I know first hand the experience of saving my own dog from choking. I couldn’t imagine how panicked and helpless I would have felt if I hadn’t had my training in pet first aid.
Pets are like children. Both can often get into trouble (especially the young ones). But unlike children, most pets spend quite a bit of time unsupervised. It can be difficult to keep your eyes on your pup at all times. My career as a pet sitter has provided a wealth of experience in the pet world. Most of the pets I regularly work with, and especially my own, have me constantly thinking two steps ahead. I know them very well. I know their behaviors, tendencies, the way they think, and the trouble some of them love to get into. This helps to be aware, and that is the very first step in preventing an emergency…
KNOW YOUR PET
It’s important to know and recognize what is normal for your dog. Know how he/she usually sleeps, eats, walks, urinates, defecates, etc. Know what is normal, so you will be able to recognize what isn’t normal. Especially when you need to take them into the vet office. The vet’s job is to diagnose and treat your pet. They aren’t simply magical healers (even though I know a few who seem like it). Any information you can provide for your veterinarian may be helpful, especially in an emergency.
Check the gums
The gums can tell you quite a bit actually. Healthy gums are moist and pink. Lift your dog’s lips (technically a muzzle), and press lightly against the gum area with your finger. It should return to a pink color within a second or two. If the gum area is white, pale or blue, that is typically an indication of a problem and you should consider an emergency trip to the vet.
If your dog is choking and is unconscious, approach cautiously to avoid being bitten. Open their mouth sweep the inside with your finger to dislodge the object. Pull the tongue forward. If the object doesn’t dislodge, you may need to attempt abdominal thrusts.
Look for more pet first aid tips coming in the next post. Feel free to ask any questions and I hope to get those answered for you.
Remember, you should always consult a veterinarian with all health concerns regarding your pets.
- Certified Pet Care Specialist
Absolute Pet Care, LLC