Can Dogs Get Hiccups When Sleeping? Yes, Here Are 5 Reasons Why…

Can Dogs Get Hiccups When Sleeping? Yes, Here Are 5 Reasons Why…

There’s nothing better than watching your calm, sleeping puppy until the hiccups start. When you’re not used to a new pet, seeing your dog spasmodically breathing might seem like something’s wrong with them. They may seem as though they are struggling to breathe or even trembling.  But should you be worried? Or is this normal?

If you were wondering, “Can dogs get hiccups when sleeping?”, then you have landed on the right page! This article will explore why dogs hiccup in their sleep and when should you visit the vet.

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So, Can Dogs Get Hiccups When Sleeping?

Yes, they can. It is as normal for your puppy as it is for you. Hiccups are simply caused by spasms in the diaphragm. Your dog can make hiccup noises while sleeping if the diaphragm involuntarily contracts. They are more likely to get these bouts during REM sleep when the body is more relaxed.

Sleeping hiccups tend to be more common in puppies. Younger dogs have higher energy levels, which makes them more likely to have a muscle spasm in the diaphragm. And when your little dog is sleeping after a long day of playing, their body may still be trying to catch up with itself. This causes those little hiccups in their sleep.

Now that you know that hiccups are caused by muscle spasms, let’s talk about what causes these spasms when your pup is asleep.

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Why Do Dogs Get Hiccups When Sleeping?

Dogs hiccup in their sleep for multiple reasons. Whether they have eaten a big meal right before their bedtime or have been playing all day, it tends to stimulate the diaphragm muscles. This then causes bouts of hiccups.

Here are 5 reasons why dogs get hiccups when sleeping:

  1. We all know that our pets eat whatever they can get their paws on. This often means that they eat things that are not good for their sensitive stomach. Eating foods that cause an upset stomach can lead to an abnormal build-up of gas. This is especially true if your dog eats right before bed. And that gas presses against the diaphragm causing bouts of hiccups.
  2. In some cases, hiccups could mean your dog isn’t getting enough air while sleeping. This should not be much of a concern but if it continues, consult with your vet immediately.
  3. Another main reason your dog hiccups in their sleep is for relief. Your dog might be overstimulated by too much activity during the day, so they tend to relieve their energy and fatigue through bouts of hiccups.
  4. Your dog may also be hiccupping when sleeping because they are nervous and experiencing an anxiety attack. But this is rarely the case. Most of the time your dog’s hiccups aren’t serious.
  5. Dogs dream about their day while they sleep, which can cause irregular breathing patterns. Dogs have rapid eye movement (REM) sleep just like humans do. This is the stage when they dream, and it also causes them to breathe more heavily and physically move around. This can irritate the diaphragm muscles and cause hiccups.


Dogs can get hiccups when sleeping and there are multiple reasons behind it. Generally, if your dog hiccups while sleeping it’s harmless. These bouts will come and go for a while, but eventually, your puppy will outgrow them. Usually, the main causes of hiccups while sleeping really depends on the individual dog. Often these spasmodic breaths can happen at random times and aren’t as serious as we think.

 Thank you for reading the article.

To explore more, read our other hiccup-related dog articles that you might be interested in.

Have you ever noticed your dog hiccuping when they’re asleep? What do you do when they have irregular breaths? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community by leaving a comment below!

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