It might be surprising to hear your dog having hiccups especially if you’re a first-time dog owner.
As humans, we are used to having hiccups and it may be strange seeing a dog experience it.
But is it normal for dogs to get hiccups?
Let’s dive in and learn more about whether it is normal for dogs to get hiccups, if they are bad for dogs, what if a dog experiences them every day and when you should worry about it.
Is It Normal for Dogs to Get Hiccups?
The short answer is yes, it is normal for dogs to get hiccups. Hiccups in dogs just like in humans and other mammals is a normal body process that happens occasionally due to the involuntary spasm of the diaphragm muscle. However, sometimes hiccups are a result of an underlying health problem.
Are Hiccups in Dogs Bad?
No, hiccups in dogs are not bad, they are simply a reflex action due to the irritation of the diaphragm and its phrenic nerves and are not dangerous to a dog.
In some cases, they can be caused by serious health conditions that may trigger them as a symptom.
The health conditions that produce hiccups as a symptom include gastrointestinal conditions, respiratory conditions (such as asthma, pneumonia, or bronchitis), heatstroke, congenital heart disease, neurological conditions, tumors, parasites, and cancer.
These conditions either affect the respiratory or the gastrointestinal function which in turn affects the movements of the diaphragm muscle.
The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle in the chest that is important in the breathing process of a dog. When its nerves, called the phrenic nerves are stimulated or irritated, this causes involuntary contractions of the diaphragm.
These muscle spasms cause a sudden entry of air into the lungs which causes the voice box to also suddenly close, which results in the hiccup sound.
Typically hiccups should last for a short time, about 10-15 minutes, however, if they are prolonged for more than an hour it usually means that your dog needs to be checked because it could be because of a health issue.
Further reading: Are dog hiccups faster?
Is It Normal for Dogs to Have Hiccups Every Day?
Yes, it is normal for dogs to have hiccups every day, as long as they resolve in a short period and do not appear alongside other symptoms of illness.
When the hiccups are accompanied by other symptoms such as coughing, lethargy, or vomiting it clearly means that there is an illness behind it.
Various factors surrounding your dog can trigger hiccups to happen every day as well as their age. Puppies tend to have more frequent hiccups compared to adult dogs.
Read our comprehensive guide on how to help your dog get rid of hiccups.
When to Be Concerned
Hiccups naturally resolve quickly within an hour however in some cases they do not. This is where you should quickly reach out for medical attention from your veterinarian.
- Seek medical attention when you observe:
- Your dog becomes weak or in pain
- Prolonged hiccups (more than 1 hour)
- Coughing or wheezing
- Difficulty in breathing
- Excessive drooling
- Blue or pale gums
Sometimes hiccups can be taken lightly however always be cautious when your dog has a hiccup episode. Monitor them to note how they progress and also do not overlook symptoms that may also occur.
This can inform you whether your dog is sick and needs medical attention or if they are indeed having normal hiccups.
Always reach out to your veterinarian about your dog’s hiccups when you’re not sure what your dog is experiencing. The veterinarian is the best point of consultation to determine what could be affecting your dog.
Dog hiccups and wheezing is not normal. It usually happens when there is an underlying respiratory condition that causes a to wheeze and have hiccups at the same time.
Because this can progress to severe and life-threatening outcomes, seek medical attention to ensure that your dog is examined and given the appropriate treatment.