Hiccups in Puppies

Hearing the gentle, almost rhythmic sounds of hiccups in puppies is a moment filled with both amusement and a dash of concern. As a pet owner, you might ask, "Why do puppies get hiccups so often?" Generally, this won’t be a cause for concern, but let’s explore a bit more about what hiccups mean for your pup and what you need to do if these tiny, involuntary spasms start to cause issues.

Close up of puppy head in a grassy setting.
Puppy sitting on the ground, outdoors.

What is a Hiccup?

So, what do hiccups mean when we hear that half-cough or gulp accompanied by a squeak from our furry companions? Well, in puppies, as in humans, the diaphragm is the muscle that helps control breathing. Located at the base of the chest, this large, dome-shaped muscle works tirelessly, contracting and relaxing to facilitate airflow into the lungs. Hiccups occur after a sudden, involuntary contraction of the diaphragm, leading to a quick intake of air interrupted by the closing of the vocal cords, resulting in that characteristic 'hic' sound.

Do Puppies Get Hiccups?

Now, you might be wondering, ‘Can puppies get hiccups, or does that only happen when they’re older?’

The answer is yes, puppies can get hiccups. In fact, it's quite common. Just like human infants, puppies often experience these harmless spasms as they grow and develop. Hiccups in puppies are a natural occurrence and, in most cases, are no cause for concern. They are simply a part of your puppy's journey towards becoming a healthy adult dog.

Why Does My Puppy Get Hiccups?

Many puppy owners wonder why their puppy keeps getting hiccups, especially when their puppy hiccups a lot, causing a great deal of concern.

There are several reasons why puppies get hiccups at night and during the day, including:

  • Rapid Eating or Drinking: Excited puppies can eat or drink too quickly, swallowing air with every mouthful, which may cause the diaphragm to spasm, resulting in hiccups.
  • Excitement and Playfulness: Puppies are naturally energetic and excitable. During playtime or when they're overexcited, they might breathe more rapidly, which can trigger hiccupping.
  • Stress or Anxiety: Just like humans, puppies can get hiccups when stressed or anxious. New environments, loud noises, or separation from their owners can contribute to this breathing response.
  • Digestive Disturbances: Young dogs are still developing their digestive systems, so many gastrointestinal disturbances, such as gas or indigestion, can irritate the diaphragm.
  • Temperature Changes: Sudden temperature changes, like moving from a warm room to the cold outdoors, can sometimes trigger hiccups in puppies.
  • Sleeping Positions: Some owners notice puppies get hiccups at night, which could be due to how they're lying, placing pressure on their diaphragm.

How to Get Rid of Puppy Hiccups

While hiccups usually resolve on their own, there are a few things you can do to ease your puppy's discomfort.

Slow Down Eating

Rapid eating can cause your puppy to swallow air, leading to hiccups. If you’re exploring how to stop hiccups for puppies, try:

  • Using a slow feeder bowl
  • Spreading out their food on a flat surface
  • Offering smaller, more frequent meals

Provide Water

Encouraging your puppy to drink water can help ease hiccups. Ensure they drink slowly to avoid swallowing more air by offering water in a shallow bowl or using a water dispenser that encourages slow drinking.

Gentle Exercise

Light exercise can help regulate your puppy's breathing and reduce hiccups. If you’re looking at how to get rid of puppy hiccups and also feel like getting active, you can take your pup for a short, gentle walk, or engage in some calm playtime in a relaxed environment.

Calm and Comfort

Reducing stress and excitement can help stop hiccups. Try to:

  • Create a calm environment
  • Offer a gentle belly rub or patting session
  • Use soothing tones to relax your puppy

Warm and Comfortable Environment

Ensure your puppy is comfortable and not experiencing temperature-related hiccups by providing a warm, cosy bed and avoiding sudden temperature changes. This is particularly important for puppies that get hiccups at night.


  • What Do Puppy Hiccups Look Like?

    Puppy hiccups look and sound similar to human hiccups. They typically manifest as a series of small, rhythmic, and sometimes jerky movements in your puppy's body, and you might notice a slight 'hic' sound with each spasm. Unlike coughing or sneezing, hiccups usually occur consistently for a few minutes.

  • Are Hiccups Bad for Puppies?

    Generally, hiccups in puppies aren’t bad, unless they are excessively frequent or are accompanied by other symptoms like lethargy, coughing, or difficulty breathing. If this arises, consult a vet as soon as possible to ensure optimal, ongoing puppy care.

  • Why Does My Puppy Have Hiccups After Eating?

    Hiccups after eating in puppies are often caused by eating too quickly, leading to the ingestion of excess air that distends the stomach and irritates the diaphragm, triggering hiccups. Using slow feeder bowls and providing smaller, more frequent meals can help reduce the chance of having a puppy with hiccups.

  • Is It Common for Puppies to Get Hiccups?

    Yes, it is quite common for puppies to get hiccups. In fact, they are actually more frequently observed in puppies than in adult dogs, given their high levels of activity, rapid eating habits, and the ongoing development of their digestive and respiratory systems.

  • Why Does My Puppy Keep Getting Hiccups?

    If your puppy keeps hiccupping, it could be due to a variety of reasons, such as eating or drinking too fast, excitement, stress, or even normal digestive system development. Puppies are also more prone to hiccups when they're tired or right after vigorous play.

  •  Why Does My Puppy Have Hiccups After Sleeping?

    Hiccupping after sleeping in puppies could be related to their breathing patterns or the position they were sleeping in. Sometimes, the transition from a resting state to being awake can trigger hiccups. Generally, this is not a cause for concern unless the hiccups are persistent or the puppy shows signs of discomfort.

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