Hiccups are normal for people, and you probably know all the remedies to get rid of them. 

But what about dog hiccups? It’s just as usual for your furry pal to have hiccups. You shouldn’t worry about them unless they’re accompanied by other health issues. Let’s learn more about the hiccup causes in dogs and what you can do to help:

Hiccups — We All Have Them & No One Knows Why

You’ve probably caught your dog having hiccups many times. But why do dogs get hiccups? No one knows exactly what causes hiccups. Usually, they’re not risky and go away in a few minutes. But if that doesn’t happen, you should be alarmed.

What Is a Hiccup?

Hiccups result from the diaphragm’s involuntary contraction. The muscle beneath the lungs causes a spasm in dogs and humans. When that happens, the glottis, an opening in the vocal cords, closes immediately. You’ll know it by the dog hiccups sound that’s similar to the one we let out accompanied by sudden body movement.

Typically, the lungs and diaphragm move smoothly, but the sudden diaphragm movement results in a hiccup. The involuntary hic sound may repeat several times in a minute, for about 15 minutes or more. That’s all normal for dogs, too, unless it lasts for too long (more than an hour).

Puppies Hiccup More Frequently Than Adult Dogs

Like a human infant, a puppy has hiccups more frequently than an adult dog. That can result from excitement, gas in the belly, exercising, anxiety, or eating too fast. Hiccups are less common in adult dogs because their phrenic nerve and diaphragm are mature.

As the puppy grows older, the hiccup frequency reduces. So don’t worry — puppy hiccups are pretty standard. If they go on longer than expected, you should talk to the vet.

Why Dogs Hiccup — Conspiracy Theories

Is it normal for dogs to have hiccups? And why do they keep on getting them?

There are many conspiracy theories on the topic. According to the AKC, dogs get hiccups for the following reasons:

  • The dog hiccups after eating quickly
  • Drinking quickly
  • Getting too excited
  • Doing energetic activities, like running
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Having gas in the belly or an upset stomach

Home Remedies to Help Your Dog Get Rid of Hiccups

If your dog gets hiccups a lot, that’s normal, and it usually lasts approximately 10–15 minutes. While it doesn’t hurt the dog, you can help it ease the discomfort. If you’re wondering how to get rid of puppy hiccups, we have a few tips for you.

Plain Water or Water With Honey, Karo Syrup, or Marple Syrup

Water mixed with maple syrup or honey is among the most common remedies for hiccups for humans. And it can help with dog hiccups, too. Just control the amount of water you give your dog, and ensure it doesn’t drink too fast.

Massage to Stimulate Swallowing and Remove Belly Gas

Another remedy for dog hiccups is massaging the throat, belly, and chest. Have your dog lay down on its back to do this. The massage helps to relax its diaphragm and regulate breathing, getting rid of the hiccups in the process.

Short Walks and Light Exercises

Light exercises can help your dog get rid of hiccups faster. You can take it on a short walk in the park or play hide-and-seek. Any light exercise will stimulate your pet and change its heart rate and breathing system, making the hiccups disappear.

Feed Smaller Portions of Food

Why does my dog keep getting hiccups? One of the major reasons includes feeding habits. Eating fast and large portions at once often cause hiccups. To prevent this, give less food to your dog at frequent intervals. That prevents your pet from getting hungry, which is among the reasons dogs take large bites and eat too fast. Also, supplements and probiotic support for dogs can help your dog’s digestion.

Puppy eating out of his slow feeder do bowl

Serve Food in Slow Feeder Dog Bowls

So how to stop dog hiccups? If you don’t have the time to space out the meals, you can use slow feeders like Dog Bowls with Lick Mat and Puzzle Dog Bowl. These feeders regulate the food amount and feeding speed. Also, they work great with tuna for dogs.

A slow feeder bowl has ridges, raised features, or pockets, so the dog must take its time while feeding. It controls your pet’s eating habits and makes feeding time so much more fun.

Do Hiccups Last Longer Than Expected? — Call the Vet

Should I be worried if my dog is hiccupping? Generally, dog hiccups are normal and even cute to watch sometimes.

But if they last unusually long, and the remedies above don’t work, you have a cause for concern. For instance, if your dog keeps hiccupping and swallowing for more than an hour, you should talk to a vet.

We also advise you to turn to a professional if you notice more frequent bouts of hiccups in your pet.

Other Symptoms to Look Out for

  • Signs of pain during hiccups That might indicate a severe underlying health problem that requires an immediate check-up.
  • Loss of appetite and drinking less water — If your dog refuses to eat or drink water, take it to the vet.
  • Drooling while hiccupping — Another abnormal symptom is hiccupping and drooling simultaneously. It might mean that your dog is suffering an inflammation or has eaten something bad.
  • Breathing problems or hiccups turning into wheezing — If that happens or your dog’s breathing abnormally during hiccups, you should see a vet.

Potential Illnesses That Might Occur From Hiccups

So, is it normal for dogs to have hiccups? Yes, and it’s not considered a health hazard. However, severe and abnormal hiccups can result in complex health issues, including:

  • Pneumonia
  • Nausea
  • Asthma
  • Heatstroke
  • Upset stomach
  • Ingesting bad food or a foreign body
  • Heart problems

Safety Measures

Do dogs get hiccups, and is it normal? While hiccups are normal for dogs, you can still try to help your pet. If your furry pal is getting agitated by them, try some home remedies to calm it down. 

Avoid offering food or water when your dog’s lying on its back. That can increase the hiccups and cause a choking hazard during chewing. The food quality also matters, so rely on trusted companies that take good care of dogs. For instance, The Farmer’s Dog recipe meets all the necessary dietary requirements.

If your pet has severe bouts of hiccups, avoid feeding it large portions of food. Bad eating habits might have caused the condition. So try to teach your pet slow and paced feeding.

Final Thoughts

Hiccups can be funny and cute, especially when you’re watching an infant or your pet having them. But they can cause annoyance and discomfort. Generally, dog hiccups aren’t harmful. That said, if they last over an hour, you should start worrying.

Is your dog having hiccups combined with symptoms like drooling, loss of appetite, or shortness of breath? Then, you should see a vet. But before you do that, you can try the home remedies above. Avoid giving your pet human foods dogs can’t eat to prevent stomach inflammation. If you have more doubts about dog hiccups, discuss them with your vet.

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