerjee
Originally Published on Nov 11, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Labradoodle standing on a rock in a garden.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

Hiccups are short, abrupt air intakes caused by repeated spasms of the diaphragm muscle, which is found beneath the lungs.

When the diaphragm is irritated by something, such as too much food, it contracts involuntarily. The vocal cords are forced to shut with each contraction, producing the distinctive sound which are known as hiccups.

Hiccups usually occur and last only a few minutes. Hiccups might occur and last anywhere from 10-15 minutes. When your dogs get hiccups, they make a rapid 'hic' sound. If your dog hiccups, is coughing, sneezing, retching, vomiting, not eating, or has diarrhea, these might be symptoms of a potential health issue.

The 'hic' sound may recur multiple times. During dog hiccups, a pet owner may or may not hear a noise. If your dog has had hiccups for more than an hour, you should contact a vet (veterinary doctor) for a health check-up and advice. Dog hiccups are very commonly seen in a dog's life. Eating or drinking too rapidly, excitement or energetic play, gas in the belly, upset stomach, stress, or excessive barking all cause hiccups in dogs.

The primary sign or symptom when dogs get hiccups is inhalation followed by dramatic pauses, which may cause quivering in the chest and abdomen. Dog hiccups are usually not accompanied by any symptom other than sound. Hiccups can affect any dog irrespective of its breed, and no particular breed is known to be more prone to hiccups than others. A puppy or pet owner will notice hiccups quite often since hiccups are fairly frequent in pups.

Hiccups are more common in cute puppies than in adult dogs. The cause for this is uncertain, however, it might be due to a pup's high levels of enthusiasm and proclivity for gobbling up its food. Providing them with water or slow feeding them might prevent hiccups.

After enjoying this article, why not also know about dog shaking head and dog licking paws have here on Kidadl!

Why do dogs get hiccups?

Hiccups in dogs are produced by an involuntary diaphragm contraction. A dog's diaphragm is a muscle in its chest that is helpful in breathing air. Hiccups occur when the midsection contracts when it is not supposed to.

Dog hiccups are a common occurrence in dogs, and they are a common occurrence in pups in the first year of life. Pups get hiccups in the womb since hiccups help in the growth and development of their lungs. Eating or drinking too rapidly, excitement or energetic play, gas, stress, or excessive barking all cause hiccups in dogs.

Hiccups are common and should be expected, especially during the early stage of growth. However, if your dog has regular or continuous hiccups, it could be the case that a significant underlying illness is the cause of these hiccups. Therefore, it's important to have your pet puppies health checked out by a veterinarian (vet).

SDF (synchronous diaphragmatic flutter) is a disorder that causes a dog's midsection to spasm automatically, comparable to hiccups. Low blood calcium levels are the most common cause, and they can have serious effects on the body. Hiccups can be made worse by gastrointestinal disorders. Chronic dog hiccups can be caused by tumors in the brain, chest, or belly. Damage to the phrenic or vagal nerves can also result in atypical hiccups.

What does it mean when dogs get hiccups?

Hiccups in puppies are nothing to worry about. They last for a few minutes and are typically triggered by eating too quickly, stomach gas, or excitement.

The frequency of a dog's hiccup episodes will decrease to a normal level or simply go away as its age increases. Hiccups, as already mentioned, are quite normal and should not be a reason for serious concern for your pet puppies. Although puppy hiccups are normal, it is always a good idea to contact your veterinarian if your puppy is experiencing them. When hiccups last longer than two hours, it starts to interfere with your dog's everyday activities.

If it occurs frequently, the veterinarian should absolutely be consulted. Take a video of your cute dog when it gets hiccups and present it to your vet if possible. A comprehensive physical examination, complete blood cell count (CBC), chemical panel, and urinalysis are likely to be performed by your veterinarian. Blood calcium levels, chest X-rays, an abdomen ultrasound, CT scan, or an MRI may also be advised to discover the underlying reason why your pet puppies get regular hiccups, depending on those results and any other symptoms besides dog hiccups that your pet is exhibiting.

If your dog or pup has excessive or recurring hiccups, it can be quite harmful. It's critical to figure out the underlying cause.

Labradoodle standing on a rock in a garden.

How to stop hiccups in dogs?

Hiccups typically go away on their own and are not a matter of serious concern for your pet. Techniques to stop hiccups are not necessary that often because they tend to go away on their own.

For humans, one helpful treatment is putting a tablespoon of sugar on the tongue. It is a common home treatment for hiccup and it could potentially work for dogs. You might try giving your dog some water or taking them for a brief walk to see if this helps. Going for a stroll or drinking water might sometimes break the hiccup cycle.

If your dog has a lot of hiccups, consult a veterinary or veterinarian to understand the cause so that they can be treated properly. A substance called chlorpromazine is commonly used to treat irregular hiccups in humans but you shouldn't give a drug to your dog to stop dog hiccups without the advice of a vet. There are no drugs that are commonly used to treat canine hiccups.

Some complementary therapies also exist that may be beneficial in the treatment of persistent hiccups.

There are a few things that dog owners may do at home to prevent their pets from hiccuping too much. If your dog is a rapid eater, consider using a slow-feeder dog dish and provide smaller meals to avoid hiccups. Scratching and patting your dog's tummy might also help. It's a good idea to avoid vigorous activity or play shortly after your dog eats. Gastric discomfort can cause more frequent hiccups. Make sure your dog is eating a complete and balanced diet, and avoid giving it too many treats or table scraps.

What to do when a dog has hiccups?

When a dog or puppy hiccups, it is typically not a cause for serious concern. Many of the same remedies that humans use can be utilized to assist dogs to overcome their hiccups.

A little tablespoon of syrup is one of the natural home cures for humans. Some believe that it could work for dogs too. These syrups could stop puppy hiccups, working as a coat for your dog's throat. The syrup also distracts them and slows down its breathing. Try giving your hiccuping dog a little sip of water.

Other dog hiccup cures include stroking the dog's chest and taking a slow, calm stroll. The motion can help the dog's breathing pattern return to a normal rhythm or distract it long enough to stop the hiccups. Exercise changes your dog's breathing pattern or heart rate. Activities aid in eliminating hiccups. While forcing a dog to drink is difficult, a stroll or a game are easy to do and might alleviate the hiccups.

Slow down your dog's or puppy's eating and drinking to prevent frequent hiccuping. Slow feeding bowls for dogs are useful. Water dishes are also used to slow-down a dog's gulping. The internal ridges in these bowls allow the dog to eat or drink more slowly. Also, you can use food-dispensing puzzle feeders. When dogs are fed a high-grain diet, they may experience more hiccups.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for hiccups in dogs then why not take a look at dog running away or bulldog facts.

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Written by Ayan Banerjee

Bachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Ayan Banerjee picture

Ayan BanerjeeBachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Thanks to his degree in nautical science from T.S. Chanakya, IMU Navi Mumbai Campus, Ayan excels at producing high-quality content across a range of genres, with a strong foundation in technical writing. Ayan's contributions as an esteemed member of the editorial board of The Indian Cadet magazine and a valued member of the Chanakya Literary Committee showcase his writing skills. In his free time, Ayan stays active through sports such as badminton, table tennis, trekking, and running marathons. His passion for travel and music also inspire his writing, providing valuable insights.

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