Why Does My Dog Have Hiccups?

Dogs get hiccups the same way humans do. No one knows why hiccups occur, but there are several theories concerning the matter.

Dogs often get hiccups from eating too fast. Oftentimes, it might be something as straightforward as your dog swallowing too much air while they are eating that is triggering the hiccups.

Puppies often get hiccups, as it is a regular occurrence for them. Check out this article if you want to know why your dog has hiccups.

why do dogs get hiccups atlanta ga

What Are Hiccups?

Hiccups are involuntary and repeated contractions of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a large sheet of muscle located under the ribcage that separates the chest and stomach area. This muscle plays a crucial role in the process of breathing. It relaxes when your dog breathes in and contracts when they breathe out. A couple of things occur when your pup has the hiccups:

  • The diaphragm pulls down in between breaths and forces the pup to take in air
  • The glottis closes to prevent more air from entering

The glottis is a piece of tissue that closes over the windpipe during swallowing to keep the dog from inhaling food or saliva. Your pup creates the “hic” sound through the above actions.

How Do Dogs Get Hiccups

how to help your dog get rid of hiccups

Researchers do not know the cause of hiccups in dogs or humans. However, some theories have been assumed concerning what causes hiccups in dogs:

  • Swallowing too much air
  • Eating or drinking too quickly
  • Getting too excited and engaging in heavy play
  • Inhaling an irritant
  • Gas in the stomach
  • Food intolerance

It has also been said that severe anxiety or rapid breathing can also trigger hiccups. Puppies can get hiccups more often than adult dogs. Puppies tend to swallow more air because they are more active and engage in vigorous play. They tend to get very excited easily as well.

It is also possible that because puppies have less developed muscles, as their bodies are not fully grown, and they are susceptible to having muscle spasms. It is usually normal for a puppy to have a case of hiccups. Hiccups are generally the same in dogs and humans. They typically only last for a few minutes, and then it is over.

How to Help Your Dog Get Rid of Hiccups

Hiccups will usually go away on their own. Sometimes, your pup may need a little assistance from you. Humans often think that the hiccups will disappear if they scare the person. No one can be sure if it really works, but many people swear by it. However, your pup will need something a little different. Here are ideas as to how you can help your dog when they are experiencing a bout of the hiccups:

Calm Irregular Breathing

Deep breathing can help dogs just like it helps humans calm down. Try sitting or standing in front of your pup with a relaxed posture. Put treats in your hand but keep them hidden behind you. Take a slow and steady breath. Keep your facial expression warm and inviting.

Your dog’s breathing may slow down and become steadier. Once your dog is relaxed, give them a treat. It will reinforce the behavior of calming down. The purpose is for your dog to take a deep breath, calming them down and eliminating hiccups.

You can also take a more parental approach and try having your pup lie on their back and give them belly rubs. There is a chance of it working if it can calm your dog enough.

Drinking Water

Like humans, drinking water can help your dog get rid of their hiccups. The following are tips that can encourage your fur baby to down some H2O:

  • Keep water bowls clean
  • Put water bowls throughout the house
  • Bring water with you when you go for a walk
  • Make sure they always have access to cold and clean drinking water

You could also use a water fountain to ensure water appeals to your pup. Water fountains keep the water fresh through aeration. If you leave your dog with stale room temperature water, it will likely not entice them to drink as much.

A water fountain is a terrific means to give your pup the fresh water they deserve. The cold water will stop the irritation created in the diaphragm and pushes it back to its original position. As a bonus, your pup will be well hydrated.

Slow Down Eating

Another commonality with humans is that if your dog eats too fast, it can cause hiccups. You can use a slow feeder to slow down your pup’s eating. You can use a muffin pan if you do not have a slow feeder. You will put your dog’s food into the muffin cups, and your dog will need to work around the cups to get the food.

It will encourage the same slow eating as a slow feeder. You can also give your dog smaller meals more frequently. Slowing eating will help prevent gas and discomfort in the belly, which should lessen the chance of hiccups.

Exercise

As previously mentioned, exercising or playing too hard may contribute to your dog having hiccups. However, it has also been thought that the opposite is true. If you can change your dog’s heart rate and breathing, it may help them with their hiccups. Getting your pup into an active game, such as catch, may do the trick.

Do Not Scare Your Dog

Scaring your dog is just mean. You do not want to terrify your dog or make them think you may harm them. Some people have tried suddenly clapping their hands or making a slight jerking motion to snap their dog out of it. It is possible that it can work. However, the problem with scaring your dog is that it might not always work. You may even traumatize them, and it is just not worth it.

Conclusion

do dogs get hiccups

Dogs get hiccups just like humans do, and it is just as annoying for them as it is for us. There are several theories on why they get hiccups. It is important to note that hiccups typically go away on their own after a few minutes. If your pup has hiccups for more than a few hours and there are other symptoms present, take them to the vet to be safe.

For dog parents in the Atlanta, GA region, The Village Vets has 6 general veterinary practices and a 24/7 emergency vet clinic to treat your pup. Visit our site today to find a location near you!

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.