How To Perform CPR On A Dog

Performing CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) on a dog is a life-saving skill that can be crucial in emergencies when a dog's heartbeat or breathing has stopped. CPR for dogs requires specific knowledge and techniques. It's essential to note that performing CPR on a dog should only be attempted by individuals who have received proper training in canine CPR. If you suspect your dog requires CPR, follow these steps:

Note: These guidelines are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for proper training in canine CPR.

Step 1: Assess the Situation

  • Ensure your safety and the safety of the dog. Approach the dog carefully, especially if it is in pain or distress, and avoid any signs of aggression.

Step 2: Check for Responsiveness

  • Gently tap the dog's shoulder and call its name while assessing for any signs of responsiveness, such as movement, breathing, or vocalization.

Step 3: Check for Breathing and Pulse

  • Place your ear near the dog's mouth and nose while watching the chest for any signs of movement. Look, listen, and feel for breathing and check for a pulse by feeling the dog's femoral artery (located inside the hind leg).

Step 4: Call for Help

  • If the dog is unresponsive and not breathing or does not have a pulse, call your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic immediately for guidance and assistance.

Step 5: Begin CPR

  • Place the dog on a flat, firm surface with its right side facing up.
  • Administer chest compressions by using your fingers. For most dogs, you will use two fingers (typically the index and middle fingers) placed on the chest, just behind the dog's front legs. Be very gentle to avoid causing injury to the dog's delicate chest.
  • Compress the chest gently to a depth of about one-third to one-half of its width. The goal is to compress the chest, not the abdomen.
  • Perform chest compressions at a rate of approximately 100-120 compressions per minute. You can use a metronome or a mental count to maintain the correct pace.

Step 6: Provide Rescue Breaths (If Trained)

  • If you are trained in canine CPR and comfortable providing rescue breaths, you can incorporate them into the CPR process. Here's how:
    1. After every 30 chest compressions, open the dog's airway by gently extending its neck to straighten the airway.
    2. Pinch the dog's nose shut with your fingers, and cover its mouth with yours, creating an airtight seal.
    3. Give two gentle puffs of air into the dog's nostrils, watching for the chest to rise as you provide breaths.
    4. Resume chest compressions immediately after giving rescue breaths.

Step 7: Continue CPR

  • Continue the cycle of chest compressions and rescue breaths until the dog shows signs of life, professional veterinary help arrives, or you are advised to stop by a veterinarian.

Step 8: Seek Veterinary Assistance

  • Once the dog shows signs of life or professional veterinary assistance arrives, transfer the dog to a veterinary clinic or hospital as soon as possible for a thorough evaluation and treatment.

Remember that performing CPR on a dog is a temporary measure to sustain the dog's life until they can receive proper veterinary care. Seek veterinary assistance promptly in any emergency involving a dog.

 Pet CPR + First Aid Certification

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