How to Respond When Your Dog Chokes?

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Choking is a terrifying experience, and dogs, being inquisitive animals, chew on everything and anything. And, occasionally something goes down the wrong drain.

Signs of Choking

If your dog is choking, you will notice that it is very distressed and tries to remove the obstruction by pawing at it. This isn't dog sneezing or kennel cough.

Signs of Choking

If your dog begins to suffocate, he will cough out of instinct. Your dog may attempt to vomit to expel whatever is impeding his breathing. You would benefit from acting quickly.

What to do?

If dogs are choking, they will likely try to resist and may even bite if not restrained. Proceed with caution and perhaps ask someone to assist you in holding them.

1) Use extreme caution when using scissors to remove anything from around your neck, as doing so could result in pain.

2) To see if there are any objects in the dog's throat that can be seen, open the dog's mouth and keep it open while pulling the tongue forward.

3) Use a big pair of tweezers to pick up or break anything you can see. If you can see the object and it's near the front of their mouth, use your finger to sweep it out.


Never press on an object at the back of the neck. If you don't see anything, don't stick your fingers down there because you may injure the back of the throat.

The Heimlich Maneuver

When your dog is standing, wrap your arms under his rib cage to perform the modified Heimlich for dogs. After two to five quick squeezes, try again with more force.

Turn a dog under 40 pounds on its side, place one hand on its back and the other behind the lowest rib, and push up into the abdomen quickly.

Call Your Vet?

Still in trouble, call your vet. They may give you dog-specific advice. Your vet can check for cuts and treat them if necessary.

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