Why Do Dogs Get Hiccups When Sleeping?

For us humans, hiccups can range from slightly amusing to extremely annoying, particularly when they last for too long. We have all heard of strange remedies for hiccups, like standing on our heads, being frightened, and drinking water. A lot of the time, these don’t work, and the hiccups go on their own. Just for next time, here are some that might actually help.

Just like us, though, our dogs hiccup too. You might likely have mostly noticed this happening when they are sleeping. If you haven’t seen this before, then it looks something like this! That’s odd because we humans hiccup mostly when we are wide awake. It is understandable for you to be worried and want to know more about your dog hiccupping, especially when it is sleeping. 

So, to answer that question, why do dogs get hiccups when sleeping? I have written this article for you! This should answer all the questions that you have!

Do you have a specific question about the subject? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

What do dog hiccups sound like?

You need to be able to identify what your dog’s hiccups sound like so you can be sure that what you are seeing are hiccups and not something like a cough, for instance.

It’s hard to describe what dog hiccups sound like. They all hiccup a bit differently, so once you hear how your dog sounds, you should be able to know them afterward.

In general, though, dog hiccups sound kind of like human hiccups or like a tiny cough or sneeze being suppressed. It is definitely cute to hear! One thing that will help you identify these hiccups is when you watch the body of your dog or puppy. Suppose you notice a sudden movement of the ribcage, similar to humans, paired with that characteristic sound. In that case, it is likely to be a hiccup!

Why do dogs make hiccup noises when sleeping?

Dogs can hiccup at any time, but it is exciting to watch them have hiccups while sleeping. Humans don’t experience that, so it isn’t surprising to want to know why that happens. There is something of a good explanation behind it all.

Do you know why hiccups happen in the first place? Well, whether in dogs or humans, it is all because of an involuntary contraction, or spasm, of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that helps control breathing. It is at the bottom of the rib cage. When this muscle suddenly contracts, it causes a sudden intake of air, and that’s a hiccup! It happens the same in dogs!

The reason this happens when dogs are sleeping, though, is because of REM sleep. REM sleep is the stage of sleep where there are many rapid eye movements (from where it gets its name) and the point where dreams are most likely to occur. The body is most relaxed at this stage of sleep, which makes spasms more likely to happen and your dog more likely to hiccup while sleeping.

Why puppy hiccups while sleeping?

Interestingly, you might notice that your dog hiccups much more when sleeping. In fact, you might never have seen your dog hiccup in the daytime.

The likely reason why your dog hiccups at night alone and never during the day is because hiccups aren’t that common for dogs. The body is more relaxed at night, particularly during REM sleep. It is also thought that hiccups work similarly to burping. They help to expel extra gas that might be in your pal’s belly, mainly if they ate right before bed! 

Also, puppies are more energetic. All that extra energy makes spasms a lot more likely, especially after a long day of play. This can explain why you notice your dog hiccups in sleep.

Are dog’s hiccups while sleeping dangerous?

If you notice that your dog hiccups while sleeping, you may be worried. The truth is, there is no danger in occasional hiccups during sleep or even when awake. It’s just a harmless spasm!

However, if you notice that your dog hiccups very frequently or hiccups for a long time with no end in sight, it might be a sign of an underlying problem.

Should I talk to a vet about it, or it’s fine?

For most people whose dog is hiccupping, there is absolutely nothing to be worried about. Just like us humans, an occasional bout of hiccups is nothing serious. It will usually resolve on its own in just a few minutes.

However, if your dog hiccups are lasting every day, or even when sleeping, It may be something to be concerned about. 

This is because hiccups can be a sign of a possible parasitic infection in your dogs, particularly heartworm. If you notice that the hiccupping no longer seems normal, you should call your vet as soon as you can.

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Credits: thanks for the cover photo to Canva.

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