Everything You Need to Know About Dog CPR and When to Give It

Brown and white dog with a stethescope and first aid kit.

Most of us are probably familiar with CPR when it comes to humans, but can you safely administer it to your dog? In the event of an accident or emergency, it is very important for a dog owner to know how to safely administer CPR.

What is Dog CPR?

CPR is a life-saving procedure that uses respiration and chest compression to help revive a dog when they are not breathing. Just like humans, when a dog stops breathing, it causes oxygen levels to drop dramatically. Without oxygen, the kidney, liver, and other vital organs can fail. Brain damage follows soon after so, it is vital to act quickly when your dog is in a horrible situation unable to breathe.

Different Maneuvers

Before you begin administering CPR you need to make sure:

Your Dog’s Airway Is Clear

  • Open your dogs mouth and check the throat for obstructions. If an object is blocking the airway, grab the tongue and pull it forward. If this doesn’t work, use your hand and fingers to pull the object out. If the object can’t be removed, resort to using the Heimlich maneuver.

Determine If Your Dog Is Breathing

  • Watch and see if you see the slow up and down movements of the chest. If you can’t tell, place the back of your palm right underneath their nose to feel for air.

Check for a Heartbeat

  • Lay your dog on their right side and push the front elbow to the chest. If you don’t see any movement in the area, place your hand over the same place and feel for a heartbeat.

How to Give Your Dog CPR

CPR on dog.

After these steps have been followed and you discover it is time to give your beloved dog CPR, begin with chest compressions.

If your dog is under 30 pounds, lay your dog on their side. Place your hand right above their heart. For puppies, put your thumb on one side of the chest and spread the rest of your hand to the other side. Squeeze the chest and release at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. Keep this action going until you can feel a steady heartbeat.

For medium/larger dogs place your hand on top of the other over the biggest part of the ribcage, not over the heart. Keeping your arms straight constantly, compress the chest to about half of it’s width. Just like in smaller dogs, compress the chest at a rate of 100-120 times per minute. Continue the CPR until your dog begins to breathe on their own.

It’s never enjoyable to think about these situations, especially when your dog is involved. It’s always a good idea to have a plan when the unexpected happens. This is why it’s always important to be prepared and to act fast. If you have any questions about CPR feel free to stop into The Barking Lot today. We have a very trained and knowledgeable staff who can answer any questions you may have! In the meantime, check out our different dog services such as dog walking, daycare, boarding, and more!

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