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Pet Choking Prevention Day – Shining Light on Household Dangers


[June, 2024] – As Pet Choking Prevention Day, a crucial event that sheds light on a significant issue, is observed overseas this Saturday, Pet Insurance Australia takes the opportunity to raise awareness about the often-overlooked dangers that can lead to pets choking. From seemingly harmless household items like balls and rubber bands to treats and chews, many pet parents are unaware of these items’ risks to their furry companions.

“Sadly, many pet owners don’t realise that common items can pose a serious risk of choking for their pets,” says Nadia Crighton, Spokesperson for Pet Insurance Australia. “Educating ourselves about what constitutes safe toys, treats, and household items can significantly prevent choking incidents.”

Dogs are not only masters at masking their pain, they are also experts at eating things they shouldn’t.

“It is no surprise to seasoned dog owners that dogs can get into all sorts of things they shouldn’t,” Crighton says. “Quick action and watching for behavioural changes can be key to preventing any disastrous outcomes when it comes to choking.”

For your pet’s safety, Pet Insurance Australia suggests the following:

  • Choose the Right Size: To prevent accidental swallowing, ensure toys and treats are larger than your pet’s windpipe. This is particularly important with balls.
  • Remove Broken Toys: removing damaged toys is also essential to prevent choking.
  • Know Your Pet’s Habits: Take extra precautions if your pet tends to swallow things whole.
  • Never Leave Unattended: Always supervise your pet with treats, chews and bones. Also remove bones once your pet has finished.
  • Consider Who Resides in the Household: Different pets and people have different needs – cue the children’s toys. It’s essential to be mindful of items that may be hazardous to any pet.
  • Training: Pet training can also play a pivotal role in prevention. Teaching your dog the ‘leave it’ command and discouraging chewing on dangerous items from puppyhood can help prevent future incidents.

“Preventing pet choking incidents starts with understanding potential risks and taking proactive measures to keep pets safe,” Crighton says. “It is not uncommon to hear of our pets ingesting all sorts of items, from socks and rocks to bones and corn cobs, and many times these items can get lodged in the throat and cause distress and damage.”

Case Study Illustrates Urgency of Awareness

The experience of pet owner Cherie O’Brien highlights the urgency of choking prevention when her beloved dog Winston faced a terrifying ordeal when a bone lodged in his throat.

“Winston. He is doing really well after his incident. The difficult part about his situation was that he was hungry but couldn’t tell us he couldn’t swallow. It was only when he looked so miserable after a few days that we realised he had an obstruction.

“He ate a bone, and quite a large chunk became caught in his throat. He struggled to drink enough and couldn’t ingest. The scary part was not knowing what was wrong.”

Luckily for Winston, help was on hand.

“Our local vet did an X-ray and tried to remove the bone by going through his mouth. This failed, so we rushed him up to the Gold Coast for surgery.”

Sadly, even after removal, Winston was not out of the woods.

“When he was still not recovering, they went back in and discovered a perforation down his throat. After a second surgery, we brought him home with a stomach tube and a liquid diet. He now eats as well as before, only with smaller kibble and definitely no bones! His brother Wilfred, who lives with my daughter, has also been out on a no-bone diet as they both tend to eat very quickly!”

Winston’s case underscores the unpredictable nature of choking incidents and the critical importance of swift action and informed decision-making.

“It is imperative that if people suspect their pet has ingested something that could pose a problem, to seek professional help,” Crighton says. “Also, be vigilant. If you notice any sudden behavioural changes, a quick veterinary check-up is important, as this can save your pet’s life, as illustrated in the case of Winston and his caring owners. ”

About Pet Insurance Australia:
Pet Insurance Australia is a leading provider of insurance solutions for pet owners. It is committed to promoting responsible pet ownership and safeguarding the health of animals nationwide.


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nadia crighton pet insurance expert

Nadia Crighton is a renowned and accomplished professional in the fields of Journalism, Public Relations, and Writing, with an extensive career spanning over 25 years, 20 of which have been dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of pets.

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