Just like us, dogs have different eating habits and preferences. Some dogs will consume anything and take gluttony to another level. Other dogs are picky eaters and they avoid eating in hope of getting more exciting food than what's in their bowl. Some dogs eat fast while others eat slow. It makes the world go round!
We often talk about food preferences and what we feed our pets, however, I realized what often gets overlooked is safety. When we adopt our pups, we are not recommended to learn CPR/First Aid/ Heimlich Maneuver, as we do with children. And often times we don’t even think about it.
In the past 3 months, however, I have heard of more dogs choking on their food than ever before. Perhaps because we are all connected through social media than when I had my two previous dogs.
Our friend whose dog passed away last year kindly shared his story:
It happens in a minute...
Our French Bulldog, Monty, was fed 3 times a day. 1/4 cup at each meal: 6am, 12pm, and 7pm. The biggest problem we had was he ate like a beast!
He also didnt chew his food! Give him a carrot, and he would inhale it. We were never informed about short-nosed breeds being susceptible to choking. But I monitored him when he ate, since there were a few cases where he coughed while eating.
Since this has been going on for months, we didn’t know what options we had. We purchased bowls (slow-feeders) with spokes and sectionals to slow his eating, unfortunately, it wasn’t helpful. He couldn’t reach his food! He would get frustrated and claw at the bowl. We tried putting tennis balls in his bowl, but then he tipped the food over. The food we gave was dry food. In hindsight, I wish we gave him canned-food or something else. Maybe soft meals would have helped...Who knows...Hindsight is 20/20.
One night, I was watching him eat and he started coughing. Similar to what he previously done a week prior, so I patted him on the back (wrong move). That didn’t work.
Monty's whole body froze. Stiff as a board. He tipped over with his paws in the air. He was struggling and I couldn’t hear him breathe. His whole body stiffened. I started to scream, and I patted him on the back. Trying to dislodge whatever was stuck. But there was no saving him. He passed away that night. I hope someone will read this and realize it can happen to them. Less than 75 seconds! He was 3-years old.
Please watch this video. It shows us how to properly perform a Heimlich maneuver. I watched it for the first time last night...