HealthPuppy CareWhat Causes Hiccups in Puppies?

What Causes Hiccups in Puppies? [And How to Get Rid of Them]

Hiccups in puppies can be caused by several factors including eating or drinking too fast, intense excitement, stress, ingestion of certain types of foods, and even specific types of illnesses. These hiccups are typically harmless and go away on their own.

Have you ever heard your puppy make a funny sound that made you wonder what was going on? Chances are, it was hiccupping. Just like humans, puppies can also suffer from hiccups.

But what hiccups in dogs and how do you help your furry friend? In this article, we’ll explore the main causes of hiccups in puppies, differentiating them from other health conditions, the effects of hiccups on your puppy’s health, and remedies and treatments for puppy hiccups.

Key Takeaways

  • Eating or drinking too quickly can cause hiccups in puppies.
  • Cold or tiredness can also contribute to hiccups in puppies.
  • Excitement or stress can trigger hiccups in puppies.
  • Hiccups in puppies can be a symptom of irritation of the throat or other health conditions.

Main Causes of Hiccups in Puppies

You may have noticed your puppy hiccupping from time to time, and wondered what causes it. Hiccups in puppies can be caused by various factors. Some common triggers include eating or drinking too quickly, cold or tiredness, excitement or stress, and irritation of the throat. These triggers can lead to the spasmodic contractions of their diaphragm that cause these hiccups.

Eating or Drinking Too Quickly

Eating or drinking too quickly can cause puppies to hiccup. It occurs when a puppy consumes food or water more rapidly than their body can handle, causing a spasm-like reflex in the diaphragm.

You can help prevent hiccups from occurring by feeding smaller meals throughout the day. Also, make sure that your pup has plenty of time to eat without being rushed and take breaks between bites so they don’t drink or eat too quickly.

Cold or Tiredness

Feeling cold or tired can make your pup hiccup. The diaphragm is a thin muscle in the abdomen that separates the lungs from the stomach and helps with breathing. Hiccups are an involuntary spasm of the diaphragm, which causes a brief interruption of the normal breathing pattern, leading to a characteristic sound.

A puppy’s diaphragm is still very immature because they develop it while in their mother’s womb and as they grow in her tummy. As such, sudden changes in temperature or levels of tiredness can cause them to hiccup due to their sensitive diaphragms.

It’s important to keep your pup warm if you notice them shivering or feeling cold and make sure they get plenty of rest when they’re exhausted.

Excitement or Stress

When your pup gets excited or stressed, their diaphragm can spasm and cause hiccups. This is one of the most common causes for dog hiccups in puppies.

If your puppy gets overly excited while playing or when meeting new people, they may be more prone to hiccupping. Similarly, if your pup is anxious or stressed due to a loud noise or a sudden change of environment, it could lead to them hiccupping as well.

It’s important to help keep your pup calm and relaxed so that they are less likely to get hiccups from excitement or stress. To do this, you should ensure that they have plenty of time for play and rest throughout the day.

Additionally, providing them with toys or treats can help distract them during stressful situations and reduce the chances of them getting overexcited and experiencing bouts of hiccupping.

Irritation of the Throat

If your pup’s throat is irritated, they may have hiccups. When the throat gets irritated, it can cause a sudden contraction of the diaphragm. This irritation typically comes from something like a feeder or a foreign object that has been lodged in the throat.

It can also be caused by coughing, which leads to inflammation and irritation of the vocal cords. In addition, certain foods can irritate your pup’s throat and cause hiccups.

Differentiating Hiccups in Puppies From Other Health Conditions

While getting hiccups is normal for both puppies and adult dogs, it’s important to make sure that there isn’t an underlying health issue causing them.

In some cases, the hiccups may be indicative of an illness or infection, so it’s important to take your pup to the veterinary if they don’t go away after several minutes.

It’s also possible that the hiccups are being caused by something else entirely, such as anxiety or overexcitement. If this is the case, then you’ll need to identify what is triggering these feelings in order to help your puppy relax and stop hiccupping.

Other issues like eating too fast or drinking cold water can also cause hiccups in puppies, so try adjusting your pup’s diet or feeding routine if this could be an issue.

Effects of Hiccups on Puppy’s Health

Hiccups in puppies can be quite annoying, but usually they don’t cause any other symptoms and should not be a cause for concern.

However, if hiccups persist or seem to occur frequently, this could be a sign of underlying health issues that require medical attention.

It’s important to keep an eye on your puppy’s hiccupping habits so you can address any potential problems quickly.

Hiccups Are Typically Just An Annoyance

Annoying as they may be, hiccups are usually harmless. Despite this, it can be quite inconvenient when a puppy experiences a bout of hiccups. These sudden and repetitive spasms of the diaphragm can cause disruption to your daily activities with your pup.

For example, if you were trying to take them out for exercise or training sessions, the hiccups could hinder concentration levels. Similarly, if you were trying to feed them their meal or give them treats as a reward for good behavior, the hiccups could disrupt their appetite and cause them to eat less than normal.

Are There Any Other Symptoms?

Although hiccups may be annoying, they’re usually the only symptom your pup will experience. If your puppy is having hiccups but otherwise seems healthy and content, it’s likely not a cause for concern.

In some cases, hiccupping can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Your vet will be able to determine if there’s any cause for alarm.

Otherwise, you’ll just have to wait for your pup’s hiccups to pass on their own. If you notice that your puppy’s hiccupping is particularly frequent or severe, though, consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Possible Sign of Health Issues

In rare cases, hiccupping can be a sign of an underlying health issue like GERD. This is especially true if the puppy’s hiccups are accompanied by other symptoms such as difficulty swallowing or breathing, vomiting, coughing, or changes in appetite.

If your pup has been hiccupping for more than a few minutes without any other symptoms, it’s likely not a cause for concern. However, if the hiccups continue or worsen over time and become accompanied by other signs of illness, you should take them to the vet for further evaluation.

GERD can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes to help reduce symptoms and prevent complications. It is important to monitor your puppy closely and seek veterinary care if their hiccups persist or worsen over time.

Remedies and Treatments for Puppy Hiccups

If your puppy has the hiccups, there are a few remedies you can try.

First, offer them a bowl of cold water to drink – sometimes this helps to calm irregular breathing that may be causing the hiccups. Second, encourage them to slow down their eating by breaking up larger meals into smaller portions throughout the day.

If neither of those work, we have a few other methods to get rid of dog hiccups.


Cold water can be a great way to help get rid of hiccups in puppies. Hiccups are caused by spasms in the diaphragm, and drinking cold water can help relieve those spasms and stop the hiccupping. To use this method, offer your puppy a small bowl of cold water and encourage them to drink it slowly. If the hiccups persist, hold the bowl for your puppy and give them small sips of water until the hiccups subside.

However, remember that too much water can also cause hiccups, so if the cold water method isn’t working, don’t try to force your puppy to drink more.

Slow Down Eating

Encouraging your pup to eat slowly can help prevent hiccups. Rapid eating, especially when gulping down food too quickly, is a common cause of hiccups in puppies and can be easily avoided. Eating at a slower pace allows your dog’s body to digest the food more thoroughly and reduces the chances of air getting into their digestive system.

You can help them out by offering smaller meals throughout the day instead of one large meal or by using slow-feeder bowls that encourage them to take their time while they eat. Additionally, you should refrain from feeding your puppy immediately after exercise as this can also contribute to hiccups due to their increased breathing rate and digestion needs.

Calm Irregular Breathing

It’s common for puppies to have irregular breathing after exercise. Unfortunately, irregular breathing will often lead to hiccups.

You can help calm irregular breathing by first assess the situation. If they’re panting heavily or seem to be having trouble catching their breath, it’s best to take them outside for some fresh air or into a room with a fan blowing cool air. Make sure that the environment is not too hot or humid.

If your pup is anxious, try soothing them by talking in low tones and rubbing their chest gently. Additionally, you can engage them in calming activities like going for a slow walk outdoors. Avoid strenuous exercise until they are back to normal breathing patterns.

Tummy Rubs

Believe it or not, tummy rubs are one of the best ways to help relieve hiccups.

  1. Begin by rubbing your puppy’s tummy in a gentle, circular motion. Start on the left side of their tummy and move your hand in a circular motion until you reach the right side.
  2. Continue to rub their tummy in a circular motion for 1-2 minutes.
  3. If your puppy’s hiccups persist, try gently massaging their tummy in an up and down motion for 1-2 minutes.
  4. You can also try lightly tapping your puppy’s back and sides while they are lying down. This can help to distract them from the hiccups.
  5. If your puppy’s hiccups are still not going away, try giving them a few sips of water. This can help to calm their stomach and relax their diaphragm, which can help to stop the hiccups.

Soft Food

Soft food can help relieve hiccups in puppies because it helps soothe the irritation in the esophagus that can cause hiccups. Soft food is also easier to swallow than harder food, which can prevent air from being trapped in the esophagus which can also cause hiccups.

Something Sweet and Sticky

Adding a spoonful of honey, maple syrup, or peanut butter to your puppy’s food or water can help to soothe and coat their throat, which can help to reduce or eliminate their hiccups.

This remedy has been used by pet owners for years, as it can be a simple and effective way to help your pup. Not only can it help alleviate their hiccups, but it can also provide them with a sweet treat that they will enjoy.

It’s important to keep in mind that this remedy should only be used occasionally, as too much of these sweeteners can be unhealthy for your pup.

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