You can get proper dog CPR training by checking with your neighborhood ASPCA or the animal shelter for information on classes.  You might think that you will never need to perform CPR on your dog, but you might be surprised!  All kinds of different accidents can happen, and it is always better to be prepared than not be prepared.

If you don’t have formal training and you have an emergency, these guidelines might help you save your canine’s life:

  • Lay your dog on his right side because when when he is laying on his right side, his heart is facing up.
  • Bring his left elbow back to his chest.  By doing this you will be able to locate his heart which is one of his pulse points.  If you can’t find your dog’s pulse where the left elbow meets the chest there is another place to try.  Lift the left leg and run your fingers up his paw right up under his front dew claw pad and you should be able to feel a pulse.  You can also find a pulse on the back foot in the wrist equivalent area or on the femoral artery.  If you are trying to find the pulse on the femoral artery, run your fingers down to about the knee on the back leg and then roll your hand around on the inside thigh and you should be able to locate the femoral artery.
  • Start CPR after you locate the pulse.
  • Give your pet four quick breaths by bringing your head down to your pet’s snout.  His head needs to be in line with his body.  Tilt his head back a little to open his airway.  Close the lower jaw with your other hand.  Have your thumb across the top of his nose and hold his mouth shut.
  • If you have a small dog your mouth should cover the mouth and nose.  If you have a big dog, cover his nose with your mouth.  Take a full breath and blow into his nose.  You should see his chest rise when you do this.  Give him four quick breaths as stated above.
  • Bring his left elbow back to his chest and check for a pulse again.  Lock your hands together, place over his heart, and do 15 compressions in ten seconds.
  • Give another breath–just one and add an abdominal squeeze by sliding your left hand under the abdomen and use your right hand to squeeze.  The purpose of this is to help circulate the blood back to the heart.
  • Repeat the process if needed.

Being prepared for the worst could save your dog’s life!


Filed under: Dog Care

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