What to Do if Dog Choking on Food

What to Do if Dog Choking on Food

As responsible pet owners, it is essential for us to be prepared for any emergency situations involving our furry friends. One such situation that can occur is when a dog chokes on food. While it can be quite alarming, it is crucial to stay calm and act quickly to potentially save their life. Here are some steps to follow if your dog is choking on food:

1. Assess the situation: Determine if your dog is genuinely choking by observing their behavior. Signs of choking may include pawing at the mouth, difficulty breathing, or gagging.

2. Perform the Heimlich maneuver: Stand behind your dog and place your hands just below their ribcage. Apply firm pressure and perform a quick upward thrust to dislodge the obstruction. Be cautious not to apply excessive force.

3. Use gravity: If the Heimlich maneuver doesn’t work, try using gravity to your advantage. Lift your dog’s hind legs to an upright position while supporting their body. This may help the object dislodge naturally.

4. Check for breathing: Once the object is dislodged, ensure that your dog is breathing normally. If not, attempt to clear their airway by gently sweeping your finger along the inside of their mouth.

5. Seek veterinary assistance: Even if you successfully remove the obstruction, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian. They can assess if any damage has occurred and provide further treatment if necessary.


1. How can I prevent my dog from choking on food?
– Avoid giving them large pieces of food and opt for smaller, bite-sized portions instead. Supervise mealtime and discourage gulping.

See also  Can I Eat What I Want if I Workout

2. Can I perform the Heimlich maneuver on a small dog?
– Yes, but be gentle and cautious. Adjust the force according to the size of the dog.

3. What should I do if my dog loses consciousness during choking?
– Lay your dog on its side and perform rescue breathing. Seek immediate veterinary help.

4. Can dogs choke on dry kibble?
– Yes, it’s possible. Always ensure your dog has access to fresh water while eating dry kibble.

5. Is it safe to stick my fingers in my dog’s throat?
– Only do so if you can see and safely reach the obstruction. Otherwise, you may push it further down.

6. Are certain breeds more prone to choking?
– Flat-faced or brachycephalic breeds are at a higher risk due to their respiratory anatomy.

7. Can I give my dog the Heimlich maneuver if I am alone?
– Yes, you can perform the Heimlich maneuver on your own dog. However, it is always better to have another person present to assist and call for help if needed.

Remember, acting quickly and calmly during a choking incident can be life-saving for your beloved pet. Ensure to seek veterinary guidance to prevent any potential complications.