Hiccups In Dogs
January 19, 2023 | 3 min read
Updated January 19, 2023
By Sarah Milton
Published: January 19, 2023
Summary: “Can dogs get hiccups?” In this blog, learn if dogs get hiccups, why dogs get hiccups, and what to do if your dog has hiccups...
Do Dogs Get Hiccups?
Just like humans, dogs can get the hiccups! When we breathe, our diaphragm – the major muscle involved with respiration, located just below the lungs - contracts and moves downward. This makes room for our lungs to expand and then on the exhale this mechanism reverses.
However, occasionally the diaphragm is caused to spasm and these spasms induce hiccups. In turn, this spasm also causes the gap in between the vocal cords to abruptly close, which then makes the “hic” noise.
But what causes can interrupt the diaphragm working smoothly in our canine friends...?
Why Do Dogs Get Hiccups?
Things that can cause the diaphragm to spasm in dogs include:
- Scoffing food
- Certain medications (like corticosteroids, some antibiotics and benzodiazepines)
- Too hot or too cold food
- Excess gas in the stomach
- Acid reflux
- Asthma (rare)
- Heatstroke or Pneumonia (rare)
Dog hiccups a lot? Hiccups can be relatively normal, just like in humans, and usually last around 10-15 minutes. But, if your dog’s hiccups last for over an hour, they should see a vet.
How To Get Rid Of Dog Hiccups
First things first, it’s highly unlikely that human remedies for helping to get rid of hiccups will work on your furry friend – scaring them or pulling their tongue will most likely just scare or distress them more, so don’t do this.
Before you start trying to help your dog with their hiccups, think about what could have caused them. For example, if they’ve accidentally eaten spicy food, a saucer of milk will be the most helpful thing to do for them in this scenario.
If they’ve become overexcited or are very stressed, they may need their pet parent to encourage them to take a break and soothe them. Slow, rhythmic stroking of their belly may help settle their breathing pattern.
If you’re unsure what’s brought on your dog’s hiccups, try offering them something cool to drink which can bring down their body temperature and help regulate their breathing. You could also offer your dog some cooked white rice, as this can swell in the stomach and may help put a little bit of pressure on the diaphragm and aid in slowing the hiccups.
Another theory is that a quiet, slow walk may help your dog recover from their case of the hiccups too.
Dog Hiccups A Lot
If your dog hiccups a lot, this may indicate that they’re eating too fast. Try using a specifically designed slow-feeder dog bowl which will slow them down, and things like doggy lick mats.
If the hiccups in your dog are really frequent and you’re worried it’s an underlying health issue that’s causing them, check in with your vet.
“Should You Be Worried About Dog Hiccups?” TPLO Info, Aug 29. 2021 https://tploinfo.com/blog/should-you-be-worried-about-dog-hiccups/
Author Ripley, Katherine “Can Dogs Get Hiccups?” American Kennel Club, Aug 30. 2021 https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/can-dogs-get-hiccups
Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!