Pet CPR: The Skills That Can Save Your Pet's Life

If you've ever found yourself in a situation where you need to perform CPR on a human, then you can likely imagine how challenging it might be to perform the maneuver on a four-legged friend. But while basic pet CPR is more difficult than what humans experience in most cases, it's not impossible — and your pet's life may depend on your ability to carry out these steps.


Pet CPR is a technique you can use to help keep your pet alive until they can be taken to the vet. You should only perform this technique if you have been trained by a qualified instructor and feel comfortable with it.

In general, pet CPR follows the same steps as human CPR:

  • Check for responsiveness--if your pet is unresponsive and not breathing normally, start chest compressions immediately (see below). Do not give mouth-to-mouth breathing unless instructed by the 911 operator or doctor on call at your local veterinary hospital; instead, focus on chest compressions until help arrives.
  • Keep doing this until help arrives.
  • If there's no response after 30 seconds of rescue breathing/chest compressions and no pulse felt within 10 seconds of feeling both carotid arteries (neck), continue with chest compressions only until help arrives.
  • Stop immediately if there are signs that blood has pooled under your dog's tongue or around its mouth (blue lips), which could indicate airway obstruction due to swelling from injury or disease; call 911 immediately.
  • If possible, elevate legs slightly above heart level while performing chest compressions; this helps prevent fluid buildup in the lungs during an extended period without oxygen supply due to lack of circulation caused by cardiac arrest.
  • Perform 30 chest compressions at rate of 100 per minute (about 2 seconds between each one); then give 2 breaths over 1 second each time before starting another round of 30 compressions/2 breaths cycle again until help arrives or the animal starts breathing normally again

Basic CPR

  • What is CPR?
  • How to perform chest compressions
  • How to perform rescue breathing
  • When to stop CPR on a pet
  • What equipment is needed for pet CPR?

The following are the steps required to perform basic life support on your pet:

  • Position yourself behind your pet and place both hands on their chest. You may want to use one hand as an anchor point so that you don't move around too much while performing chest compressions.
  • After taking a deep breath, begin pushing down on their sternum with quick, steady pushes at least two inches deep and at least 100 times per minute (or faster if possible). If possible, try not to press directly over their spine but rather just under it--you'll still get good results! Make sure that both sides get equal amounts of pressure applied during each compression cycle so as not to cause any unnecessary pain or discomfort during this process."

Resuscitation equipment

  • A pet oxygen mask is a must-have. This can be a human-sized one, but it's best to use one specifically designed for dogs and cats because they are smaller and fit better.
  • A pet CPR mask is also useful if you have one available. If not, try using a snorkel with your mouth over the animal's nose and mouth while performing chest compressions (see below). The snorkel acts as an airway so that you don't have to hold their mouth closed while doing compressions on their chest; however, this method may not work well for large dogs or cats who have difficulty breathing through their nostrils due to anatomical differences between humans and pets! In these cases, consider using an alternative airway device such as an aspirator or laryngeal airway instead of trying something like this technique first--but always remember: learning how properly use any piece of equipment before relying on it during an emergency situation will help ensure success when seconds count most!

How to perform chest compressions

When performing chest compressions on your pet, you should use two fingers to press firmly in the center of the chest. This will depress their sternum 1-2 inches and create an impression of where to push during each compression. It's important that you push hard enough so that there's no movement of the ribs after each compression.

You want your hands positioned vertically over one another at about a 45-degree angle for optimal leverage when doing CPR on cats and dogs (and other small animals). If there are multiple people helping with this procedure, they should stand behind one another so as not to get in each other's way when performing compressions on their respective patients.

In order for CPR techniques like mouth-to-snout resuscitation or chest compressions to work effectively, it's crucial that everyone involved maintains a calm state of mind throughout all steps involved in these lifesaving efforts - even if things start going wrong right away!

Ways to keep your pet breathing during CPR

  • Use a pet oxygen mask. This is the most common method used to keep pets breathing during CPR. The mask covers the nose and mouth of your pet, supplying them with oxygen that they can then breathe in.
  • Use a pet oxygen tank or bag. If you're in an area where there are no tanks available but there are tanks nearby, it's possible to use one as well as this method by opening up its valve and placing it over your dog or cat's face so they can breathe through it instead of using an actual mask (which may not work well depending on their size).
  • Use a pet oxygen tent/tube combo kit from Amazon ($20-$60). This option involves placing what looks like an umbrella over your animal friend and hooking up tubes between that structure and either another piece called "The Breathing Tote" ($60) or directly onto themselves via nose cone attachment ($40). You could also try building something similar yourself if neither option seems appealing enough--just make sure all components fit together tightly enough so nothing escapes!

When to stop CPR on a pet

  • If your pet is not breathing or has a heartbeat. If you are not able to find a pulse and have been performing CPR for more than 15 minutes.
  • If the animal is in shock. In this case, it's better to use a mask instead of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation because it can be difficult to breathe through an animal's muzzle (and you don't want them biting down on your face).

Learn the skills needed to save your pet's life.

If you're already a pet owner, it's important to know the skills needed to save your pet's life. If you don't have a pet of your own, this information can help you prepare for emergencies with any animal in need.

Here are some tips:

  • Learn about how to perform CPR on your pet. It's never too late--or early--to start learning how! You can find tutorials online or take classes at local community centers or veterinary clinics. If there aren't any available options near where you live, consider attending conferences hosted by national organizations such as Pet Partners.
  • Practice these techniques regularly so they become second nature when they're needed most.


If you have a pet, it's important to know what to do if they are choking or in cardiac arrest. In this post, we've covered the basics of how to perform CPR on your pet as well as what equipment may be needed for resuscitation efforts. We hope that our tips help keep your furry friends safe and healthy!


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