How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver for Dogs if Your Dog Is Choking

How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver for Dogs if Your Dog Is Choking

No doubt, dogs are curious by nature. Using their noses to explore and their mouths to investigate, it seems that they find something new around each and every corner. 

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always turn out for the best. Dogs will put almost anything they find fascinating in their mouths. Whether it be a small toy, some kind of bauble or even a coveted piece of jewelry. 

Continue reading to learn how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on dogs. 

How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver on Your Dog

When a dog is choking, they will start to pace back and forth, making retching sounds. They will have a panicked look and paw at their mouth. Their chest will heave but they won’t be making any kind of airway noise. Always make sure to examine your dog’s mouth first. If you’re able to, pull the dog’s tongue forward and remove the cause. If you’re unable to do this, you’re going to have to use the canine Heimlich maneuver. 

This maneuver is performed in two different ways, depending on the size of the dog. 

• Large Dogs

Get behind your dog and wrap your arms its body. Use one hand to make a fist and place the thumb on the dog’s abdominal area. With your other hand, grab your fist and forcefully push forward and upward. Perform this action up to five times. Afterward, inspect your dog’s airways again and take out the debris from their mouth. If necessary, keep repeating the chest thrusts if you’re unable to take anything out of the dog’s mouth. Should your dog be rendered unconscious, immediately perform CPR? 

• Small Dogs

The Heimlich maneuver is performed a bit differently on smaller dogs. Instead of putting your arms around its body, pick up the dog and hold its head up so that its spine is against your chest. Just like with large dogs, use one hand to make a fist and put it on the dog’s abdomen. Grab the dog with your other hand and thrust upward up to five times. If the dog is unresponsive, perform CPR. 

You can never be too careful with dogs as they are pretty adventurous when it comes to exploring their surroundings. Just like with children, you need to keep a close eye on your beloved pooch to make sure they don’t get into any life-threatening situations.