Dog and Puppy Hiccups - Causes and Solutions

Last updated on: Jan 15, 2024

By: Stephanie Dunne

Cute puppy sitting on a chair

What Are Hiccups in Dogs and Puppies?

Can dogs and puppies get hiccups? Absolutely. Just like people, our furry friends can have these funny little spasms. Hiccups happen when their diaphragm (a muscle under their lungs) starts to twitch. This makes them breathe in air quickly, which causes the hiccup sound. It's usually not a big deal and can even be a bit cute!

Why Does Your Dog Get Hiccups?

  • Feeling Stressed or Too Excited: Dogs can get hiccups when they're too playful or anxious. It's their body's way of reacting to excitement or stress.
  • Stomach Gas: Just like us, dogs can have gas in their stomachs. This gas can push up against the diaphragm, leading to hiccups.
  • Fast Eating and Drinking: When dogs eat or drink too fast, they swallow air. This air can build up and trigger hiccups.

How to Stop Hiccups

  • Make Them Eat Slower: Use special feeding bowls that slow down their eating. This helps them not to gulp air along with their food.
  • Help Them Breathe Calmly: Sometimes, gently rubbing your dog's chest or calmly petting them can help their breathing become steadier, stopping the hiccups.
  • Get Them to Drink More Water: Drinking water can help calm their diaphragm and end the hiccups.

Tips to Keep Hiccups Away

  • Changing How They Eat: Give smaller, more frequent meals. This way, your dog won't feel the need to eat too quickly.
  • Keeping Them Calm During Play: While playing is fun, try to keep it relaxed. Too much excitement can lead to hiccups.
  • Avoiding Foods That Cause Hiccups: Some foods can cause gas or make your dog eat fast. Find out which ones and try to avoid them.

When to See a Vet About Hiccups

Hiccups are usually harmless, but if they last a long time or your dog seems in pain, it's time to visit the vet. Also, if hiccups come with coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath, get them checked out.

Wrapping Up

Hiccups in dogs and puppies are pretty normal and often not a reason to worry. With some simple changes in their eating habits and a bit of extra care, you can help manage and even prevent hiccups. Remember, if you're ever in doubt or the hiccups don't stop, your vet is always there to help. Happy and hiccup-free days to you and your four-legged friend!

If you're feeling a little overwhelmed by your puppy's behavior, check out our guide to puppy blues.

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