The joy and enthusiasm that dogs bring to our lives is simply unmatched. When it comes to dog catching treat photography, they take it to a whole new level of hilarity. There’s something undeniably captivating about capturing those split seconds when their eyes widen with anticipation, their jaws open wide, and the treat zooms towards them in mid-air.
But what makes these photographs truly hilarious are the unique expressions on their faces as they focus all their attention on catching that precious morsel. Some dogs squint their eyes in determined concentration, while others contort their faces into comical shapes that leave us in splits of laughter. It’s fascinating how each dog has its own strategy for successfully snatching the treat – some opt for precision and agility, while others rely purely on luck (and perhaps a bit of drool!).
These snapshots not only showcase the playful nature of our beloved canine companions but also serve as a reminder of their pure zest for life. The sheer excitement they exhibit over something as simple as catching a treat is infectious – it reminds us to find joy in everyday moments, just like our furry friends do.
Dog Catching Treat Photography – Choking Dog
With treat catching photography, choking is a potential danger that all responsible dog photographers and owners should be aware of. While it might seem like a harmless game, the act of tossing treats to capture that treat catching shot can quickly turn into a choking hazard. Many dog owners and perhaps you too, are unaware that dogs have reflexes that cause them to gulp down food without properly chewing it, increasing their risk of choking on larger treats.
To understand how to deal with a choking dog, I interviewed Chris Tomlinson from Rackheath Veterinary surgery in Norfolk. I posed the question ‘How dog photographers avoid a choking dog during a treat catching photograph and what to do should a dog start chocking?’
For over forty years, Chris has practiced as a Veterinary Surgeon and has treated many dogs with sticks stuck in the roof of their mouths but luckily none choking.
Use smaller Dog Treats
Chris explained “first and foremost, opt for smaller and softer treats for treat-catching pictures. These types of treats will reduce the chances of a dog choking as they are easier to break down and swallow safely.”
Dog treat catching photography creates some wonderful pictures and should always be an enjoyable experience for both you. your client and their dog but sometimes despite all the precautions a dog could still choke, so I asked Chris ‘what do you do?’
How not to treat a choking dog
Chris explained “It is crucial to be well-informed on how to respond in emergency situations, especially when it comes to our dogs. However, there are common misconceptions about treating a choking dog that can do more harm than good. One misguided approach is vigorously slapping the dog on it’s back in an attempt to dislodge the object causing the obstruction. While this technique may work for humans, it can actually push the object further down a dog’s throat or cause additional injuries.
Another incorrect method often employed is to put your hand inside a conscious dog’s mouth: if you do this, then you are highly likely to get bitten!”
How to treat a choking dog
Chris continued, “You can perform the Heimlich Manoeuvre on dogs but it varies on the size of the dog. For a small dog you can either pick up the dog and hold them with their back to your front. Find the soft spot on their abdomen under their ribs. Using the thumb side of your fist, gently thrust inwards and upwards. Or you can lay the dog on their back. Find the soft spot on the abdomen under the ribs. Using the heel of your hand, gently press inwards and upwards.
For a large dog you can either stand the dog on their hind legs and hold them like a person with their back to your front. Find the soft spot on the abdomen under the ribs. Using your fist, thrust inwards and upwards or another option is to lay the dog on their side. Find the soft spot on their abdomen under the ribs. Supporting them from the back, press a fist upwards and inwards towards their spine.
Once you have performed the Heimlich manoeuvre you should get your client to open the dogs mouth whilst you check the mouth for the dislodged treat. If you are ever not sure what to do you can always call your clients vet who I am sure can talk you through the procedure.”
Have you ever treated a choking dog?
Chris said “I have never had to treat a choking dog” which leads to me to believe learning how to treat a choking dog is of vital importance for dog photographers who are going to capture those incredible treat catching images.
If you are a photographer who wants to learn dog catching treat photography, then before you capture anything, it is your responsibility to use the correct treats and learn how to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre should anything go wrong. Whilst I sincerely hope anyone who throws a treat for a dog never find ourselves in such a situation, but accidents can happen, especially when it comes to dogs so we should all be prepared!
Knowing how to properly execute the Heimlich manoeuvre on dogs can provide all dog photographers and owners with the confidence and the ability to act swiftly should such an emergency arise and we can ensure that we do not cause any additional harm while trying to save a dog from choking to death.