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What Causes Hiccups in Dogs?

What Causes Hiccups in Dogs?

Hiccups are caused due to involuntary contractions of the diaphragm. Here, we try to understand the causes of hiccups in dogs and see some cures, but remember, puppies often outgrow this habit.
Bhakti Satalkar
Last Updated: Jan 19, 2018
Hiccups, just like in humans, are common in dogs, especially in puppies. Sometimes, these hiccups come in rapid succession or after long intervals. Any animal that has a diaphragm is bound to get hiccups. It is an involuntary action by the body where the diaphragm contracts, pulling air inside and epiglottis shuts, causing a 'hic' sound. But not all animals make the 'hic' sound when they experience this. Horses make 'thump' sound and for cats it is generally silent. Dogs makes hiccup sounds that are similar to humans.

Causes of Hiccups in Dogs

It is very common for a puppy to get hiccups. Some puppies even get hiccups inside their mother's womb! It is normal for a puppy under 1 year to experience hiccups twice or thrice a day and they often outgrow this habit.
  • Frequent hiccups in puppies can be caused due to eating or drinking something too fast. Sometimes, if the dog is overjoyed with the treat you are giving him, he may gulp down the food very fast, causing hiccups.
  • Stomach disorders can also give rise to hiccups. Sometimes, there is a possibility that something your pet dog is eating or drinking is causing hiccups.
  • A surprising fact is that hiccups can also be caused due to nervousness, emotional stress and excessive excitement.
  • Sometimes, there can be reverse hiccups in dogs, and these can be confused with normal hiccups. If you notice that your pet has a series of rapid, loud and forced inhalations through the nostrils, which last anywhere between 10 seconds to 2 minutes, it can be a case of reverse hiccups. You will notice this, especially when the dog is trying to clear the mucus from its sinuses. The exact cause of reverse hiccups in dogs is not known, but it is generally associated with sinusitis or respiratory disorders.
Possible Cures

There is no specific action which you need to take to cure your dog's hiccups. They normally go away on their own. But if you feel the need to do something, here are some suggestion that may help.
  • Calm him down. Talk to him in a gentle tone and do not excite him.
  • Try to distract him from hiccups with the help of toys. This will at least keep him busy rather than waiting for the hiccups to go.
  • You can give your pet some water to drink, so in case of any sort of irritation in the esophagus, you dog will be relieved of the hiccups.
  • You may take your dog for a walk or may even make it run. Exercise not only relieves the dog of gases, but also keeps him healthy and fit.
Hiccups can be very irritating for your dog. But it normally goes in a few minutes. You don't have to worry about them. But if you notice that your dog has hiccups all day long, it is advisable to consult a vet.
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