The Dangers of Choking: What Every Dog Owner Should Know

Tips to keep your dog safe from choking

Tips to prevent choking in dogsThe idea of your dog choking will terrify even the most experienced pet owners.

But the dangers of choking are real, and so as pet owners, we should be prepared with the knowledge to keep our dogs safe. 

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How serious are the dangers of choking?

Choking hazards are a serious issue for dogs. Dogs love to chew and play with objects, so the risk of them swallowing small parts is real. 

Common choking hazards for dogs:

  • Bones
  • Toys
  • Money
  • Wrapping paper
  • Balls
  • Plastic bags

The items on this list are common in households across the country, so it’s important that we are all aware of the dangers of choking. And that dog owners take steps to reduce the risk of choking. 

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Tips to prevent choking in dogs:

1. Always supervise eating times.

If possible, make sure that someone is always available to supervise meal times. And take steps to remove any bones or other things they may try to swallow.

2. Consider your choice of dog toys carefully.

Be mindful of the toys you give your dog. Avoid giving small toys or toys with small parts that can be easily swallowed. Instead, give larger, sturdier toys.

3. Avoid giving cooked bones.

Large, uncooked bones are usually ok. But avoid giving your dog cooked or smaller bones, as these could splinter and cause a choking hazard. 

4. Keep small objects out of reach.

Try to keep small items like coins, balls, or even small children’s toys out of reach of your dog. 

5. Regularly check for choking hazards

You should routinely check your garden and home for potential choking hazards. Always make sure to remove risky items or keep them well out of the reach of your pet.

6. Watch for signs of choking

Paying attention to your dog’s behaviour can help you act quickly if the worst happens and your dog chokes. Signs you should watch out for are coughing, gagging, difficulty breathing, or your dog making a funny noise.

Following these tips can help keep your dog safe from the dangers of choking. Make sure that anyone who watches your dog, such as a dog sitter, is also aware of these rules. 

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What do I do if my dog chokes?What do I do if my dog chokes?

Being proactive is the most effective way to keep your dog safe from the dangers of choking. It reduces the likelihood of choking incidents.

If the worst happens and you notice your dog choking, it’s important to act quickly and calmly to help them. 

It’s important to take choking seriously and seek medical attention right away. 

Steps you can take to help your dog if they start choking:

1. Calmly and quickly assess the situation.

Make sure your dog is actually choking and not just coughing. Monitor whether or not they’re able to breathe easily first.

2. Open their mouths.

If you’re sure your dog is choking, then open your dog’s mouth and look inside for the item that’s causing them to choke.

3. If you can do so carefully, remove the object.

If you can see the object and it’s not lodged in their throat, then see if you’re able to remove it carefully with your fingers or tweezers.

Be very careful not to push the object further down their throat. If you aren’t confident or if you’re in doubt, you should call an emergency vet number immediately. 

4. Speak to your vet

It’s important to get your pet to a vet as soon as possible. Your vet will either be able to talk you through any additional processes to take, e.g., giving your dog first aid, or they’ll instruct you on how and where to transport your pet.

If you are not comfortable with or unsure about any steps, it’s best to speak with a vet immediately. 

Want more advice for dog owners?

 

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