Why Do Dogs Get Hiccups For No Reason?


The sound dogs make when they get hiccups can be pretty weird. As expected, some dog owners may be worried when their dogs get hiccups. Are hiccups in dogs bad? Why do dogs get hiccups?

Dogs can get hiccups when they are eating and drinking too fast, or when they breathe in a lot of air. This usually happens when dogs are excited. 

Hiccups are something you shouldn’t worry about most of the time. Just like us, hiccups happen sometimes and they quickly go away. Nonetheless, this deserves a thorough explanation.

Can Dogs Get Hiccups

Can Dogs Get Hiccups

Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscle separating the lungs and the abdomen. It plays a major part in breathing.

The muscle moves down when the dog breathes in, and it moves up when it exhales. By doing this, it makes more space for the chest cavity when the lungs fill up with air.

Like any muscle, the diaphragm can experience spasms. That’s how dogs get hiccups. Dogs have a diaphragm, so yes, dogs can get hiccups.

When Do Dogs Get Hiccups

When Do Dogs Get Hiccups

Now, when you get hiccups, you instantly know why that happened. Either you took a lot of air unintentionally, you drank or ate too fast. With dogs, it’s a bit different.

Although dogs get hiccups for the same reasons as humans do, the situations differ. Dogs usually get hiccups when they are excited or stressed.

The thing is, adult dogs are pretty good at avoiding eating too fast and drinking too fast. Usually, puppies are the ones that get the hiccups. Puppies. most of the time, find everything exciting or stressful. So, they are more likely to eat or drink too fast. Also, they are kind of sloppy, it’s more likely for them to inhale a lot of air. [Source]

Adult dogs are known to get hiccups too. Hiccups are normal, and a dog experiences them at least once in its lifetime.

  • Dogs get hiccups when they eat too fast. 
    This is rare with adult dogs, usually happens with puppies. If your dog made a habit of fast eating, it’s bound to get hiccups from that. Try training your dog to eat slower. 
  • Dogs get hiccups when they drink too fast. 
    Again, unlikely to happen but not impossible. It all depends on the habits of your dog. If it drinks and eats too fast, it will get hiccups. Dogs that are really tired may be in a hurry for water, so they may drink too fast.
  • Dogs get hiccups when they are excited. 
    When dogs are excited, they are less likely to control themselves, especially during eating and drinking. Also, while dogs are excited they are more likely to inhale extra air.
  • Dogs get hiccups when they are stressed. 
    Another likely scenario where dogs get hiccups is when they are stressed. When dogs are stressed, they tend to tense up their muscles. Sometimes, this may lead to diaphragm spasming.
  • Dogs get hiccups when they get tired. 
    While playing or exercising, dogs get tired a lot. This leads to fast, uncontrollable breathing. During this time, there is a chance for the dog to inhale a lot of air which can lead to hiccups.
  • Dogs get hiccups when they inhale an irritant. 
    Some things that dogs inhale can cause irritation to the respiratory system. Due to the change in breathing, the diaphragm may tense up, and the dog will get hiccups.

[Related Article: How Do Dogs Drink Water and How Much is Enough]

Are Hiccups In Dogs Bad

Hiccups are a normal and common thing in dogs. Most of the time there’s nothing to worry about. Just like with us, hiccups in dogs go away on their own. Although the dog may be experiencing some discomfort, it’s nothing serious nor alarming.

The hiccups should go away after a few minutes but it depends on the situation really. It depends on how much time it takes for the muscle to relax. Hiccups can last even for an hour. Even then, hiccups are nothing dangerous. [Source]

There are cases, of course, where hiccups are cause for concern. Persistent hiccups that won’t go away even after hours may be a sign of a health issue related to breathing or the heart. If your dog has hiccups and they don’t go away, you should visit a vet. If your dog has inhaled something dangerous before the hiccups started, take it to the vet.

What To Do When My Dog Gets Hiccups

I know that some pet parents will be worried about their dog having hiccups. I also know that some of them will also want to do something to help the dog.

My advice is to just let the hiccups go on their own. As I said, hiccups are very rarely dangerous, and they go away quickly. We don’t get worried when we get the hiccups, right?

There are some things you can try though. That is if you really want to help your dog. Or, if the hiccups last more than a few minutes. The solutions are not ideal, and they do not guarantee results. Most likely, the hiccups will go away once the diaphragm relaxes.

First of all, you shouldn’t give your dog to eat any solid food. Because the dog is not breathing normally, it may choke while it tries to bite food. That’s the thing to avoid.

You can try giving your dog honey or maple syrup. These foods come in liquid form, and the dog licking the syrup or honey may distract it from tensing up while breathing. Make sure to mix the honey and syrup with water.

Related Questions And Other FAQs

How Long Should Dog Hiccups Last

Dog hiccups go away after a few minutes. Most dogs get rid of the hiccups in a matter of 2-3 minutes. Some hiccups take longer. Dog hiccups can last up to an hour before they go away. If the hiccups last more than that, it’s something serious.

Are Hiccups Common In Puppies

Yes, hiccups are very common in puppies. Puppies tend to eat fast and drink fast. More so, puppies play a lot, and they breathe rapidly a lot. Chances are, a puppy will get the hiccups. They rarely control themselves during feeding time and playtime. Adult dogs are less likely to get hiccups.

How Do I Know If My Dog Has The Hiccups

Hiccups in dogs are a lot like hiccups in humans. We make the same movements with the stomach. Dogs with hiccups will involuntarily take breaths and stop instantly. Dogs with hiccups don’t necessarily make a sound.

Tim Adams

Tim has experience of 15 years with a wide variety of pets. Anything animal-related is his passion, so he is here to share some good practices to know about owning pets.

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