December 12

What To Do If Your Dog is Choking


Imagine this situation - You are sitting down to dinner and your dog is as well. You hear your dog making strange noises, sometimes it is coughing noises.

Suddenly it occurs to you that your dog is choking. You never thought about this possibility; after all, he gulps down his food so fast you would never think this could ever happen. But now it has and your dog's life is in your hands, literally.

One of a dog's choking symptoms would be it's natural instinct taking over, resulting in the dog having to cough. Your dog may also attempt to vomit to dislodge whatever is blocking his breathing path. 

Take note - there is a difference in the sounds that a dog's choking cough makes, versus a normal run-off-the-mill cough.

For example, this is what a kennel cough sounds like (a highly infectious respiratory illness. Get your dog to a vet ASAP if you hear this!)

This other cough is actually a dog choking. My suggestion would be for you, the dog owner to recognize the different sounds of a dog choking cough, and kennel coughs, and general canine coughing.

* Side note : Please don't be the owners of these dogs. Instead of helping immediately upon hearing the puppy choke, they continued filming instead. This is however, a good video on how to detect the type of sounds a choking canine makes.

If you DO hear this from your dog, you must jump to action or your dog could die!

The way to handle this very serious situation is the same way that you would handle a person who is unable to breathe and food is eaten in their throat. You must give your dog the Heimlich maneuver.

Yes, dog Heimlich is a real thing, and it could potentially prevent your dog from dying.


1. First off, Do not panic! You can do this and your dog will depend on you to save his life. First, you have to  wrap your arms around your dog and make a fist.

2. Your fist will need to be placed under his top rib bone. If you think about it, a dog's body is similar to a human's body. 

3. He has a stomach and a rib cage. Your fist will need to be between his stomach and ribs. With one quick motion, you will perform the maneuver by stimulating in and up at the same time.

4. Take a moment to see if it worked. If not, yell out for help so that someone can call an ambulance and then go back to trying to do the Heimlich maneuver on your beloved dog. 

You must be calm during this situation so that your dog's life can be saved. If nothing comes out and your dog still can not breath, make sure help is on the way.

Then, it will be time to go to CPR. This is also done in the same way as you would for a person. You will block your dog's nose and breath into his mouth. Do this with a rhythm; breathe, wait 3 seconds and repeat.

Once help arrives, the paramedics should be able to help you if you have not already revived your dog.

Below is the video version, for those who are more visual learners:-


While it's pretty harrowing for any dog owner to have to go through this ordeal, there are situations where you can prevent this, from food bowls that discourage monster gulping, to proper dog etiquette and food training.

about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and helping people make money online.

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