6 Steps to Help a Choking Dog

One of the scariest things to happen is to have your dog choke in front of you. Unfortunately I have known several families who have had their dog suffocate to death. One family had a boxer who they were feeding popcorn too during family movie time, a kernel got stuck in the dogs throat and he choked to death. I had two close with Ginny too, the once coming home from school we found her hard ball in a pile of vomit and slime, the next somehow she got a hold of a pin cushion and decided to bite down on it like a chew toy.

In emergencies like that there is no time to look up the name of the closest emergency vet, knowing how to help a dog that is choking will save their life.

  1. Open your dog´s mouth; be sure to roll the fleshy part of his muzzle over his canine teeth-your dog will put pressure on his own skin if he bites down so he will be unlikely to close his mouth.
  2.  With larger powerful jaw breed dogs (Presa canario, Mastiffs, Rottweilers, etc..) this may be very hard to do if your dog is not used to this. Make sure when they are a puppy you play with their jowls so as they get older if something like this happens you can help.
  3. If there is someone else with you, have them shine a light down into the dog’s mouth.
  4. If you can see the object lodged in the throat, reach in and pull it out. BUT if you cannot see it, DO NOT reach in, you will likely push it down ever deeper. Hold your dog up by the abdomen to help him spit up the object.

    How to save a choking dogs life

  5. After shining the light in to your dog’s mouth and cannot see the object. Move around to his back, place your hands underneath his belly and lift him up leaving his front paws on the ground. This position helps the dog try and spit the object up them self.
  6. If the dog still is choking, move your hands up from their belly to their solar plexus (where the abdomen stops and ribcage starts). Clasp your hands into a fist and push up with force three times. If nothing happens repeat three more times. This forces the dog to cough, which should dislodge the object saving your dogs life.

Reaching in to your dog’s mouth you will get dog drool all over your hand and arm, if that grosses you out you have to think what is more important. Getting dog drool on your arm which will wash off, or saving your dogs life. I have seen many articles that say stick pliers or some form of tweezers down into your dog’s mouth. If they jerk their head while you are shoving a foreign objects down into their throat you will likely end up cutting his mouth or puncturing their larynx.

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