Updated by Sheryl on Sep 10, 2021
What should you do when a dog is choking? When a dog is choking, first confirm that an object is stuck in its throat. For this purpose, carefully open its mouth and examine. If any object is lodged in the throat, use your hand, plier, or a tweezer to remove it. If you fail, perform Heimlich Maneuver. If it doesn’t work, immediately rush to vet emergency centers.
In this article, you’ll learn the causes, signs, treatment, and prevention of a dog’s choking. Accidently, if your dog chokes, you will be its lifeline; you need to act instantly to save your dog’s life. So, read this post till the end and discover the life-saving methods for your fido.
Dog choking is a life-threatening emergency. In an extremely serious situation, you even don’t have enough time to contact a vet. In this case, you should administer first aid yourself.
Read on these steps to learn what to do if your dog is choking.
Mostly choking signs are similar to dogs dealing with breathing issues and other illnesses. So it is important to distinguish whether your pup has something lodged in its throat or it’s just coughing or vomiting. A few signs will help you distinguish a blocked air passage or normal coughing. The signs of a choking dog include:
If your dog is just coughing but breathing well, it might be out of danger. It mostly happens when a dog chokes on food. In such cases, it will expel the obstruction on its own by coughing.
You can determine if your dog is actually choking by offering him a treat. Gently rub its throat, pinch its nostrils and give a treat. If it swallows the treat, it means it is not choking. But if your four-legged choking champ is gasping, wheezing, and unable to catch up the breath, it is a medical emergency, and it needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Carefully open your dog’s mouth by squeezing its upper lip inwards. Open the mouth further by applying downward pressure on the jaw point. Use a flashlight to see clearly.
If you notice a piece of bone, carefully use a pair of clean tweezers or a plier to remove it. Make sure not to push the object further back.
Restrain larger dogs before you attempt to open their mouth. You can be at risk of being bitten. So, if your dog attempts to bite you, don’t try this method. Take it straight to the vet clinic. For small to medium dogs, try to loosen the object by shaking your dog while holding it upside down.
Check if you can manually remove the obstruction by hand or a tweezer. If you cannot remove the object, try to perform the Heimlich maneuver as first aid since you have only a few minutes between life and death.
As first aid, try Heimlich Maneuver. For this, wrap your hands around the abdomen of your standing dog and make a firm fist. Place the fists on the soft spot under the ribcage. Use thrusting motion by gently pushing upwards and forwards. Instantly check your fido’s mouth for the dislodged object.
If your dog is in the laydown position, place one hand at its back and the other hand on the abdomen to give inward and outward thrust. Avoid using too much force since it can break the ribcage bones.
You should keep in contact with your vet on a call from the time when your dog shows choking signs. However, if your dog has lost consciousness and fails to recover the stuck object, try to reach the 24 hours pet emergency service as soon as possible.
When a foreign object gets stuck in your dog’s mouth or throat and blocks the air passage, it may cause a dog’s choking. It can also occur if something tightly wraps around the neck of your pet.
Here are a few causes of dog’s causes for why do dogs choke:
For preventing dog choking in the future, you should follow these preventive measures.
Dog choking is an emergency and life-threatening situation for your pet. Being a pet parent, you should learn how to give first aid in such serious situations. Therefore, it is vital to get CPR training and Heimlich Maneuver training on your dogs in an emergency. Moreover, take precautionary measures to avoid such happenings in the future.