How to Get Rid of Dog Hiccups?

How to Get Rid of Dog Hiccups

How to Get Rid of Dog Hiccups?- Humans suffer from hiccups often, and in the same vein, hiccups are typical for dogs due to their similar anatomy. Mammals having diaphragms are sure to experience hiccups.

Understanding Dog Hiccups

Hiccups are a common occurrence in both humans and dogs. They’re caused by involuntary spasms of the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest and abdomen and plays a key role in breathing. Here’s what you need to know about hiccups in your furry friend:

What Causes Dog Hiccups?

  • Excitement or Stress: Emotional states can affect breathing patterns and trigger hiccups.
  • Eating or Drinking Too Quickly: Gulping down food or water can lead to air intake, irritating the diaphragm.
  • Fatigue: Tiredness can cause yawning and irregular breathing, potentially leading to hiccups.
  • Spicy Food or Stomach Gas: These can irritate the digestive system and nerves controlling the diaphragm.
  • Medications: Certain medications may cause hiccups as a side effect.
  • Underlying Medical Conditions: In rare cases, persistent hiccups could be a sign of respiratory problems or other health issues.

How to Get Rid of Dog Hiccups

Most hiccup episodes are short-lived and resolve on their own. However, if your dog’s hiccups are bothering them, here are some things you can try:

  • Relaxation: Calm your dog with gentle belly rubs or petting.
  • Drinking Water: Offer cool water, as the act of swallowing can help regulate breathing.
  • Slow Eating: Use a puzzle feeder or slow-feeder bowl to encourage slower eating habits.
  • Light Exercise: A brief walk or play session can change your dog’s breathing pattern.
  • Distraction: Try a new toy or add a bit of honey (not xylitol!) to their water.

Puppy Hiccups

Puppies are more prone to hiccups due to their excitement, rapid growth, and tendency to gulp down food. Usually, puppy hiccups are harmless and they’ll outgrow them.

When to See a Vet

  • Hiccups lasting more than an hour
  • Difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • Hiccups accompanied by other symptoms like coughing or sneezing
  • Hiccups occurring on very hot days, especially in breeds prone to heatstroke

Key Takeaways

  • Hiccups are normal for dogs and usually nothing to worry about.
  • Most of the time, hiccups will disappear on their own.
  • Focus on calming techniques and ways to slow down eating if hiccups are frequent.
  • Consult a vet if hiccups are persistent, accompanied by breathing difficulties, or your dog seems unwell.

What are Dog Hiccups?

Rapid compression of the Diaphragm causes hiccups. The Diaphragm is known to be a thin, strong muscle that helps in breathing and separates a dog’s abdomen from its chest cavity.

Breathing contracts the Diaphragm and makes space for the lungs to expand. Diaphragm breathing is always regular, but sudden spasms cause hiccups.

Hiccups are slight spasms occurring due to an involuntary action of the Diaphragm, and the closing of the vocal folds accompanies it.

The Diaphragm may contract several times. There is a common notion that hiccups are due to quick drinking or eating, exertion due to playing, stress, or gas-related problems.

Puppies tend to get more hiccups as they are more excited and playful and tend to gulp the food quickly. The symptoms of reverse sneezing that results in a swift breath intake are often mistaken for hiccups in dogs.

What Causes Dogs Hiccups?

Occasional hiccups are common, but there might be an underlying medical disorder if your pet is often troubled by hiccups. Low calcium levels cause symptoms like a synchronous diaphragm where the Diaphragm of your dog spasms involuntarily.

Few other conditions like inflammation of the windpipe or gastroesophageal reflux can result in more hiccups.

Few dogs face chronic hiccups due to brain or chest tumors. A few common causes of hiccups are

Stress and Overexcitement

Dogs are emotional by nature, and that is the main reason why we gel with our pets. When your dog gets stressed or overexcited, it may begin to pant, and this increases its heart rate and cortisol levels. Shorter and shallow breaths due to excitement irritate the Diaphragm. Puppies are more liable to hiccups due to excitement.


When your pet is tired and sleepy, it may yawn. Ait trapped during yawn gone amiss will result in excess air being swallowed and unsettle the Diaphragm. Hence your pet should be allowed to sleep when you find it tired or yawning.

Drinking or Eating Quickly

If your dog is very hungry or thirsty, it may try eating food or drinking water without stopping to breathe, which will result in swallowing excess air. This action is sure to start hiccups. Sudden air intake will irritate the diaphragm muscle causing it to contract.

Extreme cold or hot water results in irritation in the throat and its nerves and will result in hiccups in the dog. Eating quickly could lead to trapped air bubbles and cause hiccups.

Spicy Food and Stomach Gas

Spicy food is a common cause of hiccups in dogs. Spicy food results in stomach gas and makes your dog drink water quickly/.

Spicy food will stimulate neuron activity in the Diaphragm, and this leads to hiccups. Stomach gas due to spicy food is good as it gets rid of excess gas in the stomach.


Medicines like benzodiazepines and several antibiotics may be another reason for hiccups in your pets. Few medicines lead to throat irritation and induce acid reflux. This might result in dog hiccups.

Hiccups can also be due to other medical issues like Pneumonia, Bronchitis, Asthma, and respiratory tumors. Labored or irregular breathing due to continuous hiccups would require a visit to the vet.

How to Get Rid of Dog Hiccups?

Once you are aware of the causes of your dog’s hiccups, you have to find a way to get rid of them. Most of the time, the hiccups will stop by themselves, but if it is continuing, you will need to work out some solution.

Relax Your Pet with Tummy Rubs

Helping your pet relax will help stop hiccups. As the Diaphragm of your dog is below their lungs around the abdomen, in case of hiccups, you can make it lie down and give a nice tummy rub.

Massaging the muscles of your dog’s abdomen will help relax the Diaphragm. Giving a tummy rub will help your pet’s breathing return to normal and stop the hiccups.

A tummy rub is also an excellent way to connect with your pet. Once your pet feels calm and relaxed, the hiccups will automatically stop.

Give Water

Drinking water quickly can lead to hiccups in a dog. However, the same water can help stop your dog’s hiccups. Water flows down the windpipe and provides a cooling effect to your dog’s long esophagus.

The cold water that passes between the lungs and Diaphragm helps the Diaphragm to contract. The Diaphragm warms your pet’s body temperature and helps it relax. Drinking cold water does not necessarily stop the hiccups but will not cause any harm to your dog.

Use a Puzzle Eater Bowl for Slow Eating

Dogs are known to be fast eaters, just like wolves, as they are descendants of wolves. Your dog might tend to eat fast and overeat when it wants to compete with any other dog eating food.

There are ways to stop dogs from eating fast or gulping down water. You can use a puzzle eater bowl or a slow feeder to provide food to your pet.

Food in regular bowls can be eaten quickly and easily, but navigating through a puzzle eater bowl is challenging, and eating more food in a single bite.

Exercise Lightly

If your dog is suffering from a bout of hiccups, you can stop it by helping it relax. Exercise helps it keep active and fresh.

A long walk will change your pet’s breathing and help it relax and calm down. Exercise can relieve your dog of hiccups. Outdoor activities like taking it for a short walk or playing ball with children will stimulate your dog. It will change its breathing and slow down the heartbeat.

Distract Your Dog

You can help your dog relax by making its drinking water sweet. Adding little honey to drinking water will also help soothe your pet’s throat.

Hiccups can be stopped by helping your pet relax. You have to avoid Xylitol, a common sugar substitute since it is harmful to your dog.

Change the Diet

Food high in grains like corn and wheat can trigger hiccups in dogs more than low grain foods. So, it is better to change your dog’s diet and include more low grain food.

Many other types of food may trigger hiccups, so you can avoid all of those.

Hiccups seem to spasm the entire body of pupped; however, it does not affect bigger ones much.

Can Puppies Get Hiccups?

It’s impossible not to grin when you see a puppy produce first-ever hiccup sounds while compressing its tummy and looking at you. After the first guffaws, some pet parents may begin to question whether hiccups are typical or if they suggest an issue.

However, below are some possible reasons puppies can suffer from hiccups.

  • Sudden excitements.
  • Stresses and anxiety.
  • Changes in respiratory cycles.
  • Excessive exercises and jumping around.
  • Quick drinking and eating.
  • Overeating.
  • Underlying medical conditions.

When to Worry About Your Dog’s Hiccups?

Just like in humans, hiccups are natural to dogs. Nevertheless, if your pet seems to have difficulty breathing, makes a wheezing sound during hiccups, or has difficulty breathing, you will have to check the symptoms with the vet.

In a few cases, when the hiccups last for more than 60 minutes, it indicates some other medical situation and needs a veterinarian to be consulted.

Regular hiccups that last longer than a normal one should be taken seriously. Hiccups and problems like coughing, sneezing, and reverse sneezing not caused by exercise, can indicate pneumonia, asthma, or pericarditis (heart-related problem).

Overexertion triggers heatstroke on hot days. Heatstroke is common in certain breeds of dogs with short nuzzles. If you have an active dog suffering from non-stop hiccups on a hot day, it is time to visit the vet.

Hiccups are involuntary diaphragm muscle spasms forcing your dog to inhale. The glottis (a component of your pet’s vocal cords) abruptly shuts, preventing air intake. And then there’s a glitch called hiccups.

Dogs acquire hiccups as they breathe whenever they drink or eat too quickly, but they’re also caused by stress, weariness, or enthusiasm. Some specialists feel that your puppys’ and adult dogs’ innocuous spasms might reduce stomach gas and discomfort.

In conclusion, hiccuping is entirely safe and may even be beneficial. They’ll appear and disappear repeatedly, but your pup will soon outgrow them.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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