What to Do if Your Dog is Choking

Most dogs will chew anything, including bones, toys, shoes, and socks. But if your dog choked on something that became stuck in its throat or windpipe, would you know what to do? It is critical that you act right away since if you wait, the dog could suffocate.


Dog Choking Warning Signs

A dog will frequently become anxious if he is choking. A dog may paw at his mouth if something is stuck there, but this does not always indicate that the animal is choking. Unresponsive or unconscious dogs are another potential choking warning sign; in these situations, you should look for foreign objects in the throat and mouth. Although coughing can be an indication of choking, tracheal inflammation from kennel cough is more likely to be the cause.


Principal Cause

Almost any little object can cause choking, but the most frequent culprits are chew toys, stiff rubber balls, and sticks that have been bloated from moisture.


Immediately Provide Care

Be extremely cautious when assisting a dog who is choking since even normally calm animals become frightened when they cannot breathe. Restrain the dog for your own safety; do not muzzle it, and follow these steps:

  • With one hand on the top jaw and the other on the lower, open the dog’s mouth using both hands.
  • When you have the dog’s jaws in your hands, place your fingers between the teeth and the dog’s lips. Use every safety measure because any dog could bite.
  • Look into the mouth, then use your fingers to clear the obstruction. To check for any obstructions, run your finger along the back of the mouth. *Avoid attempting to remove any bones that are buried deep down the dog’s throat. You must take your dog to the vet right away to have the object carefully removed while he is anesthetized.
  • Call your vet or the emergency clinic as soon as you can if you can see the object but cannot move it with your fingers.


Heimlich Maneuver

These instructions should be followed if the dog is unconscious and is still choking or if you cannot see anything in the dog’s mouth.


Small Dog Heimlich Maneuver

Put pressure on the abdomen right below the ribs while your dog is lying carefully on his back.


Large Dog Heimlich Maneuver

Avoid attempting to pick up a big dog since the size of the animal makes it more probable that you may cause more harm. Instead, execute the dog Heimlich maneuver:

  • Put your arms over the dog’s tummy and combine your hands if she is standing. Just behind the rib cage, forcefully push up and forward while making a fist. After that, turn the dog on his side.
  • Place one hand on the dog’s back for support if he is lying on his side, and then use the other to squeeze the abdomen up and forward toward the spine.
  • Using the above-mentioned safety measures, inspect the dog’s mouth for any potential foreign objects and remove them.

It is important to keep in mind that the object may be located far back toward the throat, so you may need to search for it and hook it out with your index finger. Seek quick veterinarian care if the dog needed artificial respiration or CPR.


Animal Welfare

The likelihood of harm from objects in the neck is high. After the issue is managed, the dog might need to be admitted to the hospital depending on how long it was without oxygen and how much damage the throat sustained.

A bronchoscopy, in which a tiny camera is placed into the windpipe to view and remove the foreign body, may occasionally be advised to evaluate the damage. To make sure the object is totally removed, X-rays could be advised.

The symptoms of choking might occasionally mirror respiratory difficulty brought on by foreign bodies trapped in the esophagus, such as bones.



Treating your dog as you would a young kid will help to prevent choking. Even though you can hardly ever stop them from putting items in their mouths, you should always be around and watch what they are chewing. Avoid giving your pet damp or bloated chew toys or sticks and break up large pieces of food. T-bones should also not be fed to dogs as they are known to induce choking.

Do not ever offer your dog a bone that fits entirely in his mouth. Bones that have been cooked pose a serious threat because they may bend, be swallowed, and then take on a shape that would block or harm them. Once your dog can eat them, remove all bones, and chew toys, including rawhide. If an object fits in their mouth, many dogs may attempt to swallow it.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.