You may notice your dog making a hiccup sound. It’s normal for humans to get hiccups but can dogs get hiccups?
Dogs can get hiccups. It is a normal occurrence that most of the time poses no need for concern.
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How Common Are Hiccups In Dogs?
Every dog will likely get the hiccups at least once during their lifetime. They are most common in puppies but can be experienced by adult dogs.
Puppies experience hiccups more frequently because of their high energy, which causes them to:
- Eat too fast
- Drink too fast
- Get easily excited, which impacts their breathing
Puppies that are too cold or stressed may also experience hiccups.
Why Do Dogs Hiccup?
Scientists believe that hiccups are a way of relieving an upset stomach or gas.
However, there is also the theory that hiccups are leftover from when the puppies are developing in utero. This is the same theory for all mammals actually. Hiccups have been observed in fetuses of different mammals.
Scientists believe that fetuses experience hiccups as a way of ‘test-driving’ the muscles that help them breathe.
If this theory is true, it would explain why it is more common for puppies to experience hiccups, rather than adult dogs whose bodies have matured.
How To Help Your Dog Get Rid of Hiccups
Although the hiccups are likely making their stomachs feel better, they can be annoying for your dog.
As humans, we have many tricks we use to get rid of hiccups that have not been proven to work. Your mom may have told you to hold your breath or tried to scare the hiccups out of you. You can try to scare your dog, but they probably won’t appreciate it.
Instead, you should try:
- Laying them on their back
- Going for a calm walk
- Massaging their chest
- Having them drink water
Laying your dog on their back can help calm their irregular breathing. An easy way to get them to stay there is to give them a tummy rub. A relaxed walk can also help regulate their breathing.
Massaging their chest as well may help relax their diaphragm, resulting in no more hiccups.
How Do You Get Your Dog To Drink Water?
You can lead your dog to a water dish, but you can’t make them drink. However, you can encourage them to by adding sweet substances to their water such as:
Drinking the water combined with the distraction of having a sweet treat will help your dog become more relaxed. As a result, your dog’s breathing patterns should return to normal.
How To Prevent Your Dog’s Hiccups
If your dog gets the hiccups often, there are a few ways you can help prevent them.
Eating and drinking too fast are what often cause hiccups. Although you can’t control how fast they drink, you can control how fast they eat. You can do this by giving them smaller portion sizes spread out or by using a slow-feeding dish.
If you think your dog’s hiccups are related to stress, try spending more time with them and promoting physical activity.
How Long Do Dog Hiccups Last?
Hiccups in dogs usually only last a few minutes. They tend to go away on their own. Therefore, you probably do not need to try to help them go away.
However, it is time to contact a vet if your dog’s hiccups:
- Last more than an hour
- Change to a wheezing sound
- Causes irregular breathing
Why Do I Need To Contact My Vet For Persistent Hiccups?
Hiccups that are persistent or have adverse effects on your dog as mentioned above, may be a sign of a more serious underlying problem such as:
- Respiratory defects
This is not likely though. More often than not, your dog’s hiccups are nothing to be concerned about.
It Is Normal For Dogs To Get Hiccups
Hiccups are a common occurrence in all dogs. As they age, they will likely outgrow them but do not be too concerned if they still experience them now and then.
There is no need to be concerned about your dog’s hiccups if they are not persistent and are not accompanied by other symptoms. Your furry friend is more than likely just fine.