Know What To Do If Your Dog Is Choking

A dog lying on the street with his head down

If you have a Service Dog or Emotional Support Dog, you might feel like your dog is saving your life on a regular basis, but do you know what to do if they are having a choking emergency?

When your dog is off duty, they might break off a piece of a toy or grab a bite of something off the street that can get stuck in their throat. If your dog starts choking, observe them closely. They may try to run from you because their natural instinct will be to run from the danger. If there is an audible cough, there is a partial blockage and they may be able to cough the item up. If there is no sound take immediate intervention.

First open their mouth with both hands, one on the upper jaw, one on the lower. Pull their tongue and try to remove the blockage with your fingers. If you cannot see the object, begin the Heimlich maneuver in the next steps.

If Your Dog Is Choking, Follow The Heimlich Maneuver for Dogs

Stand behind your dog with your legs on either side.

Place your arms around the abdomen, making a fist with one against the abdomen where the sternum ends (right behind the rib cage) and holding the other hand flat against your fist.

Push upward and forward (as if you are pushing the item out of the throat) with quick, forceful thrusts. Give 4-5 thrusts and recheck the airway for debris. If your dog is still choking, repeat as necessary.

It is advised to follow up immediately with a veterinarian in case of damage to the airway or oxygen deprivation.

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