A Pet Parent's Guide To Dog CPR

A Pet Parent's Guide To Dog CPR

Are you prepared to save your pup in case of an emergency? Dog CPR is a life-saving skill that every responsible pet parent should know. It’s not just about being prepared - it could mean the difference between life and death for your furry friend! In this article, we'll guide you through understanding how to perform dog CPR.

Trust us - knowing how to give your pup CPR may just save their tail someday! So let's dive right into dog CPR.

Understand the Basics of Dog CPR

Knowing how to perform Dog CPR, as well as assembling a comprehensive Pet First Aid Kit, are both essential skills for any pet parent. 

When it comes to Dog CPR, the key steps are the same as with humans:

  • Chest compressions 🤚
  • Rescue breaths 🌬️
  • Checking for a heartbeat 💚
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Step-by-Step Guide to Performing Dog CPR

Before starting to learn how to perform dog CPR, it is really important to have in mind these 4 tips:

  • Always practice on a stuffed animal before attempting Dog CPR on your pet.
  • Make sure your Pet First Aid Kit is stocked with bandages, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, cotton swabs, scissors, hydrogen peroxide, saline solution, and tweezers.
  • Check for a heartbeat after performing rescue breaths.
  • Call the emergency vet service and start doing dog CPR.

Check out: Pet First Aid Kit: Things To Know About Pet First Aid

Now that you know that, follow these steps to ensure that your pup is fully oxygenated in an emergency situation. Ready, set, go!

1. Assess The Status Of Respiration And Heartbeat

Give your furry friend a thorough examination, starting with a keen eye for any rise and fall in their chest, an undeniable sign of breathing.

Moving on, gently locate their heartbeat, keeping your senses sharp. In the event that both are amiss, it's time to spring into action and initiate the life-saving technique of CPR, commencing with none other than chest compressions.

2. Chest Compressions

Chest compressions are a crucial part of Dog CPR, as they help to keep oxygen-rich blood flowing throughout the body during an emergency.

When performing chest compressions on puppies, small breeds and giant breeds, there are some differences that should be taken into consideration.

For Puppies:

Use one hand to make 1–2 fingers slightly overlap the sternum and press down with about 0.25 inches for 20–30 times per minute.

For Small Breeds (Under 25 Pounds):

Place both hands on the sternum with your palms overlapping each other and perform 30 chest compressions per minute at a depth of 1-1.5 inches.

For Giant Breeds (Over 175 Pounds):

Use two hands to encircle the dog’s sternum and press down with a depth of 2-2.5 inches at a rate of 30 compressions per minute.

⚠️ It’s important to remember that chest compressions should only be performed when the pet is unresponsive or has stopped breathing. Always check for a heartbeat before performing chest compressions!

3. Rescue Breaths

Rescue breaths are the second step of Dog CPR and should be administered after chest compressions have been performed.

For Puppies:

Place your mouth over the puppy’s muzzle and blow two full breaths from your nose per second.

For Small Breeds (Under 25 Pounds):

Cover the dog’s nostrils with your mouth and blow two full breaths every 3-5 seconds.

For Giant Breeds (Over 175 Pounds):

Use both hands to hold the dog's muzzle shut while you blow into their nostrils for two full breaths every 5–7 seconds.

Again, only perform rescue breaths if there is no heartbeat present!

⚠️ Once your pup shows signs of life, stop giving rescue breaths immediately to avoid overoxygenating them.

4. Checking For A Heartbeat

Finally, it’s essential to check for a heartbeat after administering chest compressions and rescue breaths.

You may be interested: Bloody Dog Poop: A Veterinary Emergency?

For Puppies:

Place your index and middle fingers just behind the puppy’s elbow joint and press firmly for at least 15 seconds.

For Small Breeds (Under 25 Pounds):

Place two fingers in the same spot as before but press harder and hold for 30 seconds or more.

For Giant Breeds (Over 175 Pounds):

Use both hands to grip the dog's sternum firmly and hold that position for 45 seconds or longer while carefully checking for a heartbeat.

🛑 If there is no sign of life after several minutes of CPR, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately!

Keeping a pet first aid kit close by can help to make sure you’re prepared for any emergency. By knowing basic Dog CPR techniques, you can take control of the situation and potentially save your pet's life. Be a responsible pet parent - it could mean the difference between life and death!

Dog CPR is a life-saving skill that can be the difference between life and death during an emergency situation. Knowing how to perform chest compressions, rescue breaths, and check for a heartbeat on puppies, small breeds and giant breeds will give you peace of mind as a responsible pet parent.

By being prepared with knowledge and resources such as a pet first aid kit, you can take control of any given situation and potentially save your furry friend’s tail!  

for more dog owners’ tips


Do You CPR A Dog On The Right Or Left Side?

Do You CPR A Dog On The Right Or Left Side?

When performing CPR on a dog, it is generally recommended to position the animal on its right side. This allows for better access to the heart, which is located on the left side of a dog's chest. By placing the dog on its right side, you can more easily perform chest compressions directly over the heart, maximizing the effectiveness of the life-saving technique. 

Is It Worth Doing CPR On A Dog?

Absolutely, performing CPR on a dog can be highly worthwhile and potentially life-saving. CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an emergency procedure used to restore circulation and breathing in a pet that has experienced cardiac arrest or stopped breathing.

While it may not guarantee success in every case, CPR can provide a crucial lifeline during critical situations until professional veterinary help is available.

CPR can help maintain oxygen flow to the vital organs and buy precious time until the dog receives professional medical attention. It is important to note that the success rate of CPR may vary depending on the underlying cause of the emergency, the dog's overall health, and the timeliness of the intervention.

Therefore, if you find yourself in a situation where a dog is unresponsive, not breathing, or without a heartbeat, it is absolutely worth attempting CPR while seeking immediate veterinary assistance. Remember, every moment counts in potentially saving a beloved furry friend's life.

Does Dog CPR Break Their Ribs? 

It is possible for dog CPR to result in broken ribs. During CPR, chest compressions are performed by applying pressure to the dog's chest in order to manually circulate blood. This forceful action can occasionally cause rib fractures, especially in smaller or more fragile dogs.

While the prospect of broken ribs can be concerning, it is important to remember that the primary goal of CPR is to save the dog's life. The immediate focus is on maintaining circulation and providing oxygen to the vital organs. If broken ribs do occur during CPR, they are considered an unfortunate but secondary concern in comparison to the urgent need for resuscitation.

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