Dog Hiccups and Nausea

Updated November 21, 2016

Chances are your dog will experience the uncomfortable act of hiccupping at least once in his life. He may also suffer from nausea, especially while riding in a vehicle. While hiccupping and nausea are unpleasant experiences for your dog, it's important to understand what causes them and what can be done to treat them.


Hiccups in dogs occur as a result of a spasm in the diaphragm that pulls air into the lungs. The rush of air moves the vocal cords, creating the noise a dog makes when she hiccups. They are quite common in puppies as puppies tend to ingest large quantities of air when they eat or drink. Hiccups in dogs may last a few minutes or longer. If your dog hiccups for an extended period of time, such as all day, contact your veterinarian as this could be a sign of a serious health problem.

Causes of Hiccups

There are several reasons why your dog may hiccup including something he ate or drank, stress or a minor stomach disorder.


Nausea occurs as the result of an upset nervous and digestive system. Many dogs experience nausea when travelling, due to the motion of a vehicle or other means of transportation.

Signs of Nausea

Various physical signs will give you clues to when your dog is not feeling well. These include panting, drooling, trembling, restlessness, lip licking and vomiting. In addition, you may notice behavioural signs that are indications of nausea. These include anxiety, stress, nervousness or hyperactivity.

Treatments for Hiccups

Help get rid of hiccups by having your dog rest quietly. Pet Education recommends, "If you find certain circumstances such as extreme excitement seem to trigger the hiccups, you can try to avoid those types of situations." In general, hiccups are not serious and will go away on their own.

Treatments for Nausea

Nausea in dogs will usually go away on its own, as well. However, when you are travelling, feed your pet a few hours before you leave and play with your dog as this will help her feel more comfortable before being confined. Natural remedies, such as ginger and mint, can be used to help ease the digestive and nervous system. Pet Alive also notes, "Homeopathic ingredients such as Kalium phosphate, Aconite, Cocculus, and Pulsatilla vulgaris soothes and calms the stomach and nervous system, and also facilitates a comfortable travelling experience." In addition, consult your veterinarian as nausea can be controlled with anti-nausea or anti-anxiety medications.

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