When it comes to pets, we consider them members of the family. Guaranteeing their safety is the responsibility of their owner. Any number of issues can arise that pose a threat to your dog’s health, but the largest of those is a large amount of potential choking hazards your pet may come across.
It is important to identify some of these common causes of choking within your household so that your dog does not get a hold of them. Removing these items or placing them in inaccessible areas of the house is one of the best ways to help ensure the long-term safety and health of your dog.
Dogs are not like children in the sense that they have entirely different choking hazards. Be vigilant with what your dog has near its mouth and pay attention to ensure your dog’s safety.
Contrary to popular belief, tennis balls can actually pose a serious threat to your dog over time. Playing fetch is never a bad thing, but using worn out tennis balls has dangers. If the ball becomes too soft and breaks, your dog may accidentally swallow pieces and choke. After playing fetch with your dog, it is best to inspect the ball and make sure it is not showing signs of degradation. Also, try to mix up which tennis balls you use when you take your dog out to play.
It’s true that sticks are one of a dog’s best friends. Truthfully, it is not that safe for a dog to be running around with a stick for a number of reasons. The biggest of those reasons is that your dog may bite pieces of wood off and these tiny splinters can become lodged in their throat and pose a major health risk. Choose to let your dog chew on a safer alternative.
Much like children in this regard, small dog toys can be a great threat to dogs if they accidentally swallow them. It’s always best to keep your dog in eyesight when they are playing with their favorite toys, but this isn’t always possible. For that reason, it is smart to buy your dog toys that don’t have small and easily swallowable pieces.
Keeping your dog’s mouth in good condition is a must. Some dental treats used to clean away plaque can become a choking hazard if large bites are swallowed instead of being broken down with chewing. Ensure that the dental treats you buy are able to be quickly digested by your dog.
There are a few warning signs to keep an eye out for that may indicate your dog is choking. The most obvious sign is the sound of your dog coughing. A second sign is that dogs will often paw at their mouth as they struggle to expel the item. However, these signs can occur when your dog isn’t choking and is simply having a different but non-life-threatening issue, so be cognizant of your pet’s behavior.
If you suspect your dog is choking, check inside its mouth and try to spot any food that may be trapped. Be cautious, as your dog will be anxious and may try to lash out and bite when you do this.
If you see food, attempt to dislodge it, but if you cannot, or if your dog has fallen unconscious, then you need to take them into the vet immediately.
Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency cares about your pets as much as you do and will do anything in our power to ensure your beloved pet’s safety.
If you believe your dog is choking and is in need of immediate medical assistance, we are a phone call away. We serve clients in Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and areas nearby Ventura County. On top of that, we have been voted the number one animal hospital in those areas for over 19 years.
When your animal is having medical issues, it is best to rely on professionals to get them back into perfect shape. We hope you choose us to give the best possible care to your pet and trust us to take good care of them. Come in or give us a call anytime for your pet’s needs.