Can Dogs Get The Hiccups?


If you had never heard your dog hiccup before the sound and sight of their body jerking can be alarming (especially for first time dog owners) but there is not need to panic. Your dog can hiccup and it is just as normal as a human hiccuping. Hiccups are most common in puppies and your dog will most likely out grow hiccuping or it will happen very rarely once they are grown.

Why Do Dogs Hiccup?

In both dogs and humans hiccups are a result of the diaphragm having involuntary contractions. The diaphragm is muscle that plays an important role in breathing and moves up and down to allow the lungs to inhale and exhale. When dogs hiccup the diaphragm contractions cause a sudden intake of air. In response the vocal cords shut quickly stopping in the intake of air and out comes the hiccup noise we all know.  

There are many things that could be cause your dog's hiccups to start. This may include your dog eating or drinking quickly and swallowing too much air, becoming excited or stressed, playing or exercising, or even being cold. Anything that can make your dog irregularly intake air can cause hiccups. The reason that puppies are more susceptible to hiccups than grown dogs is because they get excited easily. So puppies will get more excited to eat or play and are more likely to take irregular breaths.

Even though there is a variety of reason that hiccups can happen it is not a bad thing if your pup gets them. Most the time hiccups will only last a few minutes. In rare cases where the hiccups last more than a few hours it may be a sign of something more serious and you should call your veterinarian.  

How To Help Your Pup When They Do Get Hiccups

Some humans (myself included) start to get annoyed when our hiccups last past three or four “hics”. Although the hiccups will go away within minutes we try our so called methods to get rid of them. Such as holding our breath or quickly drinking a glass of water. These methods sometimes work and sometimes don’t.

Your pup probably does not get annoyed like humans do, but we understand what it is like to have hiccups so we want to help. The main way you can help stop the doggie hiccups is to temporarily change your dog's breathing pattern. This can be done by giving them a nice tummy rub to calm their breathing or speed up their breathing with some light exercise.