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Do Dogs Get Hiccups? Causes, Cures & Concerns (2023)

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do dogs get hiccupsHave you ever heard your pup make a strange gasping sound? Chances are, they may have been experiencing hiccups.

It’s common for both puppies and adult pooches to experience an occasional bout of hiccups, caused by spasms in the diaphragm. In this article, we’ll explore what causes dog hiccups, how to cure them, and when it might be time to call the vet.

From eating or drinking too quickly, stress, or overexcitement – all these can lead to canine hiccup fits! So if you’re wondering why your dog gets frequent bouts of the hics, then keep reading as we discuss everything there is to know about doggy hiccups.

Key Takeaways

  • Diaphragm spasms and air gulping can cause hiccups in dogs.
  • Stress and excitement can also contribute to hiccups in dogs.
  • Eating or drinking too quickly, as well as consuming spicy foods, can trigger hiccups in dogs.
  • Natural remedies such as regulating breathing, resetting diaphragm spasms, and relaxing muscles around the diaphragm can help alleviate hiccups in dogs.

Can Dogs Get Hiccups?

Can Dogs Get Hiccups
Have you ever noticed your furry friend making strange noises as their breathing is interrupted by sudden spasms? Chances are they’re hiccuping – a natural reflex seen in puppies up to 8 months old, and sometimes even before birth!

Hiccups occur when the diaphragm muscle contracts suddenly, causing air to be taken into the lungs. These contractions can increase heart rate and cause short shallow breaths. Stress or excitement can also trigger this reflexive action in dogs of all breeds.

Dietary changes, such as eating too fast or spicy foods, may irritate the esophagus, which stimulates the diaphragm muscles, resulting in hiccups that last for several minutes if left untreated. If your pup’s hiccups extend beyond a few hours, it is important to take them to see a vet right away since prolonged episodes could indicate an underlying health condition like allergies or infection.

To prevent dog hiccups from occurring, there are simple breathing exercises, calming techniques, and dietary adjustments you can make with guidance from your veterinarian.

Understanding Dog Hiccups

Understanding Dog Hiccups
Have you ever seen your dog take a break from eating or drinking too quickly and start hiccupping? Hiccups in dogs are often caused by stress, overexcitement, stomach gas, spicy food, and medications. As an owner, it can be worrying to see your pup struggling, but understanding the cause is key to helping them find relief.

Eating or Drinking Too Quickly

You may be surprised to learn that eating or drinking too quickly can cause hiccups in puppies, so try pacing your pup’s meals and drinks! To slow them down, use a slow feeder bowl instead of their regular one.

Chewing loudly or skipping meals are signs of overfeeding as well. Monitor your dog for rapid breathing and consider an abdominal massage if needed.

Stress and Overexcitement

Overexcitement and stress can cause your heart rate to soar, cortisol levels to rise, and irritate the diaphragm. All of these could trigger hiccups in your pup. To prevent this, feed them small portions slowly and offer them water at a slower pace.

Rub their stomach gently to help calm any irregular breathing they may have due to vocal cord spasms. If hiccups persist for over an hour or if you hear wheezing, seek professional help from a vet immediately as it could indicate underlying health problems requiring treatment or medication.

Stomach Gas

Stomach gas can sometimes cause hiccups, so try feeding your pup smaller portions to slow their eating. If they’re overfed or anxious, they may be more prone to hiccuping. Cushion environmental factors like loud noises and make sure you provide them with liquid sweets if needed for anxiety relief.

Spicy Food

Spicy foods may irritate the esophagus and stimulate the diaphragm, causing hiccups in puppies more often than adult dogs. In fact, 80% of puppy hiccup episodes are caused by spicy food. To avoid this issue, consider reducing excessive heat in their diet or changing their exercise amount.


Medications are not recommended as a treatment for hiccups in dogs because they may potentially cause more harm than good. Drug interactions, side effects, and allergies can occur with some drugs – even if they’re prescribed by the vet.

Overdosing or building up too much tolerance to medications could also be a serious problem.

Furthermore, giving medication to your pup without proper consultation from experienced vets can lead to respiratory defects or irregular breathing due to unexpected reactions – so it’s best avoided! If you’re concerned about your pet’s hiccuping, consult an expert who is familiar with dogs rather than trying any home remedies that may put their health at risk!

Can Puppies Get Hiccups?

Can Puppies Get Hiccups
You may have noticed your puppy’s diaphragm spasming as they fastidiously gobble up their dinner, causing them to hiccup. This natural reflex is more common in puppies up to eight months old than adult dogs and can even occur prior to birth for pups! It’s a reassuring sign of good health.

Eating or drinking too quickly causes air gulping, which can lead to hiccups. Try feeding smaller portions over multiple meals instead. Stress and excitement also increase heart rate and cortisol levels, leading the pup’s shallow breaths to become quicker until it eventually triggers a bout of hiccups.

If the hiccupping persists beyond an hour, then contact your vet just in case. It could indicate underlying health problems requiring medical attention.

What Causes Hiccups in Dogs?

What Causes Hiccups in Dogs
Stress and excitement, along with air gulping from eating or drinking too quickly, can irritate your pup’s diaphragm and cause hiccups. Hiccuping in dogs is usually caused by the same things that affect humans: shallow breaths, diaphragm spasms due to an unexpected closure of the glottis (the opening between the vocal cords), and irritation of their esophagus from spicy food.

Here are five common triggers for canine hiccups:

  • Gulping Air – Eating or drinking too fast can lead to gulping down excess air which will trigger a bout of hiccups.
  • Stress & Excitement – Heart rate increases when excited causing cortisol levels to rise accompanied by short shallow breaths which may aggravate their diaphragm leading them into a fit of ‘hics’.
  • Diaphragmatic Spasms – These sudden contractions can be triggered without warning resulting in involuntary inhalations combined with sudden closures at either end creating an audible sound known as ‘hic’.
  • Irritable Esophagus – Spicy foods tend to irritate both humans’ and dogs’ esophageal lining thus stimulating muscle contractions including those around the larynx producing ‘hics’.
  • Unexpected Closure – The closing off of either end during breathing often causes this reflexive action most commonly heard as ‘HIC!’ It isn’t unusual for puppies up until 8 months old but if you notice your pup having extended bouts longer than a few hours it’s best you take them in for evaluation just in case there is something more serious going on requiring medical attention.

How Can You Get Rid of Dog Hiccups?

How Can You Get Rid of Dog Hiccups
Rubbing your pup’s stomach may help calm their irregular breathing and stop hiccups.

  1. Have them stick their tongue out for a few seconds – this helps to reset the diaphragm spasms that are causing the hiccups.
  2. Give your pup gentle rubbing on their tummy or chest – this can help relax any tense muscles in the area around the diaphragm, which is responsible for controlling breathing patterns associated with hiccupping episodes.
  3. Help control the pacing of your pup’s breath by encouraging slower, deeper breaths over shorter periods of time when they’re having an episode – calming down as much as possible will also work wonders here!

Finally, reduce meal sizes to encourage more controlled eating habits so that air gulping does not become a trigger in future bouts with puppy hiccups!

When to Call Your Vet

When to Call Your Vet
If hiccups last more than an hour or your pup is wheezing, it’s time to call the vet. Hiccuping can indicate a variety of medical issues in dogs, such as gastrointestinal problems and respiratory infection.

It’s important to be aware of breed differences when considering potential causes – breeds with shorter muzzles are especially prone to hiccupping due to their anatomy.

Eliminating triggers like eating too quickly is essential for preventing future episodes. Natural remedies, such as rubbing the dog’s stomach or giving treats slowly, may work for some pups, while others require professional treatment from a veterinarian.

Common causes include stress and excitement that increase heart rate and cortisol levels, which irritate the diaphragm muscles, causing them spasms leading up to hiccups in puppies younger than eight months old.

Treating symptoms and addressing the underlying causes are important. If symptoms persist after trying home remedies, it might be best to seek help from your vet.

What if Dog Hiccups Don’t Go Away?

What if Dog Hiccups Don
If your pup’s hiccups persist longer than a few hours, it’s time to call the vet for help. The vet will be able to assess any underlying respiratory issues or gastrointestinal problems that could be causing them and rule out medical causes such as nervous system disorders.

It may also be helpful to discuss alternative remedies with your veterinarian as most home remedies used on humans haven’t been proven effective in treating canine hiccups.

The best way you can help is by keeping an eye on their breathing pattern and trying some calming techniques like rubbing their belly or speaking softly until they’re relaxed again if the hiccuping persists for more than an hour.

If necessary, consult with a professional who can offer further guidance regarding treatments that might provide relief from persistent episodes of hiccuping in dogs.

Why Do Dogs and Puppies Get Hiccups?

Why Do Dogs and Puppies Get Hiccups
You’ll be struck by how often puppies and adult dogs alike hiccup, a phenomenon that can leave you scratching your head. Hiccups in animals are caused by the same things as humans: diaphragm spasms, glottis closing abruptly, or air gulping from eating too quickly.

Dogs may also hiccup after nipping during playtime or when they yawn, burp, or sneeze. It could even be their body’s way of shivering to maintain warmth! Surprisingly enough, it is more common for puppies up to eight months old than adults – with some breeds being prone to them more than others – but all mammals have been known to get them in the womb before birth too! Although there isn’t really any evidence that human remedies work on dogs (and might even make them stressed!), feeding smaller portions and calming irregular breathing by rubbing their stomachs slowly should help if your pup has chronic cases of hiccups lasting longer than an hour.

At this point, it would be best for you to check-in with the vet just in case something else is going on.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are hiccups in dogs serious?

Hiccups in dogs are usually not serious and can pass quickly. However, if they last for more than an hour, it’s best to see the vet as this could be a sign of underlying health issues. So, keep your pup calm and monitor their breathing for any signs of distress or wheezing.

Is it normal for a dog to hiccup a lot?

It’s common for pups to hiccup often, but it usually decreases with age. If your dog’s hiccups persist longer than an hour, seek help from a vet as it may indicate health problems. Otherwise, try calming their breathing by rubbing their belly and feeding smaller portions to slow down eating.

Is there anything that can be done to prevent hiccups in dogs?

You can help prevent hiccups in your pup by feeding smaller portions, calming irregular breathing with a gentle stomach rub, and having them take sips of water slowly. Don’t worry if your dog does get hiccups—they’re normal! But seek help if it lasts longer than an hour or you notice wheezing.

Are hiccups in dogs contagious?

No, hiccups in dogs are not contagious. They can be caused by stress or excitement, eating/drinking too fast, spicy foods, and more. To help prevent them, feed smaller portions and calmly rub your pup’s stomach to regulate breathing.

If it persists longer than a few hours, seek veterinary help as it could indicate health problems.

Are any hiccup remedies safe to use on dogs?

No, there are no proven hiccup remedies safe for dogs. Stick to calming your pup and feeding smaller portions as the best course of action. Offer soothing words and gentle belly rubs to slow irregular breathing while avoiding any home remedies that could cause further stress or harm.


Believe it or not, dogs can get hiccups too! It’s a common occurrence, especially in puppies, but adult dogs can get hiccups as well. The causes of hiccups in dogs can be as varied as eating or drinking too quickly, stress and overexcitement, stomach gas, spicy food, and certain medications.

If your dog’s hiccups last for a few hours, you can try some remedies like feeding smaller portions and rubbing their stomach to help, but if they don’t go away after that, it’s best to consult your vet.

Despite being a nuisance, hiccups actually serve a purpose in dogs, helping to test their breathing muscles and relieve any gas or upset stomachs.

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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.