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Do Dogs Get Hiccups? Causes, Cures & When to See a Vet for Dog Hiccups (2024)

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do dogs get hiccups

Yes, dogs do get hiccups!

These involuntary diaphragm spasms are often triggered by eating or drinking too quickly, stress, excitement, or gas build-up.

While usually harmless, persistent hiccups could signify an underlying issue.

To help relieve your pup’s hiccups, try calming their breathing, offering water, or slowing their eating pace with a lickable treat.

If the hiccups persist for hours or cause distress, it’s wise to consult your veterinarian, as prolonged episodes may be a sign that further investigation is needed.

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs experience hiccups due to involuntary diaphragm spasms, which can be triggered by eating or drinking too quickly, stress, excitement, or gas build-up in the stomach.
  • Persistent hiccups in dogs could indicate an underlying health issue, and if they last for hours or cause distress, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian.
  • To help alleviate hiccups in dogs, owners can try calming their pet’s breathing, offering water, or using a slow-dispensing food dish to moderate their eating pace.
  • In puppies, hiccups can occur even in the womb as they test their breathing muscles, and dietary habits can influence the occurrence of hiccups in dogs of all ages.

Do Dogs Get Hiccups?

Yes, dogs can get hiccups.

They’re caused by a spasm or contraction of the diaphragm, which results in the characteristic ‘hic’ sound.

Dogs that eat and drink too quickly, are stressed, or have gastrointestinal issues may be more prone to hiccups.

Most cases are harmless and resolve within 10-15 minutes.

However, prolonged hiccups or those accompanied by other symptoms like coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing may indicate an underlying issue and warrant a veterinarian’s attention.

What Causes Hiccups in Dogs?

What Causes Hiccups in Dogs
You’re right to wonder what causes hiccups in our canine companions. Like humans, hiccups in dogs stem from involuntary spasms of the diaphragm muscle involved in breathing. These spasms can be triggered by eating or drinking too quickly, stress or excitement, or even gas build-up in the stomach.

Diaphragm Spasm Triggers

Hiccups in dogs are caused by involuntary muscle contractions in the diaphragm, similar to human hiccups. These contractions can be triggered by eating or drinking too quickly, stress, or excitement. In puppies, hiccups can even occur in the womb, as they test their breathing muscles.

Dietary Influence on Hiccups

Hiccups in dogs can be influenced by their dietary habits.

Eating or drinking too quickly can trigger hiccups, as can spicy foods.

In puppies, hiccups can even occur in the womb.

Underlying health conditions may also contribute to hiccups in dogs.

To help alleviate hiccups, encourage your dog to drink water.

Eat at a slower pace, and calm their breathing.

If hiccups persist or cause discomfort, consult a veterinarian.

Stress and Excitement Effects

When your furry friend gets the hiccups, it’s not just a party trick—it’s a sign they might be riding the stress-excitement rollercoaster a bit too hard. Managing these emotions is key to keeping those pesky hiccups at bay.

  • Hiccup triggers: Stress and excitement can send your pup’s diaphragm into overdrive.
  • Stress management: Calm environments and breathing exercises can help.
  • Excitement management: Regular, gentle play and training sessions promote healthy puppy development.

How to Get Rid of Dog Hiccups

How to Get Rid of Dog Hiccups
To stop your dog’s hiccups, you’ll want to help them breathe more regularly by staying calm and speaking softly. Encouraging them to drink small amounts of water slowly or offering a lickable dog treat can also help relax their diaphragm and stop the hiccup spasms.

Calm Irregular Breathing

If your dog is experiencing hiccups, one way to help them out is by calming their irregular breathing.

This can be done by gently massaging their chest or encouraging them to take slow, deep breaths.

If the hiccups persist, offer them a drink of water, as dehydration can sometimes be a cause.

If the hiccups don’t go away or are accompanied by other symptoms like wheezing or difficulty breathing, it’s best to consult a vet.

Encourage Them to Drink Water

To aid your furry companion in eliminating hiccups, it’s crucial to entice them to consume water. Here are three straightforward methods to do so:

  1. Provide water in a clean bowl: Ensure your dog has uninterrupted access to clean, refreshing water. A clean bowl will motivate your dog to drink, as they’ll be averse to drinking from a soiled one.
  2. Incorporate water into their food: If your dog isn’t adequately hydrated, you can augment their food with a small amount of water. This will enhance their hydration while they’re eating.
  3. Utilize a slow-dispensing water dish: Certain dogs may not consume sufficient water due to their rapid drinking habits. A slow-dispensing water dish can decelerate their drinking, ensuring they ingest more water.

Help Them Eat at a Slower Pace

Help your furry friend eat at a slower pace by offering smaller, more frequent meals. A slow-dispensing food dish can also encourage a more leisurely eating style. If your dog is experiencing stress or anxiety, a tummy massage can help calm them down. Remember, slow eating isn’t just good for hiccups, it’s also beneficial for overall digestive health.

When Should I Seek Veterinary Attention for Dog Hiccups?

When Should I Seek Veterinary Attention for Dog Hiccups
If your dog’s hiccups persist for more than a few hours, or if they’re accompanied by wheezing or difficulty breathing, it’s time to consult a veterinarian.

Persistent hiccups could be a sign of underlying health conditions, such as respiratory issues or gastrointestinal problems.

Additionally, hiccups that don’t cease or fade could indicate signs of stress or excitement.

Don’t dismiss these symptoms as harmless; they could be your dog’s way of telling you something’s not right.


While uncommon, persistent hiccups in dogs can signal an underlying issue that requires veterinary care.

If your pup’s hiccups continue for more than an hour or result in noticeable distress, it’s essential to seek professional assistance from your veterinarian.

They’ll assess your dog and determine whether respiratory issues or gastrointestinal disorders are causing these involuntary diaphragm contractions.

With appropriate treatment and attention to the underlying cause, you can alleviate your furry companion’s discomfort from prolonged hiccup episodes.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.