Why Do Puppies Get The Hiccups | Is It Normal?

You probably don’t remember that strange stage of puppy hood when your puppy starts jerking strangely . Yup I am talking about the hiccups.  Why do puppies get the hiccups so much and should we worry about it?  Just like babies, puppies get the hiccups a lot.  At times, they are almost appeared painful and can be hard to watch.  Your puppy can be in that dead sleep, wake up and instantly they have the hiccups.

why do puppies get the hiccups
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For new puppy parents, it can be a bit scary the first time it happens.  But it is totally normal for your puppy to get the hiccups regularly.

Now that we know that it isn’t anything to worry about, wouldn’t it be nice to understand why they get them.


You may find it interesting to know that many animals get the hiccups.  They even start as early as in the womb. There is a saying that hiccups are just a sign of growing up. Seems to sound about right.

Babies in the womb are constantly growing and their watery surroundings makes the hiccups great exercise for their lungs.

Just think about yourself when you get the hiccups.  Your diaphragm goes up and down when you get them.  This actually separates the throat from the thorax which moves those muscles.  Therefore this movement is a way to strengthen those muscles.

puppy being calm

For puppies, when they breathe their diaphragm pulls down to get the air into their lungs.  As we know with puppies, they have a tendency to eat and drink fast.  This can cause them to inhale too much air at one time and cause the hiccups.  A puppy that is nervous, excited and even tired can often get the hiccups.

Don’t be alarmed if your puppy gets them often, puppies tend to gulp air with their mouth open a lot.  Some experts even believe that the spasms or hiccups actually helps them alleviate stomach gas and irritations that they might be having.

Regular causes

Even though it doesn’t harm our puppies to get the hiccups, it would still be nice to help them when they do.  Trying things like distracting your puppy once the hiccups arrive, can sometimes shorten the time they have them for.

An excited puppy that is playing hard starts panting and breathing faster. This rapid breathing can trigger the hiccups.  Simply by getting them to calm down and be less excited, can help make them go away faster.

puppy with hiccups

Most dog parents can tell when their puppy is getting tired. A tired puppy can be susceptible to getting the hiccups.  Ensuring they get plenty of rest or napping can help with this issue.

Puppies that are more excitable and have a higher energy will of course get the hiccups more often than a calm puppy.  This very excited behaviour is one of the reason that puppies gets the hiccups more often than adult dogs do.

This Dog’s Life

Helpful home remedies

Helping dogs get rid of the hiccups can use many of the same home remedies that humans try.  Some of the most common remedies are:

  • spoonful of honey
  • Karo syrup
  • maple syrup
  • small sips of water
  • massaging your dogs chest
  • going on a quiet walk

When it comes to going for a quiet walk that motion helps gets your dog back in to a regular breathing pattern.

At home something that might help your dog avoid getting the hiccups all together is to slow down their eating. Gulping their food without chewing it can certainly lead to them getting the hiccups.  Sometimes putting a ball inside their dish will actually force them to maneuver around the ball which causes them to eat much slower.

On the market today, there are some great bowls that are made specifically to help with this issue.  They make your puppy work to get the food out of specially designed dish which is much harder to do.  This then causes your puppy to eat much slower which is always a good idea.

This Dog's Life - Slow Feeder Screenshot

Red flags

Throughout this post, I have said that for the most part, your puppy getting the hiccups is a normal thing. Of course though there are exceptions to everything.  The hiccups in a some cases can be a symptom of a more serious issue.

If your dog has hiccups that go on and on, combined with breathing issues, coughing or sneezing issues this could be something more serious.  Pneumonia, asthma and pericarditis are all conditions that you would need to rule out if your dog is suffering with any of these symptoms.

A dog that has exercise intolerance with heavy breathing and constant hiccups would also be a series of things to watch for.  Even something as simple as your dog being in the heat for too long can lead to them getting hiccups from heat stroke.  Heat stroke is not something that you want to fool around with. This can be life threatening.

When it comes to the health of your dog or puppy consulting a Veterinarian is always a good idea if you are concerned about something out of the ordinary.


My dog Fergus is still very much a puppy at only 4 months old.  Yes of course he gets the hiccups often.  When Fergus wakes up in the morning and comes for cuddles, he always gets them.

Other times that he tends to get the hiccups are when he gets excited playing with other dogs.  It is the change in his breathing, that triggers it for him. He has that excited panting type breathing, that causes him to not have regular breathing.  I just grab him  to hold him still and slow him down a bit.  Once his breathing slows back to normal, the hiccups go away quickly.

puppy that gets hiccups

Puppies are constantly growing and changing so quickly.  Normally puppies just eventually grow out of getting the hiccups so often, so we just have to wait it out a bit.

I hope I have helped you feel a little less stressed today by answering the question of why do puppies get the hiccups. There are many things that we encounter raising a puppy.  For first time puppy parents it can be extremely overwhelming, so this post is for you.

These are the reason that I cover many of these small less thought of topics.  For people that have never had a dog before everything can seem like its something to worry about.  This topic 90% of the time isn’t one of them.

In a recap, one of the really easy ways that we can help our dogs stop from getting the hiccups while eating, is to go to a slow feeder food bowl.  As I mentioned above, if your puppy gulps down his food, he is almost guaranteed to get the hiccups.  This truly is the easiest solution to help controlling this issue with our puppies.  It is very important that we teach our dogs to eat slow.

why does my dog get the hiccups



10 thoughts on “Why Do Puppies Get The Hiccups | Is It Normal?”

  1. Many thanks to you for sharing with us a beautiful article whose main topic is puppies hiccups.

    Puppies hiccups is a natural thing that a puppy does.There is no reason for anyone to be afraid of seeing it.I also have a puppy that hiccup almost every time.  For which I feed him maple syrup.

    This article is very important for those who are very worried about the puppy hiccups so I want to share it on my social media so that everyone can benefit.

    • Hello,

      Thank you for your comments, and for sharing this post on your social media, I really appreciate it.  This post really is something that anyone with a new puppy will find important.

      New puppies parents often get concerned that maybe their is something wrong with their dog instead of just realizing that it is just a faze they go through.

      My puppy Fergus is almost done with regular hiccups. He is now 16 weeks old and he gets them just once in a while now.

      Thanks again.


  2. These are great tips for those of us who are new puppy parents. The first few times our puppy got the hiccups I was a little concerned. But it is true that they eat fast, get excited and their muscles are still developing. That’s a good tip to put a ball in their food dish to slow them down when eating. I would’ve never thought of that! Thanks!

    • Hi Carla,

      I am so excited that you found my post helpful. The ball trick is a great idea that doesn’t really cost a thing to do. I hope it works for you.

      Fergus has a tendancy to eat pretty fast, so slowing him down helps him actually chew his food. LOL!

      Thank you so much for commenting on my post and best of luck to you and your pup.



  3. It’s normal  for dogs to have hiccups, my best friend dog do have hiccups too. This hiccups are simply  uncontrollable seizure that contract the diaphragm muscle causing your puppy  to begin to breathe in. Suddenly, a part of your dog’s voice box  closes, stopping the intake of air. And out comes a hiccup (or two or three). 

    Dogs generally get them from the air they swallow when they eat or drink too fast, but stress, fatigue and excitement can also bring on a bout. Some persons believe the harmless seizure can actually help your puppy relieve stomach gas or irritation which I notice in my best friends puppy when he have this hiccups.

    By the same token, reverse hiccups — or when your dog takes a series of loud, involuntary breaths — could be his or her way of clearing out their sinuses. Bottom line here is that hiccuping is harmless, normal and  helpful,  they will come and go for a while, but gradually your puppy will outgrow  them. 

    Thanks for the article. 

    • Hello there,you sharing your thoughts and ideas on my latest post. Eating fast is a huge problem for puppies, there is no doubt.

      Hiccuping is such a funny stage that puppies go through.  I almost forgot about it until we got Fergus our new puppy.  He does have a tendancy to gulp air in at times of excitement.

      At 16 weeks the hiccuping is already slowing down, so that is good. I really just feel bad watching them, it looks almost painful.



  4. Thanks for sharing with us such a beautiful article. Your article is interesting and instructive. I read your article and found a lot of information about puppies hiccups.

    I had a dog. Recently he died. When he was a child he gets hiccups. I was worry about it. Because I had not to nurture any puppy before. So I go to the search engines. I found that it is not any kind of disease or symptoms. So I was happy. After a long time ago I have seen this kind of post. It is quite interesting. But reading the article I have found many new knowledge.

    I have enjoyed your article. I will share your article on my social media. Your article will be helpful to everyone. Thank you for the interesting article.

    • Hello,

      Your thoughts and comments are wonderful to hear, so thank you very much.

      I am that you are going to share this post and I appreciate it. 

      This post, is totally for those new dog parents that get worried when they first get their puppy and don’t understand the hiccuping stage. Just like you said, if you had known back when you had your dog that this was just normal, it may have given you some peace of mind.

      Thanks again.


  5. Visiting this post just made me worry-free because all I thought there’s something wrong with my dog especially when his hiccups is getting frequent and faster.

    Though learning hiccups is just but normal for every dog, I would still want this to at lease be minimized (as I find it so disturbing and irritating to the ear) by trying some of the most common remedies you identified and I would maybe start by purchasing him a great bowl that I think can address this issue more quickly, then give him a spoonful of honey and let him sip a small amount of water. These will be included in his daily routine starting tomorrow.

    Thanks a lot for this helpful article!

    • Hi Julius,

      I love hearing that my post has provided you some good tips and information for your dog.  As dog parents, there is always things that we have and go through and we wonder if everyone else’s dog is the same.

      I am glad to hear that you can address the food issue by getting him a great bowl to help his slow down.

      Best of luck with your pupper and I would love to hear how it works out for you both.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on my post.



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