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Dog Hiccups: What You Need to Know

Dog Hiccups: What You Need to Know

Alpha Paw Sale

Jun 22, 2021

  • Dog hiccups occur when the diaphragm within your dog’s chest involuntarily contracts and may occur from stress, excitement, or eating too quickly. 
  • Puppy hiccups seem to be fairly common, and usually, these hiccups will become less frequent as your puppy gets older.
  • If your dog has hiccups, most of the time they should go away within a few minutes.
  • Dog hiccups that are caused by eating too quickly can be decreased by using a slow feeder bowl.

  • If this is a new symptom for your dog, you should get a video to show to your veterinarian.

Do dogs get hiccups?

If you are wondering, can dogs get hiccups? The answer is yes. Dogs can get hiccups just like people do! It is normal behavior. The anatomy of dogs is very similar to the anatomy of people so dogs can get hiccups just like us. Hiccups in dogs seem to be especially common in puppies. As dogs age, they don’t get hiccups as often.

What causes dog hiccups?

If your dog has hiccups, this is caused by an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscle within your dog’s chest that helps aid in breathing. When the diaphragm contracts when it is not supposed to, this causes hiccups.

Why do dogs get hiccups?

There have been many possible causes suggested for why dogs get hiccups. The most common explanation is eating too quickly or swallowing excessive amounts of air. That being said, there are other possible causes for dog hiccups. The AKC and PetMD suggested that dog hiccups may be caused by:

  • Eating too quickly
  • Drinking too quickly
  • Excitement
  • Energetic play
  • Gas in the belly
  • Stress
  • Upset stomach

Dog hiccups: what you need to know

Are dog hiccups common?

Dog hiccups are pretty common. They occur most commonly in puppies under 6 months of age. As dogs get older, they don’t usually hiccup as much as they did when they were younger. It is less common for an adult dog to get hiccups.

Why do puppies get hiccups and are puppy hiccups normal?

Puppy hiccups are pretty normal. Many puppies will exhibit hiccups at some point during their development. Usually, these episodes only last a few minutes and may be caused by eating too fast, gas in the belly, or excitement. As your puppy ages, the hiccup episodes will usually become less frequent. Puppy hiccups are usually nothing to worry about, but it is always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian if your puppy has hiccups. Getting a video of the episode can help your veterinarian determine that the symptom your puppy is experiencing is indeed puppy hiccups.

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Dog Hiccups Symptoms

If your dog has hiccups, it will sound like a quick “hic” sound. It sounds similar to a hiccup in people. Dog hiccups are usually not associated with any other symptoms than the small “hic” sound, so if your dog is coughing, sneezing, retching, vomiting, not eating, or having diarrhea, this may be a sign of a more serious issue. The “hic” sound may occur several times for a few minutes. If you want to learn how to identify hiccups in dogs, check out this adorable YouTube video to hear what a puppy hiccup sounds like.

How long do dog hiccups last?

Dog hiccups usually only last a few minutes. Sometimes the hiccup episodes can last 10 to 15 minutes. Usually, hiccups in dogs don’t last longer than an hour. If your dog has been having hiccups for more than an hour, you should speak with a veterinarian promptly.

How to Stop Dog Hiccups

Most hiccups in dogs will go away on their own within a short amount of time. There is usually no need to try techniques to stop the hiccups. That being said, you could offer your dog a drink of water to see if this helps or take them for a short walk. Sometimes going for a walk or drinking water may interrupt the hiccup cycle. If you notice that the hiccups are occurring because your dog is eating too fast, try feeding with a slow feeder dog bowl. You may also try scratching and petting your dog’s belly to see if this helps.

Dog hiccups

When should you call a veterinarian?

Anytime your dog is exhibiting a new or unusual symptom, it is a good idea to speak with your veterinarian. As hiccups in dogs could be mistaken for a cough, choking, or reverse sneezing, I always recommend speaking with your veterinarian about new symptoms in your pup. It can be helpful to record a video of the symptom your dog is experiencing because this can give your veterinarian an idea of what the issue is. When in doubt, especially if the hiccups are lasting more than an hour, it would be a good idea to speak with a veterinarian. For more information about when it is vital to take your pet to the vet, check out this article on when you should drop everything and take your dog to the veterinary clinic.

Are dog hiccups normal?

Most of the time dog hiccups are a pretty normal symptom that you may see. They seem to be especially common in puppies. Episodes of dog hiccups should not last more than an hour so if they are lasting for long periods of time or seem to be interfering with your dog’s quality of life, it is important to consult with your veterinarian. If the hiccups are occurring with any other symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, decreased appetite, or lethargy, this may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.

Alpha Paw Sale
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Dr. Addie Reinhard, DVM

Member of Alpha Paw’s Board of Pet Experts

Dr. Addie Reinhard is an experienced companion animal veterinarian who lives in Lexington, KY with her husband, greyhound, and four cats. She graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, and currently practices in the central Kentucky region. Dr. Addie has special interests in preventative care, dermatology, and diseases, and she enjoys creating helpful educational resources related to these topics to help pet parents keep their four-legged family members happy and healthy. We love Dr. Addie’s passion for providing reliable veterinary insight and medical advice to help pet parents like us give their pups the happy & healthy lives they deserve!

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