Why Do Dogs Choke Themselves On Leashes: The Truth Behind This Strange Behavior

Dogs are known for their playful and curious nature, but sometimes this can lead to some strange behavior. One such example is dogs choking themselves on leashes. It can be a puzzling sight to see a dog happily trotting along, only to suddenly start coughing and gasping for air. So, why do dogs choke themselves on their leashes? Let us find out below.

Why Do Dogs Choke Themselves On Leashes?

Dogs choke themselves on leashes for various reasons. The most common reason is that they are trying to get to something ahead of them and the leash is preventing them from doing so. Dogs will also choke themselves if they are playing too roughly and the leash gets tangled around their neck. In these instances, it is evident that a dog is trying to pull against the pressure instead of just simply giving in to it. As a result, dogs can end up with a condition called tracheal collapse which is when the cartilage in their throats collapses and restricts their airway.

why do dogs choke themselves on leashes infographics

Treatment For Dogs Who Choke Themselves On Leashes

If your dog has been choking itself on its leash, it is important to take it to the vet as soon as possible. Tracheal collapse is a serious condition that can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. In most cases, dogs will need to be hospitalized and put on oxygen therapy. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damage to the trachea.

What Are The Symptoms Of Tracheal Collapse?

The symptoms of tracheal collapse include:

  • coughing
  • gagging
  • wheezing
  • difficulty breathing

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms after it has choked himself on a leash, it is important to take it to the vet immediately. This way, immediate treatment can be given and your dog’s life can be saved.

why do dogs choke themselves on leashes - dog wearing a leash with tongue out

How To Prevent Your Dog From Choking On A Leash

There are a few things you can do to prevent your dog from choking on a leash:

Use a harness instead of a collar.

One of the best things you can do to prevent your dog from choking on a leash is to use a harness instead of a collar. Harnesses distribute the pressure evenly around the dog’s body and prevent the leash from getting caught around the neck.

Keep the leash short.

Another way to prevent your dog from choking on a leash is to keep it short. This will allow you to have better control over your dog and will also prevent the leash from getting tangled around its legs or body. However, it’s still not advisable to leave your dog unattended with a short leash. After all, even the shortest leash can become a choking hazard if your dog gets tangled in it.

Be careful when using retractable leashes.

Retractable leashes can extend too far and cause dogs to choke themselves if they run to the end of the leash. Therefore, you have to be careful when using retractable leashes and make sure to keep a close eye on your dog. If you’re not careful, your dog could easily choke itself on a retractable leash.

Be vigilant.

The best way to prevent your dog from choking on a leash is to be vigilant. Pay attention to your dog’s body language and be aware of its surroundings. If you see your dog starting to choke, remove the leash immediately and seek veterinary attention if necessary. dogs that are prone to collapsing trachea, it is even more important to take precautions against leashing-related injuries.

On What Instances Would Cause A Dog To Choke On Its Leash?

To remedy the behavior of choking on its leash, you need to be able to identify the instances or triggers that cause your dog to choke. Once you know what these are, you can work on avoidance or behavior modification training. Below are the instances that might prompt your dog to choke on its leash:

Wanting to walk ahead

If you are walking your dog on a leash and it suddenly wants to walk ahead of you, it may start to choke itself. This is because dogs that want to walk ahead often pull on their leashes. The pulling can cause the leash to tighten around the dog’s neck, which then leads to choking.

If your dog exhibits this behavior often, you need to train it to walk beside or behind you. You can do this by using a headcollar or harness.

Reaching for something

Another common instance that leads to dogs choking themselves on leashes is when they try to reach for something. This could be another dog, a person, or an object. The dog may start to pull on the leash to get to the thing it wants.

This can be prevented by teaching your dog the “leave it” command. This will train your dog to not go after things that it’s not supposed to.

Reacting to another dog

Another instance that might cause your dog to choke on its leash is if it sees another dog and reacts. Dogs that are reactive or aggressive towards other dogs often lunge and pull when they see them. This can again lead to the leash tightening around the neck and choking.

To remedy this, you can try to avoid dogs that your dog doesn’t get along with. If this isn’t possible, you can try putting a muzzle on your dog or using a head halter.

You should also work on training your dog with positive reinforcement. This will help your dog to associate good things with other dogs and not be so reactive towards them.

Being scared or anxious

Some dogs may also choke on their leashes because they are scared or anxious. When dogs are feeling these emotions, they may try to flee the situation. This can lead to them pulling on their leash and choking themselves.

To help dogs that are feeling scared or anxious, you can try using a calming supplement like CBD oil. You can also spend time with your dog so that it will feel reassured. Knowing that you are there will help to calm your dog down.

Choking on leashes is strange behavior that dogs can do. But, it’s important to understand why dogs choke themselves on leashes so that you can help to prevent it. If your dog has been choking on its leash, be sure to take it to the vet right to determine if your dog has harmed its neck.

why do dogs choke themselves on leashes - dog walking at the grass field wearing a leash

FAQs

How do you stop a dog from choking itself on a leash?

You can stop a dog from choking itself by using a harness instead of a collar, using a shorter leash, or by disciplining your dog. These are the three most common methods to stop dogs from choking on leashes.

Can dogs choke themselves on a leash?

Yes, dogs can choke themselves on a leash. This usually happens if the leash is too long or if the dog is not properly trained and gets excited or anxious.

Can a leash cause a collapsed trachea?

Yes, a leash can cause a collapsed trachea if the leash is too tight or if the dog is pulling on the leash too much in the event that it gets tangled in your dog’s neck. A harness can help to prevent this from happening.

What are the symptoms of trachea problems in dogs?

If your dog is having trachea problems, you may notice that they are coughing, gagging, or struggling to breathe. If you think your dog may be choking on a leash, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. This way, you can determine if the problem is serious.

Final Thoughts

So, why do dogs choke themselves on leashes? There are various reasons why this may happen, but it is often due to being excitable and pulling on the leash too much. If you think your dog may be choking on its leash, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. This way, you can check and guarantee that the problem is not serious.

In case your dog has suffered from tracheal collapse, it is important to seek veterinary care and get a diagnosis from a professional. This way, you can ensure that your dog gets the treatment that it needs. Surgery may be required in some cases, but dogs usually recover well from this type of procedure.

At best, replace your dog’s current collar with a harness to prevent this from happening in the future. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to speak with your veterinarian about them. They will be able to help you better understand why dogs choke themselves on leashes and what you can do to prevent it.

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by Nicole Barnett

Nicole has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. She has three dogs, two of which she rescued from the streets. When not furiously typing away at her computer, you’d either find her chasing after her adorable dogs and kids, or volunteering at a local shelter.

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