Like humans, dogs may sometimes get choked on food or other objects. If they cannot get it out on their own, you may have to intervene. It may be as simple as carefully reaching into the dog’s mouth and removing the obstruction. When you do this, have your dog’s lips pressed over their teeth. You never know how a dog may react when panicked. If that does not help, there are other ways to help with a choking dog.

For small dogs, here is the way to perform a Heimlich maneuver. First, you carefully lay the dog on his or her back. Then, apply pressure to the abdomen just below the ribcage.

For large dogs, try this way. If the dog is standing, put your arms around his or her belly, joining both hands. Make a fist and then push up and forward. You are aiming for just behind the rib cage. Lay the dog down afterward. If the dog is lying down, place one hand against the dog’s back for support and the other to do the up and forward thrusting maneuver into the ribs.

Once the object is dislodged, let the dog calm down. Schedule a veterinary follow-up to make sure no damage was done either by the object or by the Heimlich maneuver performed. Also, if the lodged object in question is a bone, do not try to get it out on your own. Take them to a veterinarian immediately to have them sedated and the object safely removed.

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