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Why Does My Dog Get Hiccups [5 Causes & 4 Ways to Help]

We understand how concerning anything happening to your canine pal can be. Seeing it getting hiccups will surely make you wonder why. 

Why does my dog get hiccups?

Your dog can get hiccups for several reasons. The most common among these reasons is swallowing food or water too fast. Sometimes, depending on nature, the food they’re being fed can cause hiccups. Another common cause is stress. In the case of puppies, overexcitement is a major reason.

Those are some of the possible reasons. Let’s learn more detail about the causes and remedies of hiccups in dogs!

5 Causes of Dog Hiccups

Your pet pal can get hiccups just like you. And just as it is in your case, it’s also usually harmless for your canine buddy.

But it can be uncomfortable and you’d not want your dog to suffer. To save your dog from hiccups you gotta know the reasons.

Reason 1: Rapid Swallowing

The most common reason for hiccups in dogs is rapid swallowing. Whether it’s water or food, swallowing too fast can cause a lot of problems.

It results in hiccups when the dog ends up swallowing a large amount of air. The air distends the stomach and stresses the diaphragm. This causes the muscle to spasm and contract frantically, causing hiccups. 

A large amount of air swallowed can also cause bloat. In bad cases your dog might  bloat. 

Reason 2: Stressful Situations 

Aside from eating habits, another common cause for hiccups is stress. 

Stress causes cortisol levels to rise. This causes irritation in the diaphragm. Which then starts contracting and relaxing in an uncontrolled manner. 

In addition to this, your four-pawed buddy starts taking short shallow breaths. All of this combined causes hiccups. 

Reason 3: Overexcitement 

Overexcitement has the same type of effect on your dog as stress. Just like stress, excessive excitement induces rapid breathing. This can, in turn, trigger your canine’s hiccups. Also being excited your dog can bite you.

Reason 4: Food Types 

Rapid swallowing and stressful situations are two of the most common reasons. But there’s another factor that is a direct trigger for hiccups. And that is the type of food they’re being fed. 

If you give them spicy food, it’ll cause stomach gas. This will expand the stomach stressing the diaphragm. 

Additionally, it’ll also induce thirst and cause the dog to drink too fast. Which will further expand the stomach and put pressure on the diaphragm. 

On top of that, the diaphragm will experience increased neuron activity. This is because of the capsaicin in spicy food. 

All of this will end up triggering hiccups. Aside from spicy food, food that is too hot or cold can also trigger hiccups. Hot or cold foods do so by irritating the esophagus and triggering faster breathing.

The phrenic and vagus nerves in the esophagus when irritated can cause hiccups. In general, anything that irritates the esophagus or causes acid reflux can cause hiccups. 

If your dog is on corticosteroid or benzodiazepines, then it might get hiccups.

Reason 5: Underlying Conditions

Lastly, the hiccups could be a sign of some underlying condition. A trip to the veterinarian will tell you exactly what, if any, underlying condition there is. 

Here’s a list of conditions that can cause hiccups as a side effect:

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis 
  • Esophageal Tumor
  • Respiratory Defects
  • Pericarditis 
  • Asthma 
  • Heatstroke

Then when should you take your dog to the vet for hiccups? 

You should take it to the vet once you’ve ruled out all other triggers. If the hiccups last for more than an hour. 

These are the reasons that might cause your dog to have hiccups. In most cases the hiccups are harmless. But you should still help get rid of them for your dog’s comfort. 

Ways to Rid Dog of Hiccups

Unless it’s about hiccups triggered by a serious underlying condition, it’ll go away easily. However, you can help get rid of it sooner. 

Method 1: Honey Or Syrup

Give your dog a spoonful of maple syrup or honey. The dense fluid will coat the inside of the throat. This will help deal with any sort of irritation. Besides, dogs love to taste honey. 

Additionally, it will help slow down your dog’s breathing. This will slowly ease the hiccups. Any type of liquid sweet will do. But be sure to not give them any solid

Method 2: Milk for Spices

If your dogs ingested spicy food, give them milk. Spicy foods contain capsaicin, which irritates the esophagus. Milk on the other hand contains casein. 

It’s a protein that helps break down capsaicin. This relieves the esophagus and helps get rid of the hiccups.

Method 3: Chest Massage

Lie your dog on its back and slowly massage its chest. This will calm them down and bring the frantic breathing back to a normal rhythm. That will eventually get rid of the hiccups. 

Method 4: Feeding Correction

A long-term solution to the hiccups problem is training your dog to eat gradually. In addition to the training, you can also use a slow-feeder dog bowl. We recommend one of these:

Product 1
Product 2

These will help your dog eat slower. That’ll help lower the possibility of hiccups. And even lower chances of choking. 

Here you are now concerned about 4 methods to deal with the issues. That covers everything we have to say on the topic. 

FAQs

Question: Can dogs eat spicy food?

Answer: No. Dogs can’t eat spicy food. Spice is something you must avoid at all times when feeding your dog. Not only is it bad for your dog, but it can also prove toxic and fatal. 

Question: Can hiccups be fatal? 

Answer: Under normal circumstances, hiccups can’t be fatal. They last for a while and usually get fixed naturally. However, if the hiccups last for more than an hour they might affect breathing. In that case, it can prove dangerous. 

Question: Is it okay to take my dog on a walk when it’s having hiccups?

Answer: Yes. It is perfectly fine to take your dog on a walk even if it’s having hiccups. In fact, you should take it on a soothing walk especially when it gets hiccups. The walk will distract your dog and get rid of the hiccups. 

Conclusion

You no longer have to worry about why my dog gets hiccups.

Aside from the methods mentioned, you should regularly walk your dogs. This will help them burn off energy and keep them calm. Thus, preventing hiccups. 

That’s it from us folks!