Can Dogs Get Hiccups?
Max the dog Max the dog

Can Dogs Get Hiccups?

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Read time: 4 mins

11 Sep 2023

Yes, dogs can get hiccups.

Is It Normal For Dogs To Get Hiccups?

If you've ever noticed your dog experiencing hiccups, rest assured, it's entirely normal.  Just like humans, dogs can get hiccups from time to time. In this article, we'll delve into the fascinating world of dog hiccups, exploring why they occur and what you can do to alleviate them.

Why Do Dogs Get Hiccups?

Hiccups occur when there is an involuntary contraction (spasm) of the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest from the abdominal cavity and plays a pivotal role in the breathing process. When this muscle contracts suddenly and involuntarily, it causes a quick intake of air, resulting in the characteristic "hic" sound.


So, why do dogs experience these spasms of the diaphragm? Several factors can contribute to dog hiccups, including:

Eating too quickly

Just like us, dogs can sometimes get a bit too enthusiastic during mealtime. If your furry friend gulps down their food at lightning speed, they may swallow excess air, leading to hiccups.

Excitement or stress

Dogs can be sensitive creatures, and heightened emotions like excitement or stress can trigger hiccups. This may happen when your dog is eagerly anticipating a walk or meeting new people.

Temperature changes

Rapid shifts in temperature, such as moving from a warm environment to a cold one, can sometimes lead to hiccups in dogs.

Gastrointestinal issues

Occasionally, hiccups can be a sign of underlying gastrointestinal problems. These issues may include acid reflux or irritation of the oesophagus.

Drinking too quickly

Just as with eating, if your dog drinks water too rapidly, they may ingest air along with it, increasing the likelihood of hiccups.

Excitement or stress

Dogs can be sensitive creatures, and heightened emotions like excitement or stress can trigger hiccups. This may happen when your dog is eagerly anticipating a walk or meeting new people.


It's important to note that in most cases, dog hiccups are harmless and will resolve on their own. However, if your dog experiences persistent or severe hiccups, it's advisable to consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

How to Get Rid of Dog Hiccups

Now that we've explored the reasons behind dog hiccups, let's delve into how you can help your canine companion find relief from these pesky spasms.

Stay calm

First and foremost, it's essential to stay calm when you notice your dog hiccuping. Dogs are incredibly attuned to their owner's emotions, and if you become anxious or agitated, it may exacerbate their hiccups.

Adjust feeding habits

If your dog's hiccups are linked to eating or drinking too quickly, consider making some changes to their mealtime routine. You can use specialised slow-feed bowls or divide their meals into smaller, more frequent portions to discourage rapid consumption.

Ensure a calm environment

As mentioned earlier, excitement and stress can contribute to hiccups. Creating a calm and soothing environment for your dog can help reduce the likelihood of these spasms. This includes providing a quiet space for them to relax and ensuring a regular daily routine.

Try a teaspoon of honey

Some dog owners find that giving their pets a small amount of honey can help alleviate hiccups. Honey's thick consistency and sweet taste can stimulate the vagus nerve, which may stop the hiccups.

Offer water slowly

If your dog tends to drink water rapidly, try offering it in smaller quantities and more slowly. This can help prevent the ingestion of excess air, reducing the chances of hiccups.

Gently massage the chest

Massaging your dog's chest in a gentle, rhythmic manner can help relax the diaphragm muscles. Use soft, circular motions, and be sure to maintain a calm and reassuring demeanour.

Consult your vet

If your dog's hiccups persist or become severe, it's advisable to consult your veterinarian. They can rule out any underlying medical conditions and provide guidance on how to manage the hiccups effectively.