The Curious Case of Puppy Hiccups

Of Note: One of my earliest posts was on Michael Solomonov’s Zahav. Solomonov is now endorsing this company, Negev Nectars, which supports small Israeli farmers by giving them a market for their products. You can now purchase their desert-grown olive oils, honeys, fruits, soaps, spreads, and more. Check it out.

The Issue:

Sometimes, when you’re sitting in a freakishly quiet room “studying” [half-napping], you start to hear this [you might need to turn the sound up quite a bit]:

Poor guy. Grady does it so often and sometimes with such force that it’s scary. What is wrong with our dog?

Actually, absolutely nothing. Here are a few things that cause hiccups in puppies, and why you shouldn’t worry:

  • Fast eating and drinking: when dogs suck down food in ten seconds [please tell me Grady isn’t the only one that does this], they suck down a ton of air, too. This causes them to hiccup. Same with drinking water. Your vet may recommend a bowl like this that makes eating more of a challenge so they eat more slowly.
  • Excitement: Self-explanatory. Getting worked up irritates a baby’s diaphragm.
  • Growth: It’s pretty weird to think about, but obviously as a puppy grows, his insides do, too. All this stretching, especially of the diaphragm, causes hiccups.

So never fear, your puppy is alright. It’s only time to worry if:

  • They don’t outgrow it.
  • The hiccups are associated with vomiting.
  • The hiccups last for long periods of time (hours, days, etc).

Grady’s growth rate is rapid, and he gains about 2-4 pounds per week, increasing his chances of puppy hiccups. Our vet said not to be concerned, so we’re not, and if you notice them in your puppy, you shouldn’t be, either!


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Categories: Dog


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: Tumblr:


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