Do Dogs Get Hiccups?
14 September, 2016
If you are a new dog owner or you have never experienced your dog getting hiccups, the first bout of hiccups might surprise you. Or make you laugh. And then worry. But, in general, hiccups in puppies or dogs are nothing to worry about if they don’t linger for too long.
Dogs and especially puppies do get puppies just like we humans do
Dogs in general and especially puppies do get hiccups; any mammal that has a diaphragm can get hiccups. The diaphragm contracts involuntarily and since it is directly connected to some nerves located in the dog’s throat, the dog makes a sound every time it has a spasm. The whole process is similar with hiccups in humans and in other mammals that have a diaphragm.
In general, puppies have a greater tendency to experience hiccups. This isn’t too surprising since pups tend to have tons of energy and haven’t figured out how to pace themselves when it comes to eating or playing. Hiccups become less frequent once your dog reaches adulthood.
Hiccups are usually caused by your dog eating too fast
In general, hiccups aren’t of great concern. Doggies usually get hiccups from eating or drinking too quickly, eating spicy food, stress, or excitement. It can also be caused by a reaction to certain foods that irritate your dog’s stomach. If you do notice your dog getting hiccups after eating, you should try to change dog’s diet to see if a certain food is the cause.
Hiccups shouldn’t last longer than a few minutes and if they do, take your dog to the vet
While hiccups may not be that big of a deal most of the time, there are rare cases where they signal a more serious issue. Some of these issues include a respiratory defect, asthma, heat stroke, or pericarditis. If you notice a bout of hiccups that last longer than an hour, and you have ruled out diet as the cause, you should take your dog to the veterinarian to make sure nothing more serious is occurring.
Below are a few things you can do to stop your dogs’ hiccups:
- The first thing you can do is offer you’re a sip of water, just like we do in humans. This can help reset the dog’s diaphragm which will eliminate the spasm that causes the hiccup.
- Try to find other ways to change your dog’s breathing pattern which will help stop the hiccup. Try playing with your dog or offering him a treat which might also change his breathing pattern once your dog munches on it (or even a dog toy or chew).
- If your dog’s hiccups are from over-excitement, try calming him down by giving your pup a good rub-down or massage. A loving, consistent tummy rub will work wonders to calm your pup down.
If your dog’s hiccups happen frequently, take your dog to the vet to see what is causing the hiccups. In some cases, your veterinarian might subscribe a muscle relaxant to soothe your dog’s diaphragm.
But, for the most part, just like humans, dog hiccups are not dangerous and should not cause you or your dog stress!