On any given day, a dog puts many things in his mouth that he shouldn’t. Garbage, sticks, rocks, toys… any of these things can become lodged in his throat and cut off his air supply. Most dogs are happily oblivious to the possibility of choking, so it is up to you to monitor what he is chewing and keep him safe. Certain breeds, such as Labs, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Beagles and Huskies are more prone to choking than others, so owners must be extra vigilant.
Signs: The dog will gasp for air, froth at the mouth, and make a high-pitched wheezing sound.
Here are some tips from Pet Tech First Aid:
- If your dog is coughing, take him to a small area of the house and let him try to get the object out himself. If several minutes pass and your dog is still struggling, take him to the vet.
- If your dog cannot cough, perform chest thrusts by placing your hands on each side of the dog’s chest and thrust inward and upward. If the object does not come out, head to the vet.
- If your dog is unconscious and not breathing, begin CPR immediately. Start with 30 chest compressions. Then, pull your dog’s tongue out, past the canine teeth, and look down your dog’s throat to see if there is an obvious obstruction. If there is, pull it out with your fingers, pliers or tweezers.
- If he still is not breathing, hold his mouth closed and place your mouth and lips over his nose. Give him a breath for one second, and watch to see if his chest rises. If the first breath does not go in, try again in another position. If he is still not breathing, start chest compressions again.
- Continue with 30 compressions and two breaths. If there is still no success, take your dog to the vet immediately.