Tanner In The Morning

Weekdays 5:00AM - 10:00AM

Responsible attentive young male volunteer caring adorable hairy dog while working in animal shelter

We all love our dogs but what do you do if they start choking?  Here is what to do if your dog is choking according to the experts.

When I was on the Charlotte Fire Department there were several occasions when we would get to a house fire and need to rescue pets.  I have had go give chest compressions to revive a dog or even give oxygen to help restore his breathing back.  But what do you do if you find your dog is choking?  Here is what the American Kennel Club says:

  • Restrain the dog—do not muzzle them.
  • Carefully pry open the jaws, using both hands (one on the upper and one on the lower mandible), and fold the dog’s lips over their teeth so that there’s a layer between them and your fingers.
  • Peer inside, using a small flashlight (like the one on your phone) if one is readily available. Do a mouth sweep—with your index finger, hook or pull out small objects that are easily removed, such as bones or sticks.
  • If you see a small object that is impossible to remove with a mouth sweep, such as food or rawhide, take or break it apart with large tweezers or small tongs. Do not push at it, as it could become more firmly lodged in the throat.
  • If you see a large object, such as a ball or toy, press your thumbs underneath both sides of the dog’s jaw near the base of the throat and press upwards. This might dislodge it.
  • Don’t forget to check the roof of the mouth, as often sticks or bones can become lodged across that area
  • If you don’t see an object, do not insert anything down your dog’s throat, (including your hand), as that could hurt your dog.
  • If none of these options work and your dog is still in distress or unconscious, take your pet to the vet ASAP!
  • Only move on to the Heimlich maneuver if you can’t get to the vet in time and your pet appears to be gasping for last breaths.
  • To learn more to move on to the Heimlich maneuver, check out details from The American Kennel Club.