Perform CPR On Dogs | Off Leash K9 Training | Dog Safety

How to Perform CPR on Dogs – A Step by Step Guide

CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation can save your pet dog’s life when done in a timely manner and following the right procedure. 

The procedure is basically a combination of artificial respiration and chest compression. Chest compressions will help keep the blood pumping in case your dog’s heart stops due to respiratory failure. 

Once the dog stops breathing, the vital organs including the brain and the liver suffer from deprivation of oxygen. In just a matter of three to four minutes brain damage can occur. Hence, prompt action is crucial. 

That said, every responsible dog owners must be armed with the knowledge on how to perform CPR on their pets in an emergency.

Important Things to Consider

CPR should only be performed when necessary and shouldn’t be done on healthy dogs. Otherwise it can cause physical complications or worst, fatal damages. 

Prior to doing a CPR, see to it that you assess your dog’s condition first. Check if the dog is still breathing. If it is, then you don’t need to perform a CPR. To check whether the dog is still breathing or not, check chest movements or place your cheek or hand up to their nose to feel for airflow. 

Determine if there might be an object that’s causing blockage on the dog’s airways. Open the dog’s mouth to check for any signs of foreign objects. Dislodge the object, should you see one, before conducting the CPR. 

Performing CPR on Dogs – A Step by Step Guide

  1. Positioning your Dog
  • On a flat surface, lay your dog on his side.
  • Try to help open an airway passage by straightening your pet’s head and neck.
  • Pull the tongue of the dog forward. 
  1. Preparing and Performing the Compressions
    • Locate the dog’s heart.
    • Lay both of your palms near the dog’s heart on top of the widest part of the rib cage. Press down gently yet firmly. The goal is to make quick and rapid compression – compress, release, compress, release. Repeat about ten times every five-ten seconds interval.
  1. Performing Artificial Respiration
  • When doing artificial respiration the goal is to do artificial breathing of one breath after two to three seconds of interval.
  • Start by sealing the lips of the dog. 
  • Place your mouth near the dog’s nostrils. 
  • Blow gently into the nostrils and check if for chest response – signs of lifting and expansion. 
  1. Performing Abdominal Compressions
  • This is ideally done for larger breed of dogs. 
  • To do this, compress the front part of your dog’s belly gently.
  • Consider employing an abdominal squeeze by placing your left hand under your pet’s abdomen while your right hand rests on top of the abdomen. 
  1. Check for signs of improvement on your dog’s condition.

Stop at least every two minutes to check if your pet has already resumed normal breathing. Continue to administer artificial respiration until a veterinarian or help arrives. However, if after 20 minutes you notice no improvement with the dog’s breathing, you may discontinue the procedure as unfortunately, it has proven to be unsuccessful.

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