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  • Writer's pictureMeaghan Davenport

11 Common Choking Hazards for Dogs

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

Dogs are at risk of choking on these 11 common choking hazards.

Every dog parent has said, "Don't eat that."

Dogs, in fact, enjoy putting objects in their jaws. From food to furnishings, your canine buddy may think it's fair game if he can reach it and wrap his chompers around it. Especially if we're talking about puppies who haven't been taught.

While your dog may like exploring the world with his mouth, it's vital to remember that dogs can and do choke. Any small object Fido can stuff into his mouth is a possible choking hazard.

1. Balls

  • Tennis balls

  • Kong balls

  • Your average squeaky ball

Although they may seem fun and are sold just about anywhere, be aware of the dangers that may come with these toys! They may seem fun and innocent but could do some serious damage to your little #puppy! Tennis, rubber, plastic, and fabric balls can all cause choking. Especially if you have the kind of #pooch that loves to eat the covers off of those fuzzy #tennis balls!

The more a dog chews on a ball the greater the risk! Pieces can break off and lodge in their throats, balls can compress and become buried in their throats, and fibers can break off and wad up. If your dog is playing with a ball, make sure it is the right size.

No ball is too big

It’s also important to keep an eye on your dog when they're playing. Balls are fantastic for keeping your dog occupied while he bats it around the house or yard while playing fetch. When the game is over, though, put the ball away.

2. Bones made with rawhide

Large portions of rawhide have been reported to be swallowed completely by aggressive chewers (Finnagan). Especially if you have other dogs in the house who are protective of their food and or treats they may try to finish their bone quickly so no other dog around them can have it which then will most likely cause them to choke! I've seen it happen with my own dogs and it's not very fun reaching your hand down a 90 pound dog's mouth to retrieve a rawhide out of their throat

3. Bones that have been cooked

  • Steak bones

  • Chicken bones

  • Turkey bones

  • Other cooked bones

These should never be fed to your dog.

Bones that have been cooked are extremely brittle.

4. Bones that are raw

Raw bones might provide a terrific chewing alternative for Fido. It's crucial to note, however, that they can also cause choking dangers.

If you want to give your dog raw bones, go to your veterinarian and see what he or she recommends. Once your veterinarian has given you permission to feed raw bones, think about the size. No bone is too big!

5. Sticks

Even though Bully sticks are well-known for being easily digestible, you should still keep an eye on your dog when they're chewing.

To avoid choking, take your dog's bully sticks away from him once they've been whittled down to just a few inches.

6. Pinecones and Sticks

Going outdoors to throw a stick at your dog has been the topic of innumerable situations. I'm referring to a regular stick that you may discover in your backyard or on a hiking route.

Perhaps you or someone you know enjoys playing fetch in this manner. Mother Nature's wooden sticks, on the other hand, can be dangerous to your dog.

7. Stones

Sticks and stones will not break your bones, but they might cause serious injury.

Many dogs have an interest in stones and tiny rocks for whatever reason. They enjoy playing with them and eating them. Stones and anything else they can get into their mouths is extremely appealing to puppies.

If a stone becomes trapped in the neck, it can completely block the airway. In addition, if your dog swallows a stone, it might induce an intestinal obstruction, necessitating surgery. This is costly in more ways than just financial!

8. Plastic wrap

What could be more enticing than a piece of plastic wrap that smells just like the juicy steak it's supposed to keep fresh? If your dog consumes plastic wrap, it may be fatal. It can become stuck in their throats and impede their breathing. Keep plastic wrap out of reach at all times, especially if you've recently removed it from stored food. If you place it in the trashcan, make sure your lid locks. Dog's have in incredible sense of smell and will sniff out that lasagne scented plastic wrap faster than you can say pickle!

9. Children's Toys

You might think of your dog as a second child in the house. He thinks like a child, has a vocabulary that is comparable to that of a toddler, and would eat anything (just like a toddler). Toys for kids often include a lot of little components that can be difficult to keep track of. Keep a watch on the little legos, jigsaw pieces, small figurines, and other small toys to ensure that your dog is not enticed.

10. Gristle

Have you ever had a bit of gristle (that tough, chewy piece of meat that you simply can't seem to chew or break down) in your meat? Your dog too is unable to break it down, making it very simple for him to choke on. Keep the gristle on your plate and chuck it in the trash after you're done.

11. Socks, Clothing, Underwear

If your dogs are anything like mine they love socks, slippers, shoes, sandals, and all small chewable objects! I know life can get crazy and sometimes shoes and laundry just get thrown into some corners of the house cause you don't want to deal with it, I get it, Trust me. But I always say this to myself “don't put it down, put it away.” That has seriously helped me tremendously even when I'm busy because dogs are just like children were any household item.

Even kitchen utensils can become #dangerous at any point in their life. I do believe that dogs are very smart but they also explore the world with their mouths much like toddlers. If you have to ask your spouse when leaving the house, “ do you think…. will get into this…” Just do yourself a favor and put it away where the dog can't get it!


The floor is the biggest zone - small toys, objects, including socks, scrunchies, toothpicks, rocks, and other seasonal items. I.e. Christmas ornaments are super tempting to your furry friend to chew on. This is especially true for young puppies!

Heaven forbid, but if your furry pal is choking, you need to know what to do. Click HERE to read up on this.


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