Performing CPR on a Dog: Essential Steps

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique used to restore blood circulation and oxygenation in individuals experiencing cardiac arrest. Similarly, CPR can be administered to dogs in emergency situations to increase the chances of survival. In this blog post, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to perform CPR on a dog, emphasizing the importance of proper training and the resources offered by MyCPR NOW.

Why Learn Canine CPR?

Just like humans, dogs can experience cardiac arrest or respiratory distress that requires immediate intervention. Learning how to perform CPR on a dog is crucial for dog owners, pet professionals, and anyone who may encounter a canine emergency. Administering CPR promptly can make a significant difference in the outcome and increase the chances of saving a dog's life.

Step-by-Step Guide to Canine CPR:

Performing CPR on a dog involves a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths. Follow these steps carefully:

Step 1: Assess the Situation:
Before starting CPR, assess the dog's condition. Check for signs of responsiveness, such as movement or vocalization. If the dog is unresponsive or not breathing normally, proceed to the next steps.

Step 2: Position the Dog:
Gently position the dog on a firm surface, preferably on their right side. Ensure the dog's head and neck are aligned with their body to maintain an open airway.

Step 3: Check the Airway:
Extend the dog's head and neck to open the airway. Look inside the mouth to check for any foreign objects or obstructions. If you see an object, try to remove it with your fingers or a pair of pliers, being careful not to push it further into the throat.

Step 4: Perform Chest Compressions:
Place one hand over the widest part of the dog's chest, just behind the elbows. Interlock your fingers and position your shoulders directly above your hands. Begin chest compressions by applying firm, downward pressure. Compress the chest to approximately one-third to one-half of its width, aiming for a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.

MyCPR NOW provides detailed instructional videos and resources that demonstrate proper chest compression technique for dogs. Utilize these resources to ensure you are performing effective compressions.

Step 5: Administer Rescue Breaths:
After every 30 compressions, it's time to administer rescue breaths. Maintain the dog's head and neck in the extended position. Close the dog's mouth and place your mouth over their nose, creating a seal. Exhale steadily into the dog's nose until you see the chest rise. Continue to provide two rescue breaths, allowing the chest to fully deflate between breaths.

Step 6: Continue CPR:
Alternate between chest compressions and rescue breaths in a cycle of 30 compressions followed by two breaths. Maintain this rhythm until the dog shows signs of responsiveness or professional help arrives.

Step 7: Seek Veterinary Assistance:
While administering CPR, it's important to contact a veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic for immediate assistance. Professional medical intervention is essential to assess the dog's condition and provide further treatment.

Importance of CPR Training for Canines:

Proper training is critical when it comes to performing CPR on a dog. MyCPR NOW offers comprehensive CPR training programs, including specific modules for canine CPR. Here's why training is essential:

1. Knowledge and Confidence:
CPR training equips individuals with the knowledge and skills to perform CPR effectively. Training builds confidence, enabling individuals to remain calm and respond promptly during emergencies.

2. Proper Technique:
Learning proper canine CPR techniques ensures that chest compressions and rescue breaths are administered correctly. It maximizes the effectiveness of CPR and increases the chances of successful resuscitation.

3. Safety Precautions:
CPR training emphasizes safety precautions to protect both the rescuer and the dog. It covers topics such as personal protective equipment (PPE), handling injured animals, and minimizing the risk of injury.

4. Adaptability:
CPR training prepares individuals to adapt their skills to different situations. Dogs come in various sizes and breeds, and training provides guidance on modifying CPR techniques based on the specific needs of the dog being treated.


Learning how to perform CPR on a dog is a valuable skill that can save lives in critical situations. Following the step-by-step guide outlined above, combined with proper training from MyCPR NOW, enables individuals to respond effectively during canine emergencies. By acquiring CPR skills and resources tailored to dogs, dog owners, pet professionals, and animal lovers can play a crucial role in providing life-saving care to our beloved canine companions. Remember, timely CPR administration can make a significant difference, so make sure to invest in your CPR training through MyCPR NOW to be prepared for any canine emergency.

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