Dogs eat all kinds of things out of boredom, hunger, and yes, gluttony. A dog can eat nearly anything, from plastic bags to whole bones to stones. While the reason why dogs eat stones is unclear, it is documented that dogs eat these hard rocks out of boredom or anxiety. Your dog may have even eaten stones in the past without you even realizing it. If you catch your dog munching on a stone and they swallow it, you may fear that the foreign object will get lodged in your dog's throat. Here is what you should do if this happens.
Don't panic while you assess the situation
Your dog will immediately react to your panicking, screaming, or jagged movements, and may attempt to hide or run away as it works on dislodging the stone on their own. No matter how badly your dog appears to be choking, try to stay calm while approaching your pet so you can assess the situation. If your dog is coughing heavily or even wheezing, it means they are still getting air, which is a good sign. If your dog is listless and immobile, they may be choking very badly. No matter how minor or severe your pet's choking may appear, always remain calm so you can help them.
Call a vet and assist in breathing
An emergency veterinarian usually has 24 hour assistance for emergencies such as yours. Prepare your dog to go to the vet by wrapping it in a thin blanket to help limit movement and keep your dog calm, and ask your vet how you can improve your dog's airway. Your vet will tell you the best way to assist your dog, including how to put your fingers in your dog's mouth to check to see if you can remove the stone. If your dog has fallen unconscious, you can help them in this way as well. For a smaller dog, grip their thighs and gently sway your dog back and forth to open their airway. For a larger dog, you want to join your fists under their rib cage and thrust upwards, similar to what you would do for a choking human.
You can place your mouth over your dog's muzzle and breathe into their mouth gently to give them oxygen. Ask your vet how to do this as you get your dog to their office for professional aid.
If your dog ever chokes on a stone, your best bet is to stay calm and call a vet right away. Your emergency vet will guide you how to clear your dog's airway and give them emergency care until you can get them to the animal hospital. Contact a company like Northside Emergency Pet Clinic for assistance.