CPR on Your Dog

Jarett and Stella

Most of you reading this blog probably have pets. Of that group, a good portion of you probably have dogs. Now these dogs may be considered a pet, best friend, part of the family and the highly praised hunting buddy!

This though comes to me while sitting in the vets office this past weekend. The very same place that I saw my vet perform CPR on my dog Gonzo 8 years ago.

If you care for your pets as much as I do, then you probably want to read on. Unfortunatley, because our pets can’t speak, it’s up to us to make sure we’re prepared for anything that may happen. Whether you choose to find out more today at Pet Parents after reading this post or decide to ask the vet for advice, your dog will be grateful that you’re doing everything you can to understand them and help them. You already spend the time to get them checked quite regularily, and no doubt that clinic makes good use of a portable ultrasound to ensure the pup is healthy and well, so taking one more step makes perfect sense.

The same CPR technique used for humans can be used on dogs. CPR will provide heart contractions and breathing until the dog can perform these functions on its own. If you are unfamilar witht the technique, it might be worthwhile for you to find a local course to help you. Coast2Coast London may be useful if you are from the area.

CPR should not be performed on a dog that has a heartbeat. You should not perform mouth-to-mouth on a dog that is already breathing, unless the breaths are very unsteady and shallow.

Steps to perform CPR on your dog:

1. Check for a pulse and breathing

Watch closely for any signs of breath, see if its chest is rising and falling

Use your index and middle fingers to find the pulse

The best place to find a pulse are in the ankles, the femoral artery and chest

Start CPR if you do not find a pulse or breathing

2. Probe for signs

If a dog is not breathing and has no pulse, lips and inside of its mouth might be blue or discolored

Check the gums

Check the pupils for dilation. This is an indication that CPR is needed

3. Start the chest compressions

Lay the dog on its right-side

Keep your elbows locked directly above your hands on its ribcage

Press against the ribcage 5 times forcefully

4. Perform mouth-to-mouth

If the dog is still not breathing wrap your mouth over the dog’s nose, mouth and blow steadily with a medium sized breath

After 1 minute of breaths (10-15) and chest compressions, check for a pulse again

Continue the above steps until the dog recovers or professional help arrives

The video below goes into greater detail and is worth watching.

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