Can Dogs Get Hiccups?

Can Dogs Get Hiccups?
Photo by Caleb Fisher

Just like humans, dogs can also get hiccups. The mechanism of hiccups in dogs is similar to the ones in us. There is a muscle under the lungs – both of humans and digs – which is called the diaphragm.

If the diaphragm faces a contraction or a spasm, hiccups involuntarily occur. So, the short answer to the question “Can dogs get hiccups” is yes. Dogs can get hiccups.

And just like hiccups are normal and common in humans, you do not have to worry if your dog makes those involuntary “hic” sounds.

Nevertheless, the reasons for getting hiccups are different in dogs than in humans. You can expect your dog to get hiccups after eating too much and too fast while the dog needs water.

Similarly, if your dog gets an abnormal and unbearable cold or gets too excited about something involuntarily, hiccups are likely to happen.

What Causes Dogs to Get Hiccups?

Now that you are clear about the question “Can dogs get hiccups” – which is yes they can, the next thing is to know the reasons. “Why does my dog gets hiccups,” you may ask? It turns out that there is a thin muscle called the diaphragm which is responsible for your dog’s hiccups.

The diaphragm is a strong muscle that is responsible for respiration and breathing in your dog. As your dog breathes in and out, the diaphragm relaxes and smoothly passes through the air.

When an abnormal activity like fast eating occurs, the diaphragm malfunctions. Consequently, your dog gets hiccups.

Nevertheless, researchers and vets are still unsure about the reasons dogs get hiccups. But here are some of the apparent causes that we are sure about:

  • Fast and abnormal eating.
  • Malfunction or respiratory disease in your dog.
  • Involuntary and abrupt excitement.

It is essential to note here that hiccups do not hurt dogs. According to vets, if your dog gets hiccups, you do not have to panic.

It can be a slight malfunctioning of the diaphragm or an involuntary reaction of the body to abnormal activity. You can tell from the expression of your dog that getting hiccups does not hurt him. However, it can be a little annoying for your dog.

What are the Signs of Dogs Getting Hiccups?

As you are sure about the question “Can dogs get hiccups,” you also have to be sure about the signs of your dog getting hiccups. To begin with, the “hic” sound that your dog makes is an apparent sign.

Notice the ‘abnormal sounds’ of your dog closely. If it makes the “hic” sound, it is a sure sign that your dog has got hiccups.

At this point, you can make your dog drink some water slowly. Or, slow down the breathing process by making it feel at home. These can help your dog get rid of hiccups.

However, some dogs do not make the “hic” sound as they get hiccups – which is common among many puppies and dogs.

Instead, they face difficulties with breathing and out. In other words, your dog faces heavy breathing issues. Thus, this could also be a sign of your dog getting hiccups.

Should You Be Worried If Your Dog Gets Hiccups?

As mentioned earlier, it is normal for dogs to get hiccups. Just like humans, dogs can also get momentary hiccups. Thus, you do not have to be worried about the health of your dog.

Still, it is a safe call to help your dog in getting rid of the annoying hiccups. Drinking water or milk, calming your dog down, and slow eating will help your dog get rid of hiccups. 

But if the hiccups do not stop and continue for an extended period of time, you need to be worried about your dog. Generally, prolonged hiccups turn into potential diseases in your dog.

Pneumonia and breathing issues are the foremost ones among them. For example, if the “hic” sounds turn into abnormal wheezing and coughing or chronic breathing issues, it is recommended to take him to the vet.

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