There are all sorts of things that could become potential choking hazards for dogs. This is especially true for dogs that seem unable to keep anything and everything out of their mouths! Unfortunately, there is no way to completely remove all choking hazards as even a piece of furniture could be a culprit. However, there are some very clear cut dangers that your dog should be kept away from at all costs.
This category is so large that it would be impossible to list everything that may lead to your dog choking. Generally speaking, anything that has small and moving parts could be a danger to your dog. Everything from stuffed animals to Barbie dolls could cause your dog to choke. This is why it is important to keep these things out of the reach of your dog, especially when no one is home to watch him. Even if you think your dog does not chew on things that he isn’t supposed to you should still take precautions on the off chance he should decide to nibble on one of your children’s toys. Teach your kids early on to keep things picked up so that the dog does not have access to them.
Not all rubber balls are a choking hazard when used correctly. If you want to play catch (actually fetch) with your dog then use a rubber ball that is too large to accidentally slide down his throat. Tennis balls and golf balls are perfect examples of balls that should not be used to throw for a large breed dog. There have been many unfortunate incidents in which a dog has choked to death after catching a ball and having it get lodged in his throat. In addition, rubber balls, no matter what size they start out as can easily be chewed up by your dog, thereby becoming a choking hazard. Make sure to supervise your dog anytime he is playing with a rubber ball.
One of the worst treats to give your dog is rawhide. It is amazing that so many companies still make these potential killer chew treats. Rawhide can be found in twists or even just in flat pieces. For years rawhide was the preferred chew treat among dog owners. That is until it became clear that it was very dangerous for dogs. The reason rawhide is so dangerous is because a couple of things happen to it when it is soaked in your dog’s saliva. The first thing that happens is that it becomes soggy and super flexible. At this point it also expands somewhat and if your dog should accidentally swallow a piece there is a good possibility it could become wedged in his throat. If looking for something safe and all natural for your dog, opt for bully sticks which are actually made from the meat of the cow and not the hide. This makes them just as good as rawhide in terms of durability and enjoyment for your dog but they are much easier for him to digest.
Do you ever get tempted to toss the other half of your sandwich to your dog? Most of us have done so many times. However, the next time the urge strikes you, you should be aware that bread can be fatal to dogs. Bread is so dry that dogs have a hard time swallowing it. Have you ever tried to eat a big piece of bread at once? Chances are you know that it gets stuck on the roof of your mouth. The same can happen to your dog, especially if you have a dog that literally inhales his food. Bread is not only a choking hazard for dogs but in reality it is just not good for them. Dogs are carnivores and anything other than meat for dogs is not only unnecessary but it is also probably not the best choice in terms of nutritional value.
Plastic wrap is a major hazard to your dog. Keep in mind that plastic wrap is usually most appealing when it is surrounding something that smells delightful and scrumptious to your dog. This means be very careful not to leave a nice juicy steak wrapped up in plastic wrap where your dog can get it. Your dog does not have the reasoning skills to understand that he must unwrap the steak before eating it. This can lead to him trying to eat the entire package and choking on the plastic. The same goes for any food item that is wrapped in any kind of plastic or even foil packaging. Too many dogs have choked from plastic wrap so be careful about your dog and plastic wrap.
Hard candy is a choking hazard for everyone, including your dog! It cannot be stressed enough that you must keep the candy dish in a place that your dog cannot reach it. Not only is hard candy a problem but chocolates are also an issue, not usually as far as choking but because it is literally poisonous to dogs. If you have children make sure they understand from the earliest age possible not to offer the family dog a piece of hard candy. It is best to teach your children never to feed anything to your dog without your permission but that would only happen in a perfect world so be watchful and stay on top of the hard candy that is floating around your house.
Rocks and Sticks
Last but not least on our list of dangerous items for dogs are regular everyday rocks and sticks from your yard. Dogs enjoy grinding and chewing on things and if you do not provide enough approved items for your dog then chances are he will snatch a rock or stick out of the yard to chew. Many people think that because rocks and sticks are a part of nature that they pose no risk to their dogs. This is not at all true. Even dogs in the wild can choke on rocks and sticks. Because our dogs are domestic there is no reason we should not protect them from things that could hurt them. When you let your dog out in the yard to play, do a quick scan and make sure that he cannot access anything that could be a potential choking hazard. Offer him positive toys that you feel safe allowing him to chew.
Most of the time dogs will slide through life without incident but because there are some occasions in which your dog could wind up in a dangerous situation, you will have to be the one to be sure he is kept safe. Being a pet owner is a lot more involved than just making sure the dog has food and water. There are many things you must do when you own a dog. Keep in mind at all times that your dog has the mentality of a 5 or 6 year old child. When dealing with him remember that he will get himself into sticky situations just like a small child would.