Vet's Corner

How to Cure Dog and Puppy Hiccups

Has your dog or pup ever had hiccups? If it continues for more than a minute or two, here are some tips on how to cure dog and puppy hiccups. Every mammal that has a diaphragm can experience hiccups. While some animals like birds and reptiles don’t have diaphragms, they can still do some kind of involuntary action similar to hiccupping, such as when amphibians perform a gulping action.

Like human hiccups, there is really nothing much to worry about your dog or puppy getting hiccups, because they usually go away after a minute or two.

But if your dog or pup gets them frequently, or they linger for more than 30 minutes, or the dog is experiencing slight coughing, then it is time to go see the vet.

Do NOT give dogs human medicines for curing hiccups without proper guidance from a vet. Such medications can harm your dog.

How to Cure Dog and Puppy Hiccups

Here are some proper ways of getting rid of hiccups in dogs.

Both puppies and dogs get hiccups, and the reasons why are almost identical to why we get them. It is usually from eating too quickly, being too excited or energetic, and high-grain food. Puppies are more hyperactive and tend to be more playful and excited, whether during playtime or eating, and this makes them more prone to hiccups. Barking too much can also cause hiccups, because too much excitement can induce quick breathing. And, of course, eating or drinking too quickly can cause air to be trapped in the stomach.

Identifying if your dog really has hiccups can be a bit hard, because some involuntary actions are similar to hiccups. One good example is the so-called ‘reverse sneezing’ in which a dog breathes very quickly and without control, as if the opposite of sneezing. You should also watch out for when a dog hiccups for a long period of time, and especially with coughing. The following are some simple methods of getting rid of your dog’s hiccups:

  1. Make sure you feed your dog low-grain food. High-grain foods often cause hiccups in dogs. You can also watch your dog’s eating habits and figure out what other types of food may trigger hiccups.
  2. Water helps hiccups go away, much like in humans. Give water to your dog when he experiences hiccups.
  3. Exercise him some. Whether it is a good walk in the park, a game of fetch or Frisbee, or just about any outdoor activity, it will surely stimulate your dog, change his breathing and heart-rate and cure the hiccups.
  4. Try feeding your dog, as it can also change your dog’s pattern of breathing and drive away hiccups.

The above tips for how to cure dog and puppy hiccups work in most instances, fortunately. As mentioned, your first action is to just observe and see if they continue more than a couple of minutes. Usually they don’t.

37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Slow Dog Bowl Agreement

    Oct 23, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    I have seen a few dogs with hiccups and its generally nothing to be worried about. One of our dogs needed to get the slow eat bowls as it ate so quickly and then got the hiccups and threw up. Made a big mess and wasn’t healthy for the dog. The slow eat bowls are great and do really work. It can be a pretty funny site to see a puppy with hiccups and I recommend people video it and put it on youtube. Do a search for hiccupping dogs on youtube and you will have a good laugh.

  2. Ashlie Robillard

    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:20 am

    I’ve always heard from my family that babies and puppies get hiccups because they’re cold. So when my 15 week old Chi-weenie gets hiccups we just wrap her up in her blankie and viola hiccups gone!

  3. Christine HIGGS

    Mar 16, 2016 at 3:48 am

    My 8 month old pup has been getting severe hiccups lasting all night, she gets no sleep nor do I it’s heartbreaking to watch her discomfort . The vet has given her two X-rays on her stomach which were clear and doesn’t seem to know herself what’s wrong with her.

  4. Chris advocate of useful comments

    Nov 6, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    The ignorance…… If you do a quick google or any basic research on this subject be it people or animal. Holding your breath is an effective treatment for numerous medical conditions related to the diaphragm/ lungs and esophagus(asthma medication, etc). You are incorrect to think that lack of oxygen for 5-8 sec is causing any cell death, it takes over 3 min for such effects to begin. Second The fact that you think that there is any Cure all solution to any medical condition is also wrong… People and animals are not identical and may require unique individual treatment for similar conditions. As far as the abusing your animals trust……. In my experience an animal or person that “trusts” will allow you to do nearly anything necessary including minor discomfort like holding the breath for a few moments. Misinformation is more prevalent on the Internet then ever before. A well known fact is that Hiccups can not be pr oven to be directly linked to any one source or trigger. Educated guesses have been made but because of the number of variables, there may be more then one solution, it just depends on what is causing your specific case. The most frustrating thing is when you get on the Internet and tell a bunch of people they don’t “love” there pets just because you disagree with what they have said without offering any sort of counter argument or information to help them educate themselves. After all Every person reading this page or any other forum is here to share or learn information. Like anything else proper Forum/web etiquette must be taught. FYI comments like “Don’t do that, its just not right… there is better ways to get rid of the hiccups” The statement may in fact be true, but you list no alternatives for a reader to try. Leaving us only with your “useless” opinion. Without any supporting facts opinions are useless. When was the last time that you changed your point of view based solely on a one line opinion from a stranger on the Internet.

    • Sharon Hill

      Dec 30, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Chris, before you do very much more writing publicly, Possibly you should learn the difference in usage for “there” and “their” and also, “is’ and “are” and “then” and “than”. I have always thought, just an opinion, that a person wishing to correct others should start with them selves!!

      • jo

        Apr 19, 2016 at 10:00 pm

        Not everyone is an English major and sometimes the smartest people make grammatical errors. However, if that type of criticism is all you have to offer, you should retire your keyboard because you don’t know how to address the big issue, but are small minded instead.

    • Richard

      Jul 23, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      What a tosser

  5. dottie

    Nov 4, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    To the person who said hold there nose and mouth closed….you do not have to stop their breathing..put your hand over their snout but not over there nose..hold there mouth closed approx. 5 to 7 seconds…they still breath but it definitely stops the hiccups…I have been raising small dogs for over 40 years….The last 2 which were chihuahua passed away last year one at 23 years old and one at 22….Never went to the vet….I gave them there 7 in one shots for less than $10.00 each..bought them from the feed store.. My 3rd chihauhua is 17 years…I have 2 blue pits and one hybrid wolf and 2 cats…the blues are 3 years old and the hybrid is 14…My yorkie poo is 12 weeks..All of them as pups got the hiccups and they outgrew it by the time they were 3 or 4 months old and I treated them for hiccups as described… And for the those that were nasty to this person a true lover of animals would give advise not criticize or accuse them of not loving there pet… If they didn’t love their pet they would ask for advise… How about some love for people as well or do you hate humans…

  6. "SADIE's Cure for Hiccups"

    Jun 5, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    I discovered this technique while trying to fall asleep next to a hiccuping Dog; Sadie. Cup your hands around their muzzle and blow gently into their nose. They do get use to it and it does work the first time everytime!!!! It works on humans also, just take a gentle yet deep breath through your nose and the hiccups stop 99% of the time!!! Donna Stile

  7. Vee

    Apr 22, 2015 at 2:15 am

    “Water helps hiccups go away, much like in humans. Give water to your dog when he experiences hiccups.
    Exercise him some. Whether it is a good walk in the park, a game of fetch or Frisbee, or just about any outdoor activity, it will surely stimulate your dog, change his breathing and heart-rate and cure the hiccups.”

    Only warm water helps hiccups go away in humans, because warm water relaxes the muscles, cold water does the opposite. Dogs do not drink warm water unless they are very thirsty and warm water is the only thing available.

    Do not exercise your dogs right before or after a meal. This can cause bloat, and death took place very quickly. Deep chested dogs can get bloat easily, here is a link to educate us what bloat is: http://www.m.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/gastric-volvulus-bloat-dogs-life-threatening-emergency

    Our shepherd cross died from bloat, he passed away when we were rushing him to the veterinarian emergency hospital. I do not wish this happen to any dog. Proper exercise is good for dogs, but if a dog gets hiccups after a meal, exercise is not a solution, it can kill the dog.

  8. Vee

    Apr 22, 2015 at 1:11 am

    Do not exercise your dogs right before or after feeding time. This can cause bloat, and the death took place within a matter of a second. http://www.m.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/gastric-volvulus-bloat-dogs-life-threatening-emergency
    So please do not excercise your dog if he is having hickups right before it after meals! My dog died from bloat, it took his life so quick.

  9. Maggie

    Dec 14, 2014 at 8:40 am

    My son’s puppy will sometimes get the hipcups when he is lying down after playing and / or coming in from the yard. I change his lying down position and warm him up with a blanket. He relaxes, hipcups go away and he falls asleep.

  10. Tyler

    Jun 15, 2014 at 6:26 am

    “Make sure you feed your dog low-grain food. High-grain foods often cause hiccups in dogs. You can also watch your dog’s eating habits and figure out what other types of food may trigger hiccups.”

    Do you have a source for this claim?

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