Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe: First Aid for Choking

A choking dog can be a truly scary thing. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your furry friend. Choking is one of the most common reasons why dogs need first aid, especially if they have eaten something that doesn't agree with them. In this article, we will provide you with some basic tips on how to keep your dog safe when dealing with choking incidents.

What to do if your dog is choking.

There are several things you can do if your dog is choking.

  • Perform a Heimlich maneuver on your dog. The Heimlich maneuver, also known as abdominal thrusts, is used to dislodge foreign objects from the throat or mouth of humans and animals alike. To perform this technique:
  • Stand behind your pet with one hand under its chest and the other over its abdomen (like in the picture above).
  • Lift upward with both hands until you feel resistance for about two seconds; then press inward with rapid thrusts until the object has been expelled from your airway or start breathing again

Choking can happen to any dog, regardless of age, breed, or health.

Choking can happen to any dog, regardless of age, breed, or health. Choking occurs when an object gets stuck in your dog's throat and blocks its ability to breathe. This can be caused by a variety of things including:

  • Food that has become lodged in their esophagus (food pipe) or stomach
  • Bones or other hard items they have chewed on
  • Toys that have broken apart into small pieces that are difficult for them to cough up

Choking is a common problem for dogs because they often swallow things whole without chewing first--especially if those things are tasty treats!

First Aid Tips for Choking Incidents

If your dog is choking, or if you suspect that they might be, follow these steps to help them:

  • If possible, have someone hold the dog while you perform the Heimlich Maneuver. For example, if you were alone and needed to perform this maneuver on yourself--which would be impossible--you could use furniture or other objects around the room as leverage points for pushing against.
  • Perform 5 quick upward thrusts with your fist at about waist level (or higher). If this doesn't work after 5 tries and there are no signs of improvement from performing these actions (such as coughing), call 911 immediately!

If you are certain your dog is choking, perform the Heimlich maneuver immediately. The steps to perform this on a dog are:

Preventing Choking in Dogs

If you have a dog, there are steps that you can take to prevent choking. Some of these include:

  • Keep your dog away from small objects that could become lodged in the throat.
  • Don't let your dog eat random objects.
  • Keep small children and dogs separated, especially when you're eating or drinking something.

One of the most important things for owners to remember is that all dogs are unique creatures with different personalities and eating habits, so it's important to be aware of what might be dangerous for yours! If your dog is an aggressive chewer, then don't let them chew on anything smaller than their mouth size (you may need some help measuring). You should also educate yourself on first aid techniques before an emergency situation arises so that if something does happen to go wrong during playtime outside, then both humans and animals know exactly what steps must be taken next."

How to Use a Heimlich Maneuver on a Dog

The Heimlich maneuver is a technique used to clear the airway of an individual who is choking. It can also be used on dogs, but it's important to remember that you should never attempt this without proper training.

You should only perform the Heimlich maneuver on your dog if he or she has swallowed something unsafe and needs immediate removal from his/her throat (e.g., food). If you're not sure whether your pet is choking or not, call your vet immediately and describe what you think happened so they can advise you accordingly.

Even if you act quickly and save your dog's life, the injury may still leave residual damage.

Even if you act quickly and save your dog's life, the injury may still leave residual damage. The dog may still have injuries from the choking incident, including:

  • Broken teeth or jawbone
  • Inflamed airway tissue (laryngitis)
  • Swelling in the throat region (trachea) or lungs (pneumonia)
  • Damage to the esophagus that causes difficulty swallowing food or water


  • Be prepared for unexpected events. Choking is one of those things that can happen at any time, so it's best to be prepared. If you are not sure what to do or if your pet is choking, call a vet or an animal hospital immediately. Do not panic and stay calm as this will help keep your dog safe while waiting for medical assistance.
  • Don't leave small items out that could cause choking hazards such as toys or bones! If you're unsure if a toy is safe for your pet, look up its toxicity rating before buying it--it's better not to take chances!


Choking is a serious and life-threatening emergency, which can be caused by many different things. If your dog is choking, you need to act quickly to save his or her life. The best way to do this is by performing the Heimlich maneuver on him or her.

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