How To Help A Choking Dog? What Causes Your Dog To Choke?

Choking is a frightening ordeal for both pet owners and their furry companions alike. The good news is, there are steps that you can take to help a dog when they start choking -but it’s important to stay composed and act quickly. In this blog post, we’ll provide an overview of how to help a choking dog and the possible causes behind this serious situation. From knowing what signs indicate choking in dogs to providing first aid treatment, we will equip you with the essential tools needed for aiding a struggling pup.

How To Help A Choking Dog?

How To Tell If Your Dog Is Choking?

When a dog is choking, they may display various signs that pet owners should pay attention to. The most common tell-tale signs of choking in dogs include:

– Coughing or gagging

– Retching and trying to vomit with no success

– Difficulty breathing/breathing with open mouth

– Swelling around the neck

– Pawing at the mouth/face

– Blue or pale gums

If your pup is displaying any of these signs, it’s important to take action quickly. Now let’s go through how to help a choking dog in the event of an emergency.

What Causes Your Dog To Choke?

Before we provide an overview of the steps to take for helping a choking dog, it’s important to know what can cause this affliction in the first place. Dogs commonly choke from eating too quickly or ingesting objects such as toys, bones, and household items that are small enough to lodge in their throats. Other causes include gag reflexes due to foreign bodies, tumors, or abscesses that can cause the throat to close up.

When Is Coughing Actually Choking In Dog?

It can be difficult to differentiate between coughing and choking. Coughing is the body’s way of clearing out any irritants or foreign objects from the airway and throat, but if your pup is struggling to clear their throat, then it may be a sign that they are choking. To help determine whether your pup is choking or not, pay attention to the frequency and difficulty of their breathing. If your pup is having a hard time taking in air, it may be because an object is blocking their airway.

When Is Coughing Actually Choking In Dog?

How To Help A Choking Dog?

If you observe any of the choking signs listed above, it’s time to take action. Here are a few steps on how to help a choking dog:

Step 1: Gently Restrain Your Dog To Prevent Being Bitten

The first step in how to help a choking dog is to gently restrain them. If your pup is too panicked, they may become aggressive and bite you, so it’s important to secure them before proceeding with the next steps.

Step 2: Open Their Mouth Widely And Do A Finger Sweep

Second, you should open your pup’s mouth wide and do a finger sweep to see if any objects can be dislodged. If so, carefully remove the object with your fingers or tweezers.

Step 3: Heimlich Maneuver

If you can’t remove the object, then you can try a Heimlich maneuver. To do this, place your arms around your pup’s abdomen and make quick upward thrusts to force air out of their lungs.

Step 4: If Your Dog Doesn’t Resume Breathing, Perform CPR

If your pup is still gasping for air or completely losing consciousness, you will need to perform CPR. Lay your dog on their right side and check their mouth for any obstructions before doing chest compressions with your palms. Then tilt the head back slightly and give two breaths while closing the mouth with your hand. Repeat these steps until your pup starts to breathe again.

Step 5: Take Your Dog To The Vet

Finally, it’s important to take your pup for a follow-up vet visit after such a serious incident. This will ensure that any potential damage from the choking is assessed and treated accordingly.

Let’s watching this video to know more about how to help a choking dog.

What If Your Dog Chokes On “Nothing”?

In some cases, your pup may still be choking without there being any obvious object blocking their airway. This can happen due to a foreign body that has yet to cause an obstruction or an underlying medical condition such as laryngeal paralysis. In this case, you should take your pup to the vet immediately for further assessment and possible treatment.

What To Do Once Your Dog Stops Choking?

Once your pup is able to breathe again, you may still want to observe them for a few days. Watch out for any signs of respiratory distress such as coughing, difficulty breathing, or lethargy. If your pup seems unwell after the incident, take them to the vet right away for further assessment and treatment.

Did First Aid For A Choking Dog But It Didn’t Work?

If the steps provided in this blog post are not working and your pup still shows signs of choking, then it is best to get professional help. Take them to the nearest pet hospital or call your vet for emergency assistance.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Choking Again In The Future?

Now you know that how to help a choking dog. The best way to prevent your pup from choking in the future is by supervising them when they are eating. Always make sure that their food is cut into small pieces and that their toys are of appropriate size for their breed. You can also use slow feeders or raised bowls to prevent your pup from gulping down their meal too quickly.

First Aid Method For Choking Dogs: Heimlich Maneuver

The Heimlich maneuver is a quick and effective way to solve the problem how to help a choking dog. When done correctly, it can potentially clear their airway obstruction and save their life. Even though this method may seem intimidating at first, learning how to do it properly is the key for helping your pup in an emergency situation.

Heimlich Maneuver For Smaller Dogs

If you have a smaller dog, the Heimlich maneuver can be done differently. Instead of wrapping your arms around their abdomen, you should kneel behind them and wrap one arm under their body while using the other hand to make quick upward thrusts on the chest.

Heimlich Maneuver For Medium And Large Dogs

For medium and large dogs, you should stand behind your pup and wrap your arms around their abdomen. Make sure to be careful of the ribcage when carrying out the thrusts.

First Aid Method For Choking Dogs: Heimlich Maneuver

Conclusion: How To Help A Choking Dog?

Choking is a life-threatening emergency for dogs, so it’s important to know how to help a choking dog. By being aware of the causes and signs of choking as well as following the steps provided in this blog post, you can help your pup in an emergency situation. Remember that prevention is key; always supervise your dog when they are eating and use slow feeders or raised bowls to help them eat slowly. It’s also a good idea to get familiar with the Heimlich maneuver and practice it on a regular basis. Last but not least, always take your pup to the vet for a follow-up visit after a choking incident. Thank you for reading at

See also: what do flea bites look like on a dog

FAQs: Help A Choking Dog

Will rubbing a dogs throat help with choking?

If you suspect your furry companion is choking, there’s a simple strategy that could help. Offer your pup a treat, stroke their throat gently, or pinch their nostrils together. If they take the treat, that’s a good sign they’re not choking. Once they swallow, if the choking sound subsides, they’re likely in the clear. Keep this handy tip in mind to help keep your pooch safe and healthy.

Can dogs still breathe while choking?

Ensuring that your pet can breathe during a choking episode is crucial. To begin assessing the situation, first distinguish between choking and other symptoms. Although coughing and gagging can mimic choking, it is important to restrain your pet and accurately identify the issue. If your pet is coughing or gagging, they can still breathe, so you must observe their breathing patterns.

How can I tell if my dog has something stuck in his throat?

Recognize These Symptoms of Throat Obstruction:

  • Repeated swallowing or gulping
  • Gagging, retching, coughing
  • Unsuccessful vomiting
  • Decreased appetite and thirst
  • Lip smacking/licking
  • Drooling (blood possible)
  • Pawing at the face or mouth

Does patting a dog on the back help choking?

It is not recommended to perform back slaps on dogs due to the close proximity of their shoulder blades. Instead, we suggest a technique called coupage, where you create a cup-shaped form with your hand to allow air to pass between your hand and the dog. Using a firm pressure, you proceed to stroke the dog’s ribs while performing coupage. The goal is to dislodge any obstructions in the dog’s throat.

How do you know if dog is OK after choking?

If you suspect your dog is choking, it is crucial to act promptly and assess their condition. Observe if they are coughing and breathing normally; if so, they may have already dislodged the item, or it may not be causing a choking hazard. However, if your dog exhibits difficulty breathing, it is vital to dislodge the item from their airway promptly. Recognizing the signs of choking and taking immediate action can save your dog’s life.

How do dogs act after choking?

Discovering the Signs of Canine Choking Response: Pawing at the mouth, face rubbing against the ground, gagging or retching, and excessive drooling.

What do dogs choke on most?

Did you know that certain human foods, table scraps, bones (cooked or raw), gristle, and fat can put your furry friend at risk for choking? Keep your dog safe and healthy by reading our expert tips on avoiding these common hazards.

Is choking rare in dogs?

Canine choking is a frequent dilemma among our beloved furry friends – but preparation and knowledge on appropriate response can make all the difference in a dog’s full recovery. Gain a deeper understanding on how to assist your pet in a choking situation, and feel equipped to remain level-headed in the face of an emergency.

How long does it take for a dog to recover from choking?

Discovering how long it takes for a dog to recover from choking is vital for their well-being. It’s essential to keep in mind that trauma to the mouth or throat may take days to heal, and it may be uncomfortable or even painful for them to eat ordinary food. Softening their diet by blending it with warm water may help, and your veterinarian may prescribe pain medication to assist in the recovery process.

Is my dog coughing or Choking?

As a pet owner, it’s essential to know the difference between your dog coughing and choking. At times, the symptoms may seem quite similar, but distinguishing between the two is crucial for your dog’s health and safety. When choking, your dog will struggle to inhale, whereas coughing will produce a nearly normal intake of air. Attempting first aid on a coughing canine can be hazardous, making it imperative to identify the issue correctly to provide appropriate assistance.

How easily can dogs choke?

Choking is a real danger for dogs, similar to humans, especially when they eat too fast. A choking incident can be fatal. It’s critical to monitor what your furry companion consumes to avoid such incidents. Take caution and keep your pup safe.

Which items pose the highest risk of choking for dogs?

Listed below are the top 10 culprits:
Balls, Rawhide Bones, Cooked Bones, Raw Bones, Bully Sticks, Sticks, Stones, Plastic Wrap, Kids Toys and Gristle.

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