Shoulder Shake! Pet Hiccups (Dogs & Cats)

Shoulder Shake! Pet Hiccups (Dogs & Cats)

Hiccup! Hiccups occur when contractions and spasms affect the diaphragm, a muscle that aids in breathing. Since dogs and cats also have a diaphragm, they can experience hiccups too. Let's explore the reasons behind pet hiccups and how to address them!


[Improper Eating Habits] 

If pets eat their food too quickly, they may swallow a significant amount of air along with the food, which can cause the stomach to expand and result in hiccups. To establish proper eating habits:


- Provide an appropriate amount of food during each feeding.

- Use wide and shallow bowls or slow feeders to slow down their eating pace.

- In households with multiple dogs or cats, feed them separately to avoid competition.



[Psychological Factors] 

Pets who are not accustomed to certain noises or stimuli may experience hiccups when startled, excited, or stressed. To provide psychological comfort:


- Associate positive experiences with stimuli that the pet finds fearful by offering treats.

- Engage dogs in activities like walks or nose work for mental stimulation. 

- Play with cats using toys during designated times for exercise and mental engagement.



[Temperature Changes] 

During summer or winter walks, or when pets suddenly consume cold water, hiccups may occur due to changes in body temperature. To maintain body temperature:

- Keep the back and belly warm to help regulate their body temperature.

- Offering lukewarm water can be beneficial.

- Providing a small amount of honey water or sugar water can also help maintain an appropriate body temperature.


Hiccups are usually a temporary phenomenon and often resolve within 5 minutes, which is considered normal. However, if hiccups persist or occur frequently in adult dogs or cats, it may be worth considering underlying digestive or respiratory issues, and consulting a veterinarian is recommended.


Don't be alarmed if your pet has hiccups and handle them calmly.

    Back to blog