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Pup Hiccups: Common or Cause for Concern?

Written by Kelvin LowJune 7, 2023
Do Dogs Get Hiccups

We all love our furry friends and want to make sure they are healthy and happy. While hiccups can be a common occurrence in humans, it's not uncommon for our dogs to experience them as well. You may have noticed your pup making a strange noise or twitching involuntarily, which could be hiccups.

In this blog post, we will answer all your questions about dog hiccups - do dogs get hiccups, what they are, why dogs get them, and how long they last. We also discuss ways to prevent dog hiccups from happening and when you should be concerned that something more serious is going on with your pet's health.

So let's dive into the world of dog hiccups together!

Can Dogs Get Hiccups?

It is possible for dogs to experience hiccups, which are usually harmless and resolve on their own. However, prolonged hiccups or additional symptoms could indicate an underlying health concern. Hiccups are a normal reflex in many mammals, including dogs, and may be triggered by swallowing too much air.

What Are Dog Hiccups?

Dog hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm and respiratory muscles, causing a quick "hic" sound. While they are common and not concerning on their own, coughing, sneezing, vomiting, or diarrhea may indicate a more serious problem. They occur when the glottis closes and respiratory muscles contract involuntarily.

Do Dogs Get Hiccups More Than Puppies?

Both puppies and adult dogs can get hiccups, caused by diaphragm muscle contractions. Puppies may experience them more often due to their developing respiratory systems, with small puppies being more prone. Hiccups can even occur before birth.

How Long Do Dog Hiccups Last?

Dog hiccups typically last a short time and clear up on their own. However, frequent or prolonged hiccups may indicate underlying health issues requiring a vet's attention. If hiccups last over an hour, consult a vet. Monitor your dog's hiccup frequency and any accompanying symptoms.

Why Do Dogs Get Hiccups?

Dogs can get hiccups from eating or drinking too quickly, but they could also indicate a medical issue. Keep an eye on how often and long the hiccups occur. Some breeds may be more prone to hiccups. Usually, dog hiccups are harmless and resolve on their own within a few minutes.

Stress And Anxiety

Dogs' stress and anxiety can cause them to experience spasms in the diaphragm muscles leading to hiccups. Therefore it's important as pet parents to observe their breathing patterns and identify triggers for their stress.

Any change in their breathing pattern might be an indication of underlying respiratory issues such as pneumonia or bronchitis that require veterinary attention.

Overexcitement And Exercise

Hiccups in dogs may arise from overexcitement after mealtime leading to overexcitement-induced hiccups. This contraction of the diaphragm muscle can be prevented by avoiding these activities and regulating an adult dog's or pup's food and water intake.

Gastrointestinal Issues And Diarrhea

If your pup experiences bouts of hiccups often accompanied by diarrhea, it could be a sign of underlying gastrointestinal issues. Dogs tend to swallow air while feeding and eating too quickly; this causes irritation in their tummy leading to excessive hiccups.

In rare cases, this could indicate respiratory issues such as bronchitis or pneumonia and requires veterinary attention immediately.

Spicy Or Hot Food

Feeding your furry friend spicy or hot food can irritate their tummy and prompt diaphragmatic spasms leading to hiccups. Overeating or gobbling up meals may also trigger hiccups. Pet parents can regulate their dog's mealtime by serving smaller portions and using maple syrup as a syrup on top of their food or investing in a slow feeder that encourages slower eating for better digestion.

Eating or Drinking too Quickly

Dogs’ hiccups are caused by contractions of the diaphragm and spasms in the glottis. Eating or drinking too quickly can trigger hiccups in dogs as well. To prevent such bouts of hiccups, pet parents should regulate their pup’s mealtime and opt for slower feeders or smaller portions.

This will help avoid overexcitement and swallowing air that leads to hiccups, coughing, sneezing, pneumonia, or tummy issues.

How To Prevent Dog Hiccups

Pet parents can take several steps to prevent their furry companions from experiencing hiccups. Firstly, it is crucial to monitor the dog's behavior for unusual signs like coughing, sneezing, or vomiting while experiencing hiccups.

Secondly, limiting excitement and stress in pups can reduce the chances of a sudden spasm of the diaphragm leading to hiccups. Regular exercise helps maintain a steady breathing pattern that reduces the risk of hiccup bouts. Thirdly, controlling mealtime portions by offering smaller meals using a slow feeder prevents overexcitement during feeding.

Finally, if hiccups persist or are accompanied by lethargy or difficulty in breathing, it is advisable to seek veterinary attention immediately.

Limiting Excitement And Stress

To limit excitement and stress in your furry friend, avoid startling them with sudden loud noises or movements. Make sure they have a peaceful resting spot, keep their environment calm, and provide regular exercise and playtime. These steps not only prevent dog hiccups but also support good health.

Regulating Food And Water Intake

To prevent dog hiccup bouts, it's important to regulate your pup’s mealtime habits. Encourage slower eating by feeding smaller portions throughout the day and providing a slow feeder bowl or fountain for water. Avoid offering human food and consult a vet if your adult dog experiences tummy troubles or diarrhea.

If you wish to feed your dog with human foods, here are some foods to consider feeding your dog.

Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle means less risk of dog hiccup bouts. Keep up regular exercise and monitoring your pup's diet to reduce the chance of diaphragm contractions. Fresh water on hand and distraction toys to soothe are key in preventing hiccups. Avoid overfeeding large meals or spicy foods that irritate the tummy, which could lead to vomiting.

Medications And Medical Treatments From Your Vet

If the causes behind your pup’s hiccups are related to an underlying medical issue like acid reflux, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory issues, pneumonia, heart disease, irritation in airways, bronchitis or asthma—medications and medical treatments from your veterinarian may be essential. Changing their diet and feeding habits might also help prevent bouts of hiccups.

It is always recommended to consult with a veterinarian at the first place as signs of illness can also be indicative of other health problems.

Should You Be Concerned About Dog Hiccups?

Dog hiccups are usually not a major concern, but prolonged hiccups or accompanying symptoms may require veterinary attention. Monitor your dog's hiccups to identify patterns and potential underlying problems.

How To Tell If It's More Serious Than A Hiccup

It's usually harmless if your pup experiences hiccups. But if they last long or come with coughing, vomiting, or difficulty in breathing- consult your veterinarian. Observe how often they get hiccup bouts and check for triggers. If there are accompanying symptoms or chronic hiccup issues- seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.

People Also Asked

Why do dogs get hiccups when sleeping?

Dogs can experience hiccups during sleep due to involuntary contractions of the diaphragm, which may be more common as their breathing and heart rate slow down. It's typically not a cause for concern and should resolve on its own.

Should dog hiccups concern you?

In most cases, dog hiccups will resolve on their own within a few minutes to an hour and do not require any special treatment. However, if your dog experiences prolonged or frequent hiccups, it may be a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

Additionally, if your dog seems distressed or uncomfortable during hiccups, you can try soothing them by calming them down and distracting them with toys or treats. Overall, while dog hiccups may seem concerning at first, they are usually nothing to worry about and can be easily managed.

Final Verdict

Dog hiccups are a common phenomenon and are not a cause for concern in most cases. However, if your furry friend is experiencing prolonged hiccups accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting or difficulty breathing, it may be time to visit your vet. To prevent dog hiccups, it's important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, regulate food and water intake, and limit stress and excitement levels.

If you're still concerned about your pup's hiccups, our blog can help you identify the signs of more serious health issues. Remember to keep an eye on your furry friend and contact your veterinarian if you notice any unusual symptoms.

About The Author

Kelvin Low

Kelvin Low has more than three years of experience in taking care of pets at home - ranging from dogs, hamsters, to cats and hedgehog. His passion and care towards animals has motivated him to create educational content online to more more pets owners in need.

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