Other dog conditions

Why Does My Dog Get Hiccups?

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
Why Does My Dog Get Hiccups?

Most dog owners worry the first time their dog gets hiccups. Nothing worries us more than discovering signs that suggest our dog could be suffering from a health problem. Hiccups are one of them. Hiccups can happen quite often at times, causing us to become worried and stressed. Why does my dog get hiccups? Is it normal? The truth is that, most of the times, hiccups can be caused by something as common as eating quickly or being too excited. However, sometimes hiccups require a visit to the vet.

If you've ever wondered "why does my dog get hiccups?"" and want to get rid of this doubt once and for all, at OneHowTo.com we explain the most common causes for dogs' hiccups.

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  1. What are dog hiccups?
  2. Eating or drinking water quickly
  3. States of excitement, nervousness or fear
  4. Being cold (especially for small dogs)
  5. Stomach problems
  6. When to see the vet for hiccups

What are dog hiccups?

A hiccup is a body reaction through which the diaphragm makes repeated convulsive movements over a particular period of time, which may vary. Its function is to expel air from the lungs. But why? The diaphragm is a muscle located in the lower chest which carries out movements facilitating the passage of air both to and from the lungs. Sometimes, however, such muscle can become irritated and perform those movements more abruptly. This is when the recognisable hiccup appears, with its characteristic sound.

We already explained how to get rid of hiccups in humans, today we focus on helping you understand why dogs get hiccups.

Eating or drinking water quickly

We must acknowledge that our furry friends are usually quite impulsive, especially when it comes to enjoying their meal. Dogs are hard to satiate, and they often get anxious or excited when you get ready to serve them their food. As a result the dog might start to eat its food too quickly, which can facilitate the entrance of air, thus the hiccups. In the same way, your dog can feel very thirsty when it has had a long walk or has been out running, leading it to eagerly lap up the water from its bowl. Whilst this predisposition to eat and drink quickly is common in dogs, we should try to control it, not only because of hiccups, but because it can lead to major problems such as stomach torsion.

Why Does My Dog Get Hiccups? - Eating or drinking water quickly

States of excitement, nervousness or fear

In the case of excessive excitement, your dog gets hiccups due to behavioural problems. It is recommendable to take the time to observe and understand why your dog finds itself in such a state. What is it afraid of? Why is it so nervous? It's possible that you subjected it to an unpleasant experience and its heart rate has increased, raising the quantity of air in its lungs and causing the dog to get hiccups. A dog who has not been sterilized can also be particularly nervous. Apart from hiccups, it is important to know how to treat a fearful dog, since forcing it to undergo certain experiences can cause it traumas that will affect it for the rest of its life.

Why Does My Dog Get Hiccups? - States of excitement, nervousness or fear

Being cold (especially for small dogs)

Another reason for a dog getting hiccups could be the cold. Especially in puppies and small breeds such as Chihuahua or Yorkshire terrier, being cold can cause diaphragm tension that results in hiccups. You should always try to ensure that your dog sleeps in a place with an appropriate temperature, so that it doesn't suffer changes in body temperature. In this article we teach you how to make a dog bed yourself, making sure that your friend sleeps in a warm and cosy place. If you are not sure if being cold is the cause of your dog's hiccups, we help you find out if your dog is cold.

Why Does My Dog Get Hiccups? - Being cold (especially for small dogs)

Stomach problems

In the case of hiccups due to stomach problems, your dog may experience spasms for more than an hour. That could suggest that your dog's hiccups are due to a stomach problem, deriving from an irritation or another condition. Try to figure out if your dog displays other symptoms. Sometimes your dog may get hiccups due to heart problems, hypothermia, asthma or other respiratory conditions.

When to see the vet for hiccups

When you're trying to figure out the reason for your dog's hiccups, you should consider two things:

  • The dog's age. Hiccups in puppies are very common, especially after waking up. Some puppies even get hiccups while sleeping. Veterinarians consider hiccups in dogs as developmental parts of the process of psychological and mental maturity. So, don't panic if your puppy suffers from hiccups. Hiccups are, however, less frequent in dogs that are older than 8 months old. As such, hiccups in adult dogs could be an indication of a more serious problem.
  • Duration of episodes. In general, hiccups in dogs don't last more than an hour. If the convulsions last more than 60 minutes, it is recommended to see a vet

So, the answer to the question 'why does my dog get hiccups' lies in many factors. Be watchful and do not worry too much.

Why Does My Dog Get Hiccups? - When to see the vet for hiccups

If you want to read similar articles to Why Does My Dog Get Hiccups?, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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1 comment
I buy large like leg pork smoked bone for my 2 year old pug from Woolworths could you let me know if it is alright to give to him. Thank you
Regards Helen
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Helen,

Cooked bones can be dangerous for dogs as they can break and lead to choking. If, however, you give them the meat, we can't see why this should be a problem. However, this needs to be part of a balanced diet, so you can check out this article below if you need some more info:

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Why Does My Dog Get Hiccups?