In addition to that typical puppy breath smell, hiccups can be a cute puppy-age phenomenon. If a glum-looking puppy gets hiccups between eating and sleeping, it’s usually short-lived and cute too. It is less common in adult dogs, but older dogs also occasionally have hiccups.
A hiccup attack in dogs is broadly the same as with us humans: after a few minutes the hiccups are over and soon after that it is already forgotten. But when is hiccups in dogs a cause for concern? What if your dog or puppy has hiccups very often? Read more about the causes (and solutions) of hiccups in dogs.
Why do dogs get hiccups?
Just like humans, dogs also get hiccups when the diaphragm is irritated. Unlike normal, smooth breathing, it contracts and then relaxes in a brief, involuntary spasm.
The most common cause of hiccups in puppies and dogs is eating or drinking too fast, so that the puppy or dog also ingests air together with food or water.
Excitement and even stress can also cause hiccups in dogs. That’s true for dogs of all ages, but it’s a less common response to stress than mouth licking or yawning.
Puppies and the hiccups
But what about puppies? Why do puppies seem to get hiccups much more often than adult and older dogs?
There are several explanations for this in the world of veterinary medicine. In addition to the fast eating and drinking that puppies often do, energetic play is also thought to be a major cause of hiccups in puppies.
This is because the rapid breathing of a busy playing dog can trigger hiccups. Hyperactive puppies that are constantly running and jumping are therefore more likely to get hiccups than calm puppies or older dogs.
What to do if your dog has hiccups
In the vast majority of cases, hiccups in dogs and puppies are not a cause for concern. We would even go so far as to say that it makes them really cute.