Heimlich Maneuver For Dogs: How To Help A Choking Pet

vet examining dog's mouth
Reading Time: 5 minutes

It is rare that you will ever have to perform the Heimlich Maneuver in your pet, but if an emergency were to arise then knowing how to do it could prove life-saving. Choking can occur due to several reasons, and it’s worrying when it happens, so here we explore the possible causes and actions you should take.



Table of Content

Key points

  • Choking is an emergency situation
  • You may need to administer treatment at home
  • The Heimlich maneuver helps to expel an object out of the airway
  • Get your dog checked over by a veterinarian as soon as possible afterward
  • Avoid giving your dog hard food items or inappropriately sized balls to play with

Common in:

Symptoms and types:

Choking occurs more frequently in brachycephalic breeds (flat-faced) such as pugs and bulldogs.

Understanding the diagnostics

Learning about the causes

If your dog is lying down or collapsed then put one hand on their back and use your other hand to firmly push the abdomen towards the spine, again in a sharp thrusting motion to try and dislodge the item.

Best treatment options

The Heimlich maneuver

Home remedies and their effectiveness

When to see a vet


Rebecca is a companion animal vet who has always had a passion for writing and client communication. Since her graduation from the Royal Veterinary college in 2009, she has gained a wealth of experience in first opinion small animal practice, in both clinical and managerial roles. She currently works in the South West and deals with a variety of routine and emergency appointments, but particularly enjoys medicine cases. Outside of work and writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, including her bouncy flat-coated retriever George!

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