Dogs: they're just like us! 

Well, not always. But when it comes to hiccupping — that involuntary spasm of the diaphragm that make it seem like we're gasping for air — they are. That's right, dogs can get hiccups too. 

The trouble is we can't tell our dogs to hold their breath or stand on their head or whatever at-home remedy is most popular these days. They've just got to ride it out. Is there any room for concern though? To find out more about canine hiccups we spoke to veterinarian Camille Alander of NYC's Bond Vet. 

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Can dogs get hiccups?


"Dogs get hiccups just like people do," Dr. Alander says. It is more common in puppies than adult dogs, she says, but not abnormal for either to experience bouts. 

Should I be worried if my dog is hiccupping?

Not particularly. 

Since it is more typical in puppies, Dr. Alander says oftentimes your dog will outgrow frequent hiccupping. Most hiccupping bouts will come as a result of excitement, exercise, eating too quickly, or taking a big gulp of water.

Like with humans, hiccupping in dogs is just what Dr. Alander calls "an imbalance of the diaphragm" which interrupts regular breathing. 

How do I know if my dog is hiccupping?

Hiccups in dogs are "pretty on par with what a human hiccup is," Dr. Alander says. The noise and motion are quite similar. 

There is no real way to help your pup get over hiccups, she explains — after all, you can't tell your dog to hold their breath. Some clients have told Dr. Alander that rubbing that back or tummy is helpful but, she cautions, there is no scientific evidence to back that up. 

How to get rid of hiccups: Quick remedies (for humans) that actually work

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Can dogs get hiccups? We asked a vet if and when owners should worry.

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