Prevent These 7 Common Dog Choking Hazards

Dogs love chewing on things: tennis balls, sticks, bones, etc. However, many of these items your dog plays with and chews on can be a potential choking hazard to them.

Tennis Balls

Tennis Ball Choking Hazard

In the case of tennis balls, your dog may crush it so that it wedges in his throat, causing him to choke. After playing fetch with your pet, be sure to put any tennis balls away and don’t let them be used as a chewing toy. In addition, tennis balls are also harsh on your dog’s teeth.


Sticks, if swallowed, can cause splinters to get caught in the roof of your dog’s mouth and may need to be surgically removed.


Although bones may be a favorite chewing toy, your dog may eagerly swallow a bone whole or large, sharp pieces of the bone, potentially forming cuts in his or her mouth, esophagus, or digestive system.

Rawhide Bones

When selecting rawhide bones, choose larger ones that don’t have small pieces. Supervise your pet as he or she chews on the rawhide bone, and once it gets smaller and they start ripping off small pieces, remove it to avoid any choking.

Dental Treats

Dental treats such as dental chews and dental sticks can also be a hazard. Choose dental treats that your dog can easily digest in case he or she happens to swallow them.

Dog Toys

Even certain dog toys can be a risk, especially small ones, or ones with small parts that can be easily ripped off. Only allow your dog to play with these kinds of toys if you are able to watch them while they play.

Kids’ Toys

Finally, kids’ toys and other household items can be a choking hazard for your dog, particularly anything that is not intended for dogs that is chewable or small enough to be wedged in your dog’s esophagus or trachea.

As a pet owner, there are preventative measures you can take to protect your dog from choking. Learn more about what to do when you need to take something away from your dog’s mouth in this video and the value of the “drop-it” command–which could save your dog’s life if they happen to start choking.