Lifesaving Techniques: CPR for Large Breeds vs. Small Breeds


Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a crucial lifesaving technique that can make a significant difference in the event of a cardiac arrest in both humans and animals. When it comes to our furry companions, understanding the differences in performing CPR for large breeds versus small breeds is essential for providing the best possible care. In this guide presented by MyCPR NOW, we will explore the nuances of administering CPR to large and small breed dogs to ensure their safety and increase their chances of survival in emergencies.

I. Anatomical Considerations

1. Chest Size: Large breed dogs have more massive chests, requiring adjustments in hand placement during CPR compressions.

2. Pressure Application: The amount of pressure applied during compressions may differ between large and small breeds due to their varying chest sizes.

II. CPR Techniques for Large Breed Dogs

1. Proper Positioning: Demonstrating the correct positioning of the large breed dog for CPR, including placing them on their side.

2. Compressions: Adjusting the depth and force of compressions for large breed dogs to ensure effectiveness.

III. CPR Techniques for Small Breed Dogs

1. Delicate Approach: Understanding the delicate nature of small breed dogs and modifying CPR techniques accordingly.

2. Compressions: Demonstrating the appropriate force and depth of compressions for small breed dogs to avoid causing injury.

IV. Rescue Breaths for Dogs

1. Mouth-to-Snout Technique: Utilizing the mouth-to-snout technique for delivering rescue breaths to dogs of all sizes.

2. Adjusting for Size: Modifying the amount of air delivered during rescue breaths based on the size of the dog.

V. Common Emergency Situations

1. Choking: Recognizing and responding to choking emergencies in both large and small breed dogs.

2. Drowning: Providing CPR for dogs who have experienced near-drowning incidents.

VI. Practice and Preparedness

1. Learning Hands-on: The importance of hands-on practice and taking CPR training courses specifically designed for pets.

2. Having a Plan: Creating an emergency plan and having essential supplies ready in case of an emergency.


Administering CPR to dogs can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and practice, it becomes a vital skill that can save lives. MyCPR NOW emphasizes the importance of understanding the anatomical differences between large and small breed dogs when performing CPR. Being familiar with the appropriate techniques and adjustments for each size ensures that you can confidently provide aid in an emergency situation. Regular training, practice, and being prepared for potential emergencies are crucial steps in becoming a competent and effective pet rescuer. Remember, quick and decisive action can make all the difference when it comes to saving the life of your furry companion. Whether your dog is a large breed or a small breed, knowing how to perform CPR properly can give them a fighting chance and bring peace of mind to every pet owner.

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