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How to Give Your Dog The Heimlich

If your dog is choking you want to know what to do to help her. But always be very careful. If your dog is choking, no matter how nice they normally are, they may panic if they cannot breath and could accidentally hurt you. You need to protect yourself by restraining your dog, but do not muzzle it. It is best if you can get another person to help you. No matter what, you need to remain calm. If you do not think you can help your dog, go to the nearest full service veterinary clinic (note, Los Lunas Vetco is not a full service veterinary clinic) to help.

How to Give Your Dog the Heimlich Maneuver

You need to clear their mouth and throat of any obvious object.

Use your hands to open their mouth. Use one hand on their upper jaw and the other on the lower. If you are worried about their teeth hurting your hand, you may want to put on gloves. Once you have their jaw, press their lips over their teeth so their lips are between their teeth and your fingers. This will protect your fingers and because their gums are wrapped around their teeth, will dissuade them from trying to bite down.

Look inside their mouth for any obstructions that you could remove with your finger. If you see something, curve your finger into a J and sweep the mouth to try to remove the object. If you cannot remove it with your finger because it is lodged in their teeth or roof of their mouth, try using a flat spoon handle to pry it off.

If there is nothing to dislodge or after removing the object your dog is still chocking, move on to the following steps:


Invert your dog, aka, turn them upside down onto their back, and apply pressure to their abdomen just below the rib cage in five quick thrusts. You can also pick up your dog and hold them against your stomach, so their stomach is facing out. Then place your hand on their abdomen below their ribcage and give 5 quick thrusts. Do not thrust too hard, small thrusts will help dislodge the object.


If your dog is too big to pick up, do the same thrusting maneuver just with the dog standing up. If your dog is laying down, place a hand on their back for support and use the other hand to thrust against their abdomen.

Always thrust upward towards their head. After thrusting check their mouth for any object and remove it.

If your dog is still choking, lay them on the ground and lift his bum above his head and then keep checking his mouth for the object.

You can also have him sit up and pat him on the back between the shoulder blades to help him cough it out.



If your dog continues to choke, bring him to a veterinarian immediately. If you successfully stop the choking you still need to bring your dog to the vet to have him checked out. It is easy to break ribs while doing the heimlich, so your vet will want to give him and checkup.

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2510 Main St. NE #1 Los Lunas, NM Phone: (505) 865-0662

Veterinarian Clinic Website: www.loslunasvetco.com


The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.