Can Dogs Get Hiccups?
Hiccups are an annoying, but normal part of our lives. But did you know that dogs can also get hiccups?
Just like for humans, hiccups are a normal part of being a dog. They do not indicate any serious illness and will often go away on their own.
Hiccups are caused by spasms in the diaphragm, which are the muscles under the lungs. These spasms cause the opening between the vocal cords (the glottis), to close abruptly, resulting in a hiccup sound.
Scientists have no clear idea as to why people or dogs evolved to hiccup. The prevailing theory is that hiccups are leftover from when we developed inside our mother’s wombs as a means of testing the breathing muscles.
Hiccups are most common in puppies and will most often develop after your dog attempts to drink or eat too quickly.
There are a few methods you can use to cure your dog’s hiccups:
- Calm their irregular breathing patterns by rubbing their tummy while they lay on their backs
- Give them plenty of water to drink (but make sure they drink calmly and slowly; drinking too quickly causes more hiccups)
- Help your dog to eat more slowly by portioning out their food or putting it in a puzzle device
If your dog has hiccups, make sure they actually are hiccups. If your dog’s hiccups last for more than a few hours and are accompanied by a wheezing sound, then take them to the veterinarian immediately. This could be a sign of serious breathing difficulties.