Dogs are known to have greedy appetites. They are voracious eaters and eagerly look forward to a tasty bowl of dog food. But not all dog food items are safe to consume because they can be either too small which can cause chewing difficulties or block the airway causing your dog to choke on food. In the case of puppies, choking on food as well as non-food items can be equally dangerous because of their playful nature, they want to grab and chew anything that comes within their reach. It should not worry you if your dog chokes on its food only once in a while. However, the faster the dog gobbles down its dog food the more likely it is to experience choking.
Therefore, in order to save you from the hassle of running to the vet in an emergency, we can walk you through a number of ways so you can prevent your dog from choking on food.
Developing the habit of eating slowly
The dogs that are susceptible to choking are the ones that eat food quickly. This can cause them to gulp down air leading to stomach dilation which can be fatal. Some dogs are used to consuming dog food in a way that they are inhaling it.
So, it is important for the dog owner to take notice of the situation right away. Otherwise, inhaling causes bloating, choking, and digestion issues. In order to reduce the speed of food intake, it is advisable for the dog to eat in ‘Slow Feeder’ bowls.
These ‘Slow Feeder’ bowls have built-in obstructions so that the dog can slow down while chewing the food. Each compartment of the bowl has a different amount of dog food in it. Sometimes these bowls can become too tricky for the dog to get the food from. It is a perfect way to prevent your dog from choking on food because it slows down their eating habits.
Notice the choking signs
According to the experts, there are various ways that can help us determine the food choking in dogs. One of the signs that is similar to humans is coughing. They also make sounds while coughing, which is a sign that the airway is partially closed.
The most concerning indicator of choking is getting unconscious. This is the time when you must consult the vet at the earliest in order to prevent fatal consequences.
Changing the method of cooking dog food
If you find your dog choking on food, chances are that the food is dry or difficult to swallow. If this is the case, you can increase the water content in the dog food so that the dog doesn’t find it difficult to gulp down. Wet dog food is not just yummy but the increased water content in food eases the process of digestion as well.
Take care of the feeding time
It is important to have a proper and fixed meal time for your dogs. Having fixed meal times will prevent your dog from gobbling down the food in haste and also prevent them from choking on food.
Furthermore, keep in mind to never feed your dogs before or right after their exercise time in order to prevent them from choking on food. Avoid feeding the dogs when they are super excited as it increases their chance of getting the food stuck in their throat. Ever thought of that?
Performing Heimlich maneuver
In order to treat the problem of choking in the puppy, place one hand on the backside while the other on the rib cage. Press three to five times with the thrusting motion and continue this exercise until your puppy feels better.
Choking can be a normal problem, but not to the extent when it starts to interfere with normal body functions. Sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate between the cough or choking. Therefore, it is better to keep a check on the dog’s activities. In case the situation gets out of hand, immediately rush to the vet. Vets are far more knowledgeable and experienced than you are, so it’s always safe to keep the vet in the loop.