What To Watch For
If the dog is suffocating, it will often panic. A dog may paw at its mouth if
something is lodged, though this does not necessarily mean it is choking.
Another suspicious sign of choking is an unresponsive or unconscious dog; in
these cases, check the throat and mouth for foreign objects.
Almost any small object can cause choking, though the most common are hard
rubber balls, lumps of gristle, and chew toys or sticks that have become swollen
due to moisture.
Be very careful when dealing with a choking dog, as even calm animals will panic
when they cannot breathe. Protect yourself by restraining the dog, but do not
Use both hands to open the mouth, with one hand on the upper jaw and the other
on the lower.
Grasping the jaws, press the lips over the dogís teeth so that they are between
the teeth and your fingers.
Look inside the mouth and remove the obstruction with your fingers.
If you canít move the object with your fingers, use a flat spoon handle to pry
it away from the teeth or roof of the mouth.
If the dog is still choking and you canít see anything in the mouth, or the dog
has fallen unconscious, follow these guidelines.
For a SMALL Dog
Pick the dog up by its thighs and gently shake and swing it. If his condition
does not improve, apply forward pressure to the abdomen just behind the ribcage.
For a LARGE Dog
Do not try to pick up, shake, or swing a large dog; you're more likely to do
further damage due to the animal's size. Instead, perform the equivalent of the
If the dog is standing, put your arms around her belly, joining your hands. Make
a fist and push firmly up and forward, just behind the rib cage. Place the dog
on his side afterward.
If the dog is lying down, place one hand on the back for support and use the
other hand to squeeze the abdomen upwards and forwards.
Check the dog's mouth and remove any objects that may have been dislodges with