Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet, especially when it comes to the safety of your pet. Learn Pet CPR and First Aid in one of my PetTech™ classes. Our class material comes straight from veterinarian journals, so you can trust the information to be accurate. While there are many well-meaning individuals who truly care about the safety and well-being of our pets, there are many who unknowingly offer advice that is simply (and dangerously) not accurate.
Choking is one of the most common pet emergencies. You may have seen the videos on how to do the Heimlich Maneuver on a dog. While people sometimes experience good luck with this, it is not the recommended way to save your dog if he were choking. Dr. Heimlich himself cautions against using his techniques on animals, as the Heimlich Maneuver was designed solely with human anatomy in mind. The manner in which a human breathes is different from how our pets breathe.
Chest thrusts from the side at the widest part of the pet’s chest are much more effective, since they work in accordance with the way our dog’s bodies operate. It is important to know that if a pet can cough and gag, the pet has a better chance of getting the object out on their own. You would want to confine the pet to a small space and watch for signs that the situation is deteriorating. Only at that point would you initiate chest thrusts. Once the object has been cleared from the airway, you want your vet to inspect the pet to ensure no damage was done to the airway.
It is imperative to take a complete Pet CPR and First Aid class so that you can know exactly what to look for in certain situations and immediately know what life saving technique to apply. When the emergency arises, that is not the time to start researching what to do to save your pet’s life. Time is of the essence and you want to make sure you are already equipped with the proper skills to jump right into action.