Pet CPR and First Aid

There could come a time when knowing how to administer CPR and first aid to your dog may mean the difference between saving its life or not.

If your pet is involved in an accident and has been seriously injured, one of the first things you should do is make sure your dog is still breathing. To check its breathing, gently tap your dog, call its name, and watch for up and down movement of its chest so you know if it’s still breathing. Listen carefully to its breathing and try to feel the breath on your cheek or the back of your hand.

If your dog is not breathing, pull its tongue out a little bit, close its mouth and tilt its head slightly to open its airway. Give the dog 4 to 5 breaths from your mouth to its nose. This is called Mouth-to-Snout resuscitation as opposed to Mouth-to-Mouth given to humans. Give the dog just enough air to make its chest rise. Big dogs will need more air than little dogs.

You must check for a pulse. A Femoral Pulse is the easiest to check. This pulse point is located inside the rear leg towards the top of the leg. If your dog has a pulse but is still not breathing, give it Mouth-to-Snout resuscitation and check again for a Femoral Pulse.

If there is still no pulse, place the dog on the ground or a hard surface with its right side facing down. Take its left front leg and bend it at the elbow, rotating the leg at its shoulder. The point where the dog’s elbow touches the body is where you place your hands for compressions. Put one hand on top of the other and clasp your fingers together. Lock your elbows and start performing compressions. Push approximately 2 to 3 inches deep as you compress. Follow this with Mouth-to-Snout resuscitation. After 1 minute check for a pulse. If there is no response start the compressions again, continuing until the dog starts breathing on its own.