Why Does My Puppy Have the Hiccups?


Does your puppy have the hiccups? Is this normal? Should you be worried about a puppy with hiccups, or is it okay to just let their hiccups run their course like you would for an older dog?

As a new puppy owner, it’s normal to get anxious and concerned about a variety of habits and behaviors in your pet. However, the good news is that hiccups are one situation that is almost always nothing to worry about. If your puppy is having hiccups frequently, you likely don’t have to be concerned, but take a look at the list below to find out more.

puppy hiccups

Main Reasons Why Your Puppy Has the Hiccups

Listed below are the main reasons:

Being a Puppy

The first and most common cause of hiccups in puppies is simply being a puppy! Many puppies experience hiccups, and this is perfectly normal. If your puppy doesn’t show any other signs of distress or pain, and if the hiccups subside within 15 minutes or so, then you can probably chalk this up to “growing pains” in your pet.

Some puppies may seem alarmed by their own hiccups, so it’s important to monitor closely. By learning how to recognize the difference between a puppy who is startled over their hiccups and one who is distressed, you can provide better care for your young pet.

Ingesting Air during Active Play

Puppies are very active and move around a lot more than older dogs. They are still learning how to play properly at this age, so they are prone to ingesting a lot more air than they should when running, jumping, and enjoying their playtime.

Additionally, puppies often ingest too much air when chewing on their favorite toys, too. All of this is normal, but it can all contribute to hiccups. Encourage your puppy to take short breaks during playtime or chewing time, so they can calm themselves down and breathe more steadily again.

Ingesting Air during Mealtimes

Just like playtime, mealtime is another chance for puppies to showcase their vigorous puppy spirit and end up swallowing too much air in the process. This is also very normal! Puppies are still learning how to eat food the right way, so they are bound to make a few harmless mistakes now and then.

If your puppy’s hiccups occur frequently after a meal, this is probably not a cause for concern. Just monitor your puppy closely and be ready to go to the veterinarian if they shows signs of other abdominal or digestive issues. Be sure you’re feeding them the appropriate amount of food for their age and weight, too.

Tired Hiccups

You may be surprised to learn that some puppies get the hiccups more often from being tired than others do. In fact, “tired hiccups” are very common in young puppies, especially those that are six months of age and younger. If your puppy’s hiccups strike when it’s close to naptime, or even when they are sound asleep, then these could be the type they are experiencing.

Almost all dogs will grow out of tired hiccups by the time they reach canine adulthood. If your dog continues to have frequent hiccups at naptime even after reaching their first birthday milestone, you may want to bring this up with your veterinarian.

Excitement Hiccups

Excitement hiccups are very similar to tired hiccups. Puppies who become overexcited may respond by panting a lot, ingesting too much air, and giving themselves hiccups once again. And just like tired hiccups, this type of hiccup goes away quickly and isn’t a reason to worry.

Some dogs will continue to have excitement hiccups throughout their lives. This is safe, too; you don’t have to rush your older dog off to the vet just because they are getting hiccups when they are excited about something. Just monitor her closely and continue as normal.

Anxiety Hiccups

It is also possible that your puppy’s hiccups could be associated with anxiety. Although less likely than other causes on this list, some puppies do experience more frequent hiccups because of anxiety than for other reasons.

If your puppy is showing early signs of anxiety, it’s important to ease them carefully into a variety of situations. This way, they will be more exposed to different scenarios and will be less likely to panic or become fearful when trying something new.

Other Causes

Although hiccups can be common and normal in most puppies, it is important to know that some puppies can experience hiccups as a sign that something is not right. Sometimes, puppies are born with a defect known as megaesophagus in which their esophagus is more dilated than normal. Some breeds, such as Miniature Schnauzers and German Shepherds, can be more predisposed than others, Puppies that are born with this defect can show symptoms such as hiccups and regurgitation.  Also, hiccups can be a sign of irritation in your puppy’s stomach. If you have any concerns, you should consult with your puppy’s veterinarian.

Puppy Hiccups are Very Common

As you can see, hiccups are typically just a normal part of puppyhood. If your puppy has frequent hiccups, chances are they will grow out of them by the time they reaches about one year of age. If they do not, or if their hiccups are associated with noticeable other digestive issues, then you may want to talk to your vet.

For more information or if you would like to speak to a veterinarian, contact Orlando Vets by calling one of our locations. We want the best for your four-legged best friend and will be here every step of the way!

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