Pet CPR: How to Save Your Pet in an Emergency


The first thing to know about CPR is that it's a technique for saving the lives of people and pets. But, how can you tell when your pet needs CPR? The answer is simple: if it's not breathing, call 911 immediately. However, there are many other situations where knowing how to perform pet CPR can be life-saving for both you and your furry best friend. Read on for our guide to all things emergency care for pets!

Identify the problem.

  • Identify the problem. Don't waste time on things that don't matter, and don't give up if you don't get it right the first time. If you are not sure, ask for help.
  • Keep your pet calm by talking softly and stroking their fur or touching them gently on their head or body (if they don't like being touched). This will help keep them from panicking while they wait for help to arrive.

Know your pet.

When it comes to saving your pet, the first step is knowing them. Here are some tips for getting to know your dog or cat:

For the health and wellbeing of your pet, a primary step is truly understanding them. Here are some tips to help you get to know your dog or cat more closely:

  • Know their identity: It might seem fundamental, but knowing your pet's name is highly valuable. You should be able to call for them in emergency situations or reference them quickly when needed.
  • Learn about their breed: Certain breeds may have specific health risks or typical behaviors. Understanding your pet's breed can help you be aware of these specifics.
  • Familiarize yourself with their normal behaviors: Be cognizant of their usual habits, from eating to sleeping patterns to overall enthusiasm. Any abnormal changes could be warning signs of health issues.
  • Identify their distinct markings: Be aware of your pet's unique features or markings. These characteristics can help you identify your pet quickly, especially if they go missing.
  • Know their medical history: It is vital to be informed about any previous medical conditions, surgeries, or vaccinations. These facts will come handy in case of any health crises.
  • Monitor their social behaviors: Understanding how your pet usually interacts with both humans and other animals is vital. Any noticeable change can indicate distress or illness.

By investing effort into understanding your pet's behaviors and health, you increase the likelihood of identifying potential issues promptly, thus improving your pet's overall welfare.

Rescue breathing.

If you're in a situation where your pet is unconscious or appears to be having trouble breathing, it's important to get them some oxygen as soon as possible. One way to do this is by performing rescue breathing (also known as mouth-to-snout resuscitation).

To do so:

  • Use a pet-specific mask. These are available at most pet stores and online retailers; they'll help prevent the spread of germs between humans and animals through shared air supplies (and may even save you from getting sick yourself!). Some masks clip onto the nose while others fit over both lips, but either way, should be snugly fitted without any gaps between them and your animal's face so that they can breathe safely while receiving oxygen through their nose or mouth--and not just around their face like in human CPR scenarios where mouth-to-nose contact isn't necessary at all times during rescue procedures!
  • If possible try using an oxygen tank instead of just relying on bagging alone since this will allow for the more complete delivery of breathable gas into their lungs without having any interference from outside sources such as air pressure fluctuations caused by movement around them being transmitted onto themselves via "bagging" motions performed externally rather than internally within each individual lung itself."

Chest compressions.

If you're reading this, it's likely that your pet is in danger. You've likely already performed the first step of CPR--checking for a pulse. If there is no response, begin chest compressions immediately.

Chest compressions are used to help circulate blood throughout your pet's body and keep vital organs functioning until they can be revived by medical professionals or other life-saving measures can be taken.

The type of chest compression depends on whether you're performing them on a cat or dog: For cats and small dogs (less than 20 pounds), use two fingers placed over the sternum (the bone between their front legs). For larger dogs (over 25 pounds), use one hand with all four fingers resting on top of each other along one side of the animal's breastbone while bracing yourself with your other hand against its backside; then squeeze inward toward each other until they meet in front before releasing pressure slowly so as not to cause further damage if done too quickly!

Drowning and water rescue.

If your pet is drowning, get him out of the water as soon as possible. While this may seem like common sense, it's important to remember that drowning is a leading killer of pets. If you notice that your dog or cat has fallen into a body of water and won't come up for air, do not attempt to dive in after them! Instead:

  • Look for any signs of injury (e.g., bleeding from mouth or nose)
  • Make sure they're breathing by placing your hand on their chest and feeling for movement; if nothing happens after about 30 seconds, start CPR immediately by giving two quick breaths through their nose before beginning chest compressions

Nonstop CPR is a must.

Nonstop CPR is essential to saving your pet's life. If you can't do nonstop CPR, follow these steps:

  • Call 911 and tell the operator that you need help with an animal emergency.
  • Position the pet on his or her side so that air can get into their lungs more easily. Then begin compressions on their chest about two inches apart as if you were giving them a massage, but push down hard enough so that their rib cage sinks in (you should be able to feel it). If possible, have someone else watch for signs of breathing or heartbeat while you do this; if not, keep going until help arrives!


  • Takeaway: The most important thing to remember is that you can save your pet. Even if it seems like there's no hope, keep up the chest compressions until help arrives--it could be the difference between life and death for your pet.
  • If you're not sure what to do, call your vet immediately! They'll have more experience with this kind of situation and can tell you what steps to take next. They may even tell you not to go into panic mode if it looks like CPR is not working. In fact, some animals are able to recover from cardiac arrest on their own once they get enough oxygen back in their bodies (this happens because their hearts start beating again).
  • If possible, try not to move them around too much; instead, focus on keeping them warm while waiting for medical assistance or until help arrives at home after calling 911 (if necessary).


If you have a dog or cat, it's important to know how to do CPR on them. You never know when an emergency might happen, so it's best to be prepared with the right knowledge and tools. If there is no time for professional help, then at least you can try doing some basic first aid techniques on your own pet until help arrives.

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