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What to do if your dog is choking?

Updated on July 7, 2009

Dogs are lovable creatures. These energetic animals are well loved and considered to be important members of the family. In spite of the fact that dogs would at times show annoying and disconcerting habits dogs are loved just the same. This is why a pet owner would ensure the well being and the safety of the pet. However, no matter how you make sure that the dogs would remain healthy, they still get sick. Although you take necessary measures to keep the pet safe, accidents still happen. Choking is one of the unavoidable situations that can endanger the life of the pet.

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Choking in dogs

Apart from being energetic, dogs are voracious eaters. Some breeds are noted to keep their puppy-like playfulness even when they mature. Because of the tendency to wolf down the food and to gnaw at their toys, choking is more common in dogs than with any other animals. A rather large piece of food or a part of a toy may be swallowed accidentally by the pet causing it to get stuck in the throat. What can you do to help and to save the life of the pet?

The dog is conscious

Open the dog’s mouth and look for the object choking the dog. You may need to do a hand sweep if the dog would not cooperate. Hopefully you can see and remove the object easily. But if the object can not be seen, let the dog lie on its side with the hind quarters elevated. With one hand below the rib cage and the other hand on the dog’s back make a flowing motion pressing in and up. This motion is aimed to make the dog cough out the object. Continue the motion until the object blocking the throat is coughed out.

The dog is unconscious and has stopped breathing

Position the dog on its side. Make sure the dog is reclined with the hindquarters elevated. Pull out the tongue as far as you can to open the airways. With one hand at the back of the dog and the other hand on the lowest rib, quickly push up the abdomen to dislodge the object. You can also put your arm around the chest of the dog.  The dog’s head and shoulders should hang over the arm. Close the hand of the arm around the dog to form a fist. Bring the other hand to cover the fist and firmly thrust the lower tummy in and up. This is known as the Heimlich maneuver. The process must be repeated until the object blocking the throat is dislodged.

What to Do if Your Dog Is Choking

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Cattle dog choking on a bone


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