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Yes, There’s a Heimlich Maneuver for Dogs — And Knowing It Could Save Your Pup’s Life


As pet owners, we have the unenviable task of making sure our dogs don’t eat objects they’re not supposed to. As much as we love them, our pooches make this especially difficult because their first instinct is often to eat said objects. Fortunately, our hardy pups usually live to tell the tail (pun intended) if they accidentally down some chocolate. But what do you do if your beloved hound bit off a bit more than he could chew? Knowing how to properly perform the Heimlich maneuver on a dog can save Fido’s life.

A woman on Twitter recently posted a handy diagram that shows how to do the Heimlich for dogs. Though the movements are similar to performing the Heimlich maneuver on a human, there are a few key differences. Dogs have four legs, they squirm more than humans, and they can’t really lend a paw in their own rescue. If you fail to dislodge whatever’s stuck in your dog’s throat by using the Heimlich maneuver, take him or her to the vet immediately.

Before you flip your pup upside down (because lord knows your dog is going to love that), you might want to ask yourself, “How do I know if my dog is choking?” Maybe your canine often makes wheezing and coughing noises that could be mistaken for sounds of suffocation. According to Banfield Pet Hospital, just because your dog is coughing doesn’t mean he or she is choking. A telltale sign that your dog is choking is if they’re pawing at their mouth or are having trouble breathing. Choking dogs can also start to panic, which is a clear sign that (wo)man’s best friend needs help.

Our pups bring so much joy and laughter to our lives that the least we can do is be prepared should disaster strike. We love our furry vacuums, but let’s also make sure we keep a closer eye on what they put in their mouths.

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