Dog Diaries: Heimlich & Top 3 Problems

I talk a lot about crime related subjects because it’s my passion. But today, I thought I’d take a step back and discuss something really important…


Through Twitter and Facebook I’ve discovered many share my love of animals, specifically dogs. But do you know how to protect your baby should an emergency arise?


Let’s say Fido is enjoying a rawhide bone. The rawhide gets wet and slippery and can easily get lodged in his throat, blocking Fido’s airway. You don’t have time to call the vet or poor Fido will die. Anyone who’s ever choked on a piece of food knows how unsettling and horrifying it feels when you can’t breathe. Fido feels this too.

Don’t panic. You’ve got this.

First, open Fido’s mouth. Make sure to put the fleshy part of his lips over his canines. Like this…

This way he won’t be able to bite down. Conditioning your puppy to opening his mouth while he’s young is a good idea, especially if you have a large breed dog. If your baby is older you can start now. It’s never too late. Practice doing this, then reward with praise and/or his favorite treat. NOT RAWHIDE. Unless, it’s been chopped into tiny bits and molded into a bone shape. I do not recommend the rawhide bones that are one long roll of rawhide. You’re just asking for trouble. Mine have never gotten these for this very reason.

With Fido’s mouth open see if you can locate the object. If someone is there with you have them shine a flashlight down his throat. If you can see it, and can safely remove it with your fingers, do it. DO NOT use any instrument like pliers, tweezers, etc. You will only cause further harm, like cutting his mouth or injuring his larynx. If you get grossed out easily– too bad. This is your baby. You should be used to his spit, vomit, and other bodily fluids by now. If not, get over it. This is his life we’re talking about.

If you cannot see the object and easily grab it don’t feel around in there. You might push the obstruction farther down his throat.


I learned this fifteen years ago when I had a house full of dogs and, thankfully, have only had to use it once. First, move behind Fido and place your hands together like a fist, just under his rib cage. That’s his solar plexus. Unless, you have a small dog, in which case you want to use just a few fingers so that you don’t break his ribs. Push straight up, hard, three times in the solar plexus, leaving Fido’s front legs on the floor. If that doesn’t work, do it three more times. And so on, in rounds of three. Like this…



WARNING: This will not be comfortable for Fido. He may try to bite you. So you better decide how badly you want him to live. Keep in mind, YOU will heal. HE won’t. If there is someone with you, have them hold his head to help prevent this from happening. Personally, nothing could stop me from saving his life. I’m betting you’ll agree.

If the Heimlich still doesn’t dislodge the object and Fido loses consciousness you need to act fast. You no longer have to worry about pushing the object farther down his throat. Shove your hand down his throat and feel for the object. If his heart stops… So just do it. Once you’re able to feel the obstruction pull it out, obviously. Then take him to the vet (emergency appointment) to check for fluids in the lungs, broken ribs and/or damaged larynx.


Our dogs are such goofy characters with so much personality. It just doesn’t seem right to end a post about dogs with such seriousness.

Dogs aren’t always easy to live with. There are a few problem areas they need to work on. Here are my top three…


A dog’s nose is tens of thousands of times more sensitive to odors than ours. So on that rare occasion that I’ve visited a friend who happens to have a dog I’m shunned when I come home. Not just shunned. My two dogs will sniff me up and down like drug dogs hot a suspect’s scent and give me this look like I’ve been unfaithful.

I immediately find myself coming up with excuses. “I swear I didn’t pat him.”

petting the neighbor's dog

“The dog stayed on the other side of the room the whole time. I must have transferred a hair or two to my pants when I sat on the sofa.”

Still, I get…

the look

When that doesn’t work, because it never works, I confess, “Okay, I only petted him for a minute. You’re the only one for me, I swear.”

In turn, they usually respond with a quick spin of the head and the silent treatment. Until, finally, it’s me who begs for forgiveness.


All dogs love a good treat. Mine happen to love carrots, too. We actually have been reduced to spelling the word in their presence.

“Honey, did you remember to buy the c-a-r-r-o-t-s?”

Because one mention of the word and they get, what we affectionately call, “crack eyes”. Their eyes get so big and round they look like they could pop right out of their head. I mean it’s a friggin’ carrot for cryin’ out loud, not a savory bone from the butcher. Still, I get this…



You’d think behind those sweet brown eyes lies a loving soul who doesn’t think of such things. But you’d be wrong. Dogs are notorious for getting even. It may not be right away, but they will have the last laugh, and at your expense. Over the years I’ve had to learn this the hard way. Just when everything seems like it’s going smoothly one of my sweet babies will remember something I said last month, or the ball that I accidentally kicked across the room, and choose that moment to make me pay for it. And usually, in a way that reminds me what it was I said or did that made them harbor such resentment against me. (refer back to #1)

Oh, sure, they’ll try to blame YOU with something like…

panickedBut I know what’s really going on.

Since we all could use a good laugh once in a while this will be a new bi-monthly series, which you can find under Dog Diaries in the menu section… soon.

What do your dogs do that drive you crazy? Any problem areas? Just make sure to turn the screen away from your dog. You know how sensitive they can be. More on that later…

Next up on Murder Blog: How To Make Your Character A Badass In Heels

11 thoughts on “Dog Diaries: Heimlich & Top 3 Problems

  1. Great to see you talking about furchildren, Sue! I would not recommend rawhide to anyone. That is one of the worse products on the market. Between the digestive issues and the bacteria issues, ugh, it’s just bad news. Anywho…..I have an 80+ ambull mix and he loves his treats. However, there have been times I’ve head to reach into his mouth to get something unstuck from his teeth. Good thing he’s trusting of me and allows me. Great tip on the Heimlich as well!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Brenda Lee! I agree. Rawhide is bad news. We had a mailman who would always leave rawhide bones for Xmas. He meant well, but they went into the trash every year because I wasn’t risking my babies’ lives. Carrots are the preferred treat in our house. :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If you think Jealous Dog Syndrome is bad, you should try having cats. We have both, and it’s an impossible situation – the moment we start petting one four-legged creature, another one will show up out of nowhere and demand our attention.

    Thanks for sharing the Heimlich for dogs tip. I’d never heard of it before, and hope never to have to use it, but it’s good information to have.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahaha! Been there, too. One cat in your lap, another around your neck, a dog paw on your knee, and they all give you the stare, “Which one will you pet first?” And no matter who you choose, you’re toast.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I honestly think it’d be easier to convince Electra to share my attention, than my cat (who’s called Perro, as he follows me around like a dog, and is always purring on my lap. And no, the dog is not called Gato).


    • Exactly. That’s why if you can’t safely remove with your fingers it’s best to force them to cough it up. But of course you knew that, you’re a fire fighter! Thanks, Louis.

      Hmm, I just had a thought… With your background and expertise perhaps I could convince you to come guest post? I’m not above bribing you with virtual cookies, cupcakes, red velvet cake…Red Velvet Cake Waldorf Astoria by Hennem08


  3. Hey Sue, fellow dog lover – this is really helpful info. I’ve had dogs all my life and only once had a stuck throat issue and that was with his accidentally getting a chicken bone. That was a fight prying it out and I think it was more like him thinking I was trying to steal his food. And you’re so right about the jealous dog syndrome :)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sue – This is such useful information!! You never know when you may need to stop in if there’s an emergency. My daughter is a veterinary technician; she often comments about how helpful it is in vet world if people understand how to take care of their pets like this.
    You’re right too about dog issues. My dogs always try to compete with each other, so I get the ‘jealousy’ thing. They also are quite good at being emotive, either to get our of trouble or to get into a treat… ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Margot. So often I hear sad stories that only happened because their ‘parent’ didn’t know any better. I’ll tell you a little secret: I just got permission from Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, to quote from his blog to help inform pet lovers. I’m excited to be able to help people with their buddies, with Dog Diaries.

      Oh, I know that one too. The fake “I gotta go out” scratch for a treat. Classic.

      Liked by 1 person

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