What To Do If Your Dog Is Choking

IDog Coughing Chokingf your dog has a coughing fit or starts choking it can be a very scary experience.  Even if they are just having a coughing fit, you will probably wonder if there is something stuck in their throat.  You may also wonder if you know how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver properly (and that is certainly not the time to be in doubt!).

Many people can get a coughing fit and a true choking situation confused, as they both look the same in many ways.  One significant difference is the way your dog is breathing. If they are just coughing they will be able to inhale okay, but if they are having trouble inhaling you probably have a much bigger problem on your hands.  It is very important to know which is which because they should not be treated with the same first aid techniques.

If your dog is truly choking and have food or a foreign object lodged in their throat, you need to follow these guidelines from the Veterinary Information Network:

If they are conscious, try to keep them calm.  Stay calm yourself and get your vet on the phone.  Try to perform a finger sweep of their mouth if they let you.  If they go unconscious, perform a finger sweep of their mouth to probe for stuck foreign objects, and always sweep towards the center.  Begin rescue breathing and CPR, this is done by placing your mouth over your dog’s nose and giving them a breath until their chest rises (with their mouth closed).  If no air is able to get in, perform the Heimlich Maneuver as you would to a child to try and dislodge the object.  Give rescue breaths again and repeat until the object is removed or you can get air into their lungs.