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For some people, their dog is their only companion or family member. A cherished pal to share moments of joy, sadness, or adventure with. Sometimes we get complacent when thinking of the risks to our beloved pets. It only takes one accident to change everything, especially when it could have been avoided.
It is difficult to think that so many everyday items can end up being a hazard for your doggy. Like infants, choking hazards are a dog’s worst nightmare. A puppy will chew on anything when you aren’t looking, especially when they are teething. Even with older dogs (adolescents and adults), choking still happens. Sometimes from being silly, sometimes from stuffing their mouths too full with their toys.
The 10 most common choking hazards are as follows:
Rubber or plastic balls
Any ball that your dog can stuff in his mouth past his front teeth is too small. This is a very high choking risk.
Once a bone is cooked it will splinter into small pieces that may get lodged in the throat.
Gristle is difficult to chew. It is also one of the most common things dogs choke on. Instead of gristle, give your dog cooked meat or veggies.
Everyone loves to play fetch with their dog, but sticks are not safe. Your dog will clench down on a stick in his mouth which may break down into small pieces and get lodged in his throat.
There are a large number of chew toys on the market. It is important to buy the correct size and type for your pup. Make sure the chew toy will withstand heavy chewing without breaking down into tiny slivers. Examine the chew toy after every use to make sure it is still safe.
Kids toys are all over the place and a great temptation for your puppy. Make sure your kids pick up their toys so the puppy can’t chew on them. If he chews on something small, like a Lego piece, that toy is going to break into multiple shards of plastic that could get lodged in his throat and choke him to death.
Don’t laugh. Some dogs love to eat rocks. Be ever vigilant because rocks can not only cause a choking hazard, but they can get stuck in the intestines which may require emergency surgery to clear an obstruction.
Click here to read about a starving dog who survived on rocks and twigs:
Oh, when something smells good in the trash your sneaky dog may grab it and take off running to a good hiding place, or if you aren’t around, why run? He can chow down right at the trash can! A major problem is plastic wrap. Everything seems to be covered with it these days. One bite of that stinky garbage wrapped in plastic wrap is all it takes to cut off your dog’s
breathing.Do you remember when all forms of plastic bags and wraps were labeled with “keep out of reach of children”? The same applies to puppies and dogs. All plastic is a danger to dogs, but especially plastic wrap.
You are probably reading this wide-eyed thinking, bread? If you think about it, it makes sense. Dogs can be quite piggy. A lot of times they don’t chew their food, but swallow it whole. With bread, it expands and clumps together making it difficult to get down the throat without a good drink of water to wash it down.
Like people, dogs can choke on hard candy. It gets all slippery and gooey in our mouths and before you know it you’ve swallowed it whole and then the coughing begins because it is lodged in the throat. So, keep all hard candies away from your pup!
Read my article on Three Life Saving Commands to learn how to further protect your puppy by having him drop it, or let go, of a choking hazard.
Be sure to document your puppy’s training in your The Puppy Baby Book. And, take a look at our beautiful, frame-worthy obedience certificate for your new graduate!