8 common choking hazards for dogs that you should avoid

Having a dog is like having a small child.

They’re curious, playful and they’ll put almost anything in their mouth.

But here’s the thing, not everything they get their paws on is safe for them.

In fact, many common items can turn into choking hazards in seconds.

In this article, I’ll share with you 8 common choking hazards for dogs that you should avoid.

1. Children’s toys

Our little ones and our furry friends tend to have a similar curiosity for toys.

Unfortunately, not all toys meant for children are safe for dogs.

Small, brightly colored toys can be extremely appealing to dogs.

But they can also quickly turn into choking hazards.

Remember the size and shape of the toy matters a lot when it comes to our canine buddies.

A small ball or a toy with small, detachable parts can easily get lodged in a dog’s throat.

So, the next time you catch your pup eyeing your kid’s toy box, think twice before letting them have a go at it.

2. Leftovers

The big, pleading eyes of your furry friend can make it hard to resist sharing a bite from your plate.

I’ve been there plenty of times with my own golden retriever, Milo.

One time, I made the mistake of tossing Milo a leftover chicken bone from dinner.

I soon realized how dangerous this was when he started choking.

Thankfully, I was able to help him and he was fine, but it was a terrifying experience that served as a stark reminder.

Leftovers, especially cooked bones and chunks of meat, can pose a serious choking risk for dogs.

Bones can splinter and get lodged in their throat or digestive tract.

So, as tempting as it may be to share your scraps with your dog, it’s always safer to stick with treats and food specially designed for them.

3. Socks and underwear

It’s no big secret that dogs love to chew on socks and underwear.

You might find it funny or annoying, but what you may not realize is that these everyday clothing items can turn into a major choking hazard.

When chewed and swallowed, socks and underwear can cause blockages in a dog’s throat or digestive tract.

The material can clump together, forming a mass that’s hard for dogs to pass.

And here’s something to chew on – did you know socks and underwear are among the most common items extracted from dogs’ stomachs by veterinarians?

4. Sticks and stones

Sticks and stones may break bones, but they can also pose a serious choking risk for dogs.

It’s a classic sight to see a dog fetch a stick, but the reality is that sticks can splinter in their mouths and cause choking.

Similarly, stones, while seemingly innocent, can be just as dangerous.

Some dogs have a habit of picking up stones and even trying to eat them.

If a stone is small enough to be swallowed but too big to pass through their digestive system, you’ve got a potential problem on your hands.

So, as much as your dog may love playing with sticks or chasing after small stones, it’s safer to replace these with dog-safe toys that are designed for chewing and fetching.

5. Rawhide chews

Rawhide chews are a common go-to for dog owners looking to keep their dogs entertained and their teeth clean.

But what many don’t realize is that these popular dog treats can also be a choking hazard.

When dogs chew on rawhide, it softens and can become a size and shape that’s easy to swallow, but hard for the dog to digest.

If swallowed whole or in large pieces, it can get stuck in your dog’s throat or digestive tract.

Always supervise your dog when they’re enjoying a rawhide chew and take it away once it becomes small enough to swallow.

Alternatively, consider safer chewable options like dental chews that are designed to break down safely in your dog’s system.

6. Small balls

As a dog lover, there’s something truly special about watching your furry friend have the time of their life chasing after a small ball.

That pure joy and energy can light up even the gloomiest of days.

But here’s the hard truth – small balls are one of the most common choking hazards for dogs.

They can easily get lodged in a dog’s throat, blocking their airway.

So, as heartbreaking as it may be to take away their favorite toy, it’s a step we need to take for their safety.

Choose larger balls that are too big to be swallowed or consider other types of toys that can provide the same joy and stimulation without the risk.

Because at the end of the day, our furry friends’ safety is what truly matters.

7. String, yarn and ribbon

I’ve always been a bit of a craft enthusiast.

Knitting, sewing, gift wrapping – you name it.

But I never thought my hobby could be a danger to my dog until one day I found my dachshund, Daisy, with a piece of yarn hanging out of her mouth.

Strings, yarns, ribbons – they might seem harmless but can pose a serious choking hazard for dogs.

If swallowed, they can wrap around a dog’s intestines or create a blockage in their digestive tract.

After the incident with Daisy, I’ve made it a point to keep my craft materials safely tucked away.

If you have any string-like materials around your house, ensure they’re kept out of your dog’s reach.

Your pet may not understand the danger, but we as owners need to step in and protect them.

8. Certain foods

You might be surprised to know that some foods we humans consume without a second thought can pose a choking risk to dogs.

Foods like whole apples, peaches, or any fruit with a pit can become lodged in a dog’s throat.

Similarly, certain vegetables like whole carrots or corn on the cob can also be problematic if not properly chopped up before serving to your dog.

And let’s not forget about small, hard foods like nuts or hard candies.

These can easily get stuck in a dog’s throat and cause choking.

As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to be aware of these risks and take necessary precautions when it comes to feeding your dog.

Always chop up fruits and veggies into manageable sizes and keep small, hard foods out of their reach.

The love behind caution

At the heart of all these precautions is a simple, undeniable truth – we love our dogs.

They’re more than just pets; they’re family, and their safety matters.

It’s a fact that dogs are innately curious creatures.

Their world is a playground filled with intriguing scents, tastes, and textures.

As dog owners, our role isn’t to curb their curiosity, but to guide it safely.

Each potential choking hazard we’ve discussed is rooted in this duality – the joy of exploration and the risk that comes with it.

And while we can’t protect our dogs from everything, being aware of these risks is the first step towards prevention.

So as you go about your day, observe your dog’s play and exploration through this new lens of knowledge.

You’ll start recognizing potential hazards you’d never considered before.

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Nomadrs to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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