The Heimlich Maneuver for Pets

  • For a cat or small dog, hold his back against your stomach with his head up and his feet hanging down.  Put your fist just underneath the rib cage – you can feel the soft, hollow place – and push inward and upward at the same time, much like it is performed on people.  Use a strong thrusting action to help dislodge the object.


  • Lay a larger dog on his side and kneel behind him, with your knees against his backbone.  Lean over him and put your fist into the hollow below the rib cage, then push sharply inward and upward toward the dog’s head and your knees.


Repeat the maneuver two or three times in a row, then check to see if the object has come loose in the mouth.  If it hasn’t, continue the maneuver until it does or in the car while someone drives you to the veterinarian.