Why Does My Shih Tzu Puppy Get Hiccups?

why does my shih tzu puppy get hiccups - shih tzu puppy playing outside
Depositphotos ID: 51259815 Copyright: Patryk_Kosmider

As normal as hiccups are, they can be worrisome. So, it’s normal for you to wonder why your puppy gets hiccups and whether you should be worried. You’ve probably wondered about your own hiccups in the past. If your puppy has ever had hiccups, and it got you worrying why does my Shih Tzu puppy get hiccups, let’s find out the reasons together.

Main Causes of Hiccups in Shih Tzu Puppies

Generally, hiccups, both in humans and dogs, occur when the muscles of the diaphragm contract in spasms. If you have older dogs and puppies, you would notice that the puppies get more hiccups than the older dogs.

According to experts from American Kennel Club, hiccups are much more common in puppies than older dogs. Below are some of the causes of that contraction in puppies and what you can do about it.

Eating Too Fast

This is a common cause of hiccups for Shih Tzu puppies, just like other canines. Humans also get hiccups from eating too fast.

When your puppy eats too fast, the air gets ingested along with the food. The air that goes in with the food is removed with hiccups.

So, if your puppy gets hiccups when eating, it may simply be because of the fast rate of eating. The diaphragm becomes irritated and contracts. This contraction is the hiccups that the puppy gets. 

A simple remedy for a puppy getting hiccups from eating too fast is to reduce the rate of eating. You may need to reduce the portion of food to slow down the speed of eating.

You could get a slow feeder dog bowl like the Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl which is designed for achieving the slow feeding of puppies.

My Truman (you can learn more about Truman here) would eat really fast when he was a puppy. In fact, he wouldn’t even chew the food. He would swallow it whole. He still does that today.

However, when he was a puppy, he would get the hiccups a lot after eating. He would even on occasion throw the undigested food back up. Once he because an adult, the hiccups stopped even though he never slowed down his eating speed.


When a Shih Tzu puppy gets hiccups, it may be due to stress. Your puppy can react in different ways to stress. Yawning and lip licking are some of the common reactions of puppies to stress.

A not-so-common reaction is hiccupping. Hiccups can be produced as a form of stress relief and management.

Since different factors contribute to stress, you do what you can to find what is stressing out your Shih Tzu and remove the stressor. Taking your pup on a walk can help to relieve stress as well as the accompanying hiccups.

A massage could also help.

You might also enjoy:

Why Does My Shih Tzu Keep Sneezing?

Why Does My Shih Tzu Follow Me Everywhere?

Why Does My Shih Tzu Sleep on My Feet?

Why Do Shih Tzus Lick So Much?

Why Do Shih Tzus Snore?

Drinking Too Fast

Drinking too fast as a cause of hiccups is similar to eating too fast. When your pup drinks too fast, they can ingest air.

The air goes on to cause the irritation of the diaphragm. The irritated diaphragm contracts and hiccups are produced.

If drinking too fast causes hiccups for your pup, you should adopt measures to help reduce the drinking rate. Encourage your pup to drink more slowly to reduce the hiccups. You might try a water bottle water system instead of a bowl. This is also good as your Shih Tzu doesn’t get their whole face wet when drinking.

The LEXPON Pet Drinking Fountain Bottle Water Dispenser is a great option and will keep your Shih Tzu puppy from drinking too quickly.

shih tzu puppy laying on its back
Depositphotos ID: 166626586 Copyright: cynoclub

Being Tired

Hiccups could simply be an indication that your puppy is tired. Puppies are especially energetic and can wear themselves out. When puppies wear themselves out and are tired, they can get hiccups.

So, if the hiccups your puppy gets are during periods of play or exercise, you probably have little to worry about. If you notice that the hiccups are associated with tiredness, you will want to have your little Shih Tzu take a time out.

Shih Tzus don’t need a lot of exercise, to begin with, and tire easily. A few minutes of running around and playing is about all they can handle at one time.

You should also see a vet if you suspect that your pup gets exerted too easily. An underlying condition may trigger the tiredness. A parasitic infection, for example, could cause sudden tiredness.

Being Cold

Cold can also cause hiccups in Shih Tzu puppies. The cold-causing hiccups in puppies could be related to the associated change in breathing.

Your pup may be getting hiccups simply because they are cold. Be sure to rule out cold when investigating the cause of hiccups. 


When you Shih Tzu puppies are excited, they can get hiccups as well. In this case, the hiccups are related to the altered breathing pattern.

Your puppy can be overly excited for numerous reasons. Seeing their favorite person, for example, can cause overexcitement. General energetic play, which puppies are known for, can also cause hiccups.

Because excitement is directly related to hiccups, the general energy level of your pup could influence their chances of getting hiccups. According to experts, hyperactive dogs get more hiccups than dogs that are not very active.

Thus, you could expect more hiccups if your pup has a high energy level. You should also learn to engage in activities that stabilize breathing if you have a hyperactive pup.

Simple breathing exercises and massages will come in handy.

shih tzu puppies sitting on a small blue sofa
Depositphotos ID: 13920663 Copyright: willeecole

What to Do When Your Shih Tzu Puppy Has Hiccups

After identifying the triggers of your Shih Tzu puppy, you should eliminate or reduce them. You can also apply general measures for relieving hiccups.

Common natural remedies for hiccups in puppies are syrups such as maple syrup and Karo syrup. Give your pup a spoonful of any of these syrups to soothe the irritation. Honey plays a similar role in helping to stabilize breathing.

You could also give your puppy a soothing chest massage. The massage will help in stabilizing the breathing pattern.

As much as hiccups are regular for puppies, they could also mean trouble. Hiccups can interrupt the flow of air. Your puppy getting hiccups may also be an indication of underlying conditions. Hiccups may also be produced due to gastrointestinal conditions.

If your puppy gets very regular hiccups, you should see a vet. Seeing a vet will rule out underlying conditions that could threaten your puppy’s health. Yes, hiccups can be regular and mean nothing. They could also be an indication that all is not well, especially when it is regular.

Hiccups associated with wheezing sounds should be checked by a vet.

Related questions:

Are Puppy Hiccups Normal?

Puppies get hiccups more frequently than older dogs. Puppy hiccups are also very normal, caused by common occurrences. However, puppy hiccups could also be due to underlying conditions.

When hiccups last for long periods or cause unusual discomfort, they are abnormal. Puppies with such hiccups should be checked by a vet.

Can Dogs Get Hiccups?

Yes, dogs get hiccups. Just like humans, spasms of the diaphragm of dogs occur and they get hiccups. The causes of the spasms of the diagram are similar in dogs and humans.

How do I Get My Shih Tzu Puppy to Calm Down?

Your Shih Tzu puppy could be hyperactive because they are bored or overly excited. A stroll would help if it is the latter. If it is the former, you would have to provide a solution to the boredom.

Consider getting your Shih Tzu puppy a JESTOP Dog Chew Toys with Bell, Suction Cup, and Teething Rope Toys for Small Dogs.

To Sum it All Up:

Shih Tzu puppies get hiccups as a result of activities such as eating or drinking too fast. Hiccups may also be a sign of tiredness in Shih Tzu puppies. Overexcitement can also cause hiccups.

Although hiccups in Shin Tzu puppies are quite normal, they can be a sign of trouble. You should visit a vet if the hiccups last for a longer period of time or cause serious discomfort.


Please Note:

This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Shih Tzu’s behavior. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.

why does my shih tzu hide under the bed - shih tzu lying in a window sill

Why Does My Shih Tzu Hide Under the Bed?

why is my shih tzu walking sideways - cute small shih tzu with pink bow

Why is My Shih Tzu Walking Sideways?