Have you ever been in the house alone with your dog or a friend’s dog and something goes wrong? Have you ever been pet sitting and the dog’s behavior changes suddenly? This has probably happened to you once or twice. There are two ways of thinking in this scenario. You can either say, “This won’t happen to me. I have great luck!” or you can say, “This could happen to me and I will prepare for it.” I recently took a course in doggy CPR and here’s what a learned. Hopefully this information will help you gain some insight on dog safety or even help you save a dog’s life.
Step 1: It’s important to watch your dog’s behavior. If your dog is showing signs of choking like wheezing, gasping for air, struggling or pawing at the mouth it’s time to take charge. Your dog needs your assistance.
Step 2: If you think your dog is actually choking first examine the inside of their mouth. Make sure there isn’t lodged food, sticks, rocks or plastic in their throat. You can usually see the object at the top of their throat. Before you reach in their mouth to pull out the object, be aware a dog in high stress has the potential to bite (even if that dog knows and loves you).
Step 3: If you can’t spot anything in the dog’s throat or mouth, pick your dog up and hold them upside down. The force of gravity could possibly help. If your dog is too large to pick up, lift up his back paws. This should look like a wheel barrel pose.
Step 4: Give your dog hard back blows. This is exactly what it sounds like. Use your palm or make a fist and hit your dog’s back (between the shoulder blades) hard.
Here are tips on how to perform the Heimlich maneuver from dummies.com:
For a large dog: Stand behind your dog and place your arms around his body. Make a fist with one hand, and place the thumb of that hand against your dog’s abdomen just where the sternum ends. With the other hand, grasp your fist and push upward and forward (toward the dog’s shoulders), suddenly and forcefully.
Do this thrusting motion four or five times. Check the dog’s airway again and clear any debris from the mouth. Repeat the chest thrusts if necessary. If the dog is unconscious, clear the airway and perform rescue breathing.
For a small dog: Hold the dog with her head up so that her spine is against your chest. Make a fist with one hand, and place it against your dog’s abdomen just where the sternum ends. Grasp the fist with your other hand, and give four or five rapid thrusts inward and upward.
Check the dog’s airway again and clear any debris from the mouth. Repeat the chest thrusts if necessary. If the dog is unconscious, clear the airway and perform rescue breathing.
The information about is vital and important for all dog owners to know.