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What To Do If Your Dog Is Choking


Choking is a scary thing for any dog owner, but it’s especially frightening when the life of your furry friend depends on you. First-time owners should be aware that when a puppy chokes, their airway can close off, and they may start pawing at their mouth in distress because they’re unable to breathe. If you notice these symptoms in your pet, call for help immediately! In this blog post, we’ll go over some steps to take if your pup starts coughing up drool or has trouble breathing after eating something. 

To help someone who is choking, perform the Heimlich maneuver by wrapping arms around them from behind and giving a quick upward thrust into their abdomen with both arms.

Signs That Indicate Choking In Dogs

If something gets lodged in your dog’s mouth or throat, the first sign is coughing. It will try to expel the object. Your pet may also show inhaling issues because of the clogged airway. At times, dogs appear frantic and panicked. Small dogs may do that. The larger ones paw at their head or mouth. If the condition gets severe, dogs even turn unconscious. 

How To Deal With Choking?

If you find any of the signs above, check your dog’s mouth. You may find some food inside that’s clogged. Also, remember that your pet is scared and unpredictable at that time. So, be careful while approaching an anxious dog. But do not forget your dog needs a lifeline. If you find an airway obstruction of food, swipe it away. Your dog will start breathing again.  

Performing The Heimlich Maneuver

For Small Dogs


You can hold your pet dog on your lap and turn them on their back. After that, apply pressure below its rib cage with the fist of one hand. Pushing upwards and inwards five times will create a thrusting motion. Then, roll the dog back and check its mouth and throat. Check if the object or food that was causing trouble moved aside. 

For Large And Medium Dogs


In case you cannot let the dog sit on your lap, do this. When the dog is standing, put your arms around them. Your hands should join at the abdominal portion. Then grasp a fist and push in a thrusting motion five times. You perform this maneuver even if a person is choking.

Performing the Heimlich maneuver for dogs would dislodge food. But, check its mouth and remove any food that may choke him again. Always keep an emergency medicine around for after relief. 

Another Method

Suppose your dog is on the floor. Keep one hand on its back and use the other hand for abdominal thrusts. Squeeze or push firmly forward and upwards. Check if there’s an offending object in your dog’s mouth or throat. Use this trick if you cannot give chest thrusts to your pet. 

After The Dog Stops Choking

Calling 911 is the best thing after your pet gets relief from choking. You can also contact your vet at the latest if the dog was unconscious anytime. Sometimes it may have stayed without oxygen because of lodging even after you give rescue breaths. This case might need hospitalization. So, ensure that you take it seriously. 

How To Prevent Future Choking?

To prevent airway obstruction in the future, keep an eye on your dog when it’s playing with choking objects. Even though dog food for small dogs is specially made for them, be around your pet when it’s eating. Also, choose sturdy dog toys so they cannot chew them. 


It can be scary to see a dog choking. Especially when these pets are your family, it’s hard. However, noticing the signs and performing the Heimlich Maneuver can make things right. The bright side is you can keep your dog healthy and safe by following timely rescue steps. 


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