Knowing CPR Could Save Your Dog’s Life
Locate the heart to start CPR on a dog
Learning CPR for dogs and cats is very similar to the techniques used on people. Every second counts when you find your pet unconscious and without a heartbeat. Brain damage and death takes only a few minutes.
Giving your dog or cat Rescue Breaths and chest compressions keeps the blood circulating and oxygen reaching the brain.
It’s very important to continue CPR on dogs and cats for as long as possible, until the animal begins breathing on his own or until help arrives to relieve you. Unfortunately, ambulances and EMT’s do not rush to the assistance of pets, so try to call someone for help and continue CPR while driving to the animal hospital.
Laying a dog or a cat in a van or truck with a flat bed works best for effective CPR but the back seat of a car will do if nothing else is available.
First Step of Pet CPR
The first thing to do if you find your dog or cat unresponsive is to make sure it’s safe for you to approach the dog. Look around for any other animals or hazards that could harm you. If the area is safe, go to your dog or cat and check to see if he’s breathing.
Look, listen, and feel around the animal’s mouth for breath. If there is no breathing, check the airway of the animal. Open your pet’s mouth, and see if there is anything lodged in his throat. Pull her tongue out to get a better view and use your finger to dislodge the object and remove it from the airway.
Second Step of Pet CPR
Lay your pet on his right side. If you have a large dog, extend and straighten the dog’s head to open the airway and tightly hold her jaw closed. Give two rescue breaths into the dog’s nose, watching to see if the chest rises.
For cats and small dogs, extend the head and give two rescue breaths through the mouth and nose. Make sure the animal’s chest rises.
If you don’t see your pet’s chest rise, repeat the procedure for checking the airway. Hold the dog or cat with her back against your body and give a quick, sharp squeeze to the animal’s abdomen to try and get the object out. Repeat five times if necessary, and then check the airway again.
Begin rescue breaths again.
Third Step of Pet CPR
Make sure your dog or cat is on his right side because the heart is located on the left side of the chest. Another method is to lay the animal on her back and give compressions the same way as for humans, but it’s hard to keep an animal in this position.
Check for a pulse by using two fingers under the leg beside the chest, under the hind leg, or on the paws. View this demonstration of finding a dog’s or cat’s pulse.
· Give large dogs over 60 pounds, sixty compressions every minute
· Dogs or cats that weight 11 to 59 pounds should receive 80 to 100 compressions every minute
· Pets that weigh less than 10 pounds should receive 120 compressions every minute.
Squeeze the lower abdomen of your pet after giving the chest compressions to help circulate the blood.
Also, check for injuries and apply first aid, if necessary after giving the first rescue breaths.
The older CPR skills required 1 breath to 15 compressions but the rates are now 30 compressions and 2 rescue breaths until your dog or cat begins breathing on her own. Just remember that either way of performing CPR on dogs and cats is better than not doing anything when trying to save your pet’s life. Hopefully, you’ll never have to do CPR on your dog or cat.
Please comment, if you have any other tips to give about CPR or first aid for pets. Thanks for reading.
University of Washington School of Medicine: “Learn CPR, You Can Do It”
CPR Dude: “CPR, Learn a Skill…Save a Life”
Pets America, “Proper Technique for Performing CPR on a Dog”