Do you know what to do if your dog is choking? As a dog owner, you may find yourself faced with emergency situations throughout your dog’s life. It’s important that you know how to handle these situations until you can get your pet veterinary help. Dog bones and pet toys can present dangers that you haven’t considered.
Dog First Aid When Your Dog is Choking
Here’s what to do if your dog is choking:
- Assess the Situation
The first step in dog first aid is to assess the situation. If your dog is unable to breathe, it will not be able to cough or make any noise. If your dog is able to cough, wait a few moments to see if it will expel the object that is obstructing its airway. If your dog doesn’t bring up the object, you will need to fish it out yourself.
- Open the Mouth of the Dog
The second step in dog first aid is to open your dog’s mouth and look inside. A flashlight will help you see down your dog’s throat. You may find it necessary to move your dog’s tongue out or to the side to see down its throat clearly.
- Remove the Object
If you can safely reach the object in your pet’s throat, gently pull it out with tweezers or pliers. Do not use your fingers; you risk pushing the object further into your dog’s airway. If you are unable to remove the object in a way that is safe for both you and your dog, do not attempt to do so.
- Deliver Sharp Blows
If you can’t remove the object with tweezers, lay your dog on its chest and deliver four to five sharp blows between your dog’s shoulder blades. If this doesn’t help, it’s time to move on to the Heimlich maneuver. The Heimlich is performed on pets in much the same way it is performed on humans.
- Deliver Breaths To the Dog
If you are able to remove the object from your dog’s airway and your dog is not breathing on its own, you need to breathe for your dog. Close your dog’s mouth and deliver a slow breath into its nose. Deliver a breath to your dog every two seconds for five cycles. If your dog does not begin to breathe, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) must be started.
Now you know what to do if your dog is choking, it is important to remember that never, at any time, you should neglect to phone your veterinarian. Phone the veterinarian before you begin trying to save your dog on your own. If at all possible, have someone drive you to the veterinarian so that you can follow the steps above on the way. Learn more about Recognizing Pain in Your Pet.